I am so fortunate that I have the time to grow my own bedding plants and vegetable seedlings for my gardens. Every year I am expanding my list of things to grow, and every year I am saving myself more money by seeding my own plants.
I know not everyone has the time or even the right conditions or space to do this, but if you garden and you do have the time, it is well worth your effort. It's a bit late to start now for this years growing season, but think about doing it next year. Your efforts save you money, but more importantly, you get to enjoy poking around in dirt long before spring - it really feels like your are shortening winter to some small degree.
Over the years I have saved every seed tray and pot from purchased plants - if I was given a carrying try, I saved those as well. I did have a little mini starter set at one time, but I never found them to be very effective, and so I start my plants in things I have saved like these:
You can also start seeds in egg cartons, toilet paper rolls, some people even make their own paper pots from used newspapers. Once my seedlings are large enough ( have their second and sometimes third leaves, I transplant them into these fiber pots, that can be purchased anywhere.
I like these because you can direct sew these right into your garden if you want - they will compost down with time. I do that only after I have used them for several seasons - I'm too frugal to give them up to the soil, if I can still get some use from them.
I start all my seeds in the south facing picture window in the dining room. The heat and the sun in that room are perfect for getting seeds to germinate. Other years I have left them in that room until it was time to plant them out in the garden - but it pretty much meant that we could not use the dining room, so this year I decided to make a green-house upstairs in my studio.
I got a nice big table and set up three florescent lights, and once the seedlings were transplanted from trays to pots I took them up and let them grow under the lights.
They have done so well - and because of this I have been able to start much more this year than any year before.
Here is a tour of my growing table in the studio. I can't wait to get all these plants out into the garden and watch them take off - but that will have to wait for at least another three weeks or so - maybe more for things like tomatoes.
So here you go - welcome to my green table! And remember - save those trays and pots that your bedding plants come in this year - if you don't want them - I'll take them!