Friday, March 16, 2012

Growing Tomatoes in Tim Hortons Cups

Last year, I had a brilliant idea! Well, it wasn't my idea. I bought a sweet pepper plant at the Farmer's Market in a Tim Horton's cup. I thought this was a fantastic way to re-use a product that is mass produced, used once, then tossed into landfills everywhere.

So this year, starting in January, I began to collect Tim Hortons cups, rinsing them carefully then placing them on the corner of my counter nearest the back door.  (My husband loves when I think of a new reason to make a new pile on the kitchen counter.) Then when I took out the recycling or the garbage, I'd take the Tim Hortons cups to the garage, where I stacked them on a shelf awaiting the early growing season.

In early March, spurred on my the seeming-success of my leek seedlings (some days they look more alive than others), I decided to give tomato seedlings another go.  I went to Canadian Tire and purchased Premium potting soil with moisture control. I mixed the potting soil with water in a glass mixing bowl with a spoon and then when I felt the texture was just right, I scooped the soil into my freshly rinsed paper cups. I had planned to rinse them with a 10% bleach and water solution, as the books say this prevents dampening off by killing the fungal spores, however, we had no bleach.  I set three tomato seeds in each cup then covered them up with more soil. 

I took the tray and set it on Amelia's dresser. And then I took the clear plastic bags that Amelia's diapers come in and I slid them over the seedlings.  For a week, I refrained from watering them.  And they sat there and did nothing. I was sure they were dead. I figured I'd neglected them too much, or they weren't warm enough. I certainly hadn't overwatered these ones.

But yesterday, in a sleepy stupor after a week of babies and parents puking with the flu, I was changing Amelia's diaper and I glanced over at my tray of seedlings. And lo and behold, there appeared several dewy green cheeks pressed against the plastic in a let-me-out kind of way. "My tomatoes!" I shouted.

Although it's probably too early to count this as a seedling success, I am green with optimism.

p.s. Don't strain your eyes too hard - these pictures don't have my little green seedlings yet. Stay tuned for a photo update....
p.p.s. The package did say it takes 7-10 days for germination. And they were true to their word.

~Miss Greenish Thumb~