One Man’s Trash

cartons1March 2011:  Sometimes I feel like I’m playing with Lego.

And trash.  I play with trash a lot too.  My trash, and other people’s trash.  The other day I was visiting a friend, and she’d just finished a carton of juice.  She rinsed out the carton and made to throw it into recycle.  “Can I have that?” I asked.  “I can use it.”

cartons3“You like?” she asked.  “We have many more.”  And her husband pulled out three huge boxes of  juice cartons.  Wow!  Riches!  I took them home and cut them in half.  Piled up, they almost look artistic.  Or flowery.

Two liter cartons are the perfect size for 2″ soil blocks.  I can get eight blocks into the carton, and it fits perfectly.  One problem with blocks is that the soil can dry out along the edges, but with cartons, there really are no bare edges, so drying goes much more slowly.

I’ve spent the last few days popping 3/4″ blocks, Lego-style, into 2″ blocks.  I’ve found that I need to pop them in quite quickly after germination, because they tend to go leggy quickly.  The oven works wonderfully for germination; constant temperature in the night when the heat is off, open during the day with the kitchen is warm, and when I want to crank it up to 90 degrees F for recalcitrant seeds, I can do that too.

cartons4Here is my seed rack mostly set up.  I added the plastic as a whim–a big bag I found from I-know-not-where.  It works pretty well to keep in some heat, and amazingly, quite a bit of humidity.

My tomatoes are doing very well, and I fear will outgrow their bounds quite soon.

cartons5All this trash is eminently labelable.  I just have to write on the side with a permanent marker.  No little tags to get lost, no paper stick-on labels.  And when the season is done, I can chose to recycle it all.

But I’ll probably wash them up and pack them away in a box, because they are so easy to use, cheap, and already cut to size.

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