DIY Sustainable Garden: Starting with Seeds. ~ Megan McWilliams

Via elephant journal
on Mar 19, 2013
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Source: via Kathy on Pinterest

This is our first spring in the new home.

It’s thrilling to see the hundreds of tulips poking through the snow dust. The previous owner has some nice flower beds and a herb bed, but no vegetable garden.

I’ve had some great flower gardens in my day and a few good veggie and herb successes, but I don’t consider myself a great or very experienced gardener at all.

I have only attempted my own seedlings a few times and mostly I suck at it. Usually I don’t get my act together until too late, and for a variety of reasons my seedlings have met with calamity involving a pet, kid or unwitting husband.

This year I got hubby on board early and we both want to try and grow some organic veggies and herbs from our fabulously oversized and sunny deck.

(After our failed raised bed experiment in the old house—this very enthusiastic Green Diva meticulously watched the sun and found the only patch that had full sun, but the trees weren’t entirely full yet. Once we got the beds built, the expensive organic soil mixed w/ our compost filled in, the veggies and herbs tucked in, and the fence to protect it all was constructed, the leaves on that darned tree seemed to expand and there just wasn’t enough sun! We had some lettuce and a few good herbs, but ugh.)

I haven’t had much luck finding organic veggie or herb plants that weren’t going to cost a small fortune. It’s important to me to start with healthy essentials like organic, non-GMO seeds and organic soil.

It all starts with seeds. 

I wanted to find a source for organic and non-GMOseeds. I love the concept of a local seed exchange, but I’m out of the loop and needed to start fresh. I hope to be able to harvest some healthy organic seeds at the end of this season and participate in some seed exchanging for the next growing season.

I ordered seeds from
I ordered seeds from

My colleague Green Diva Mizar did a couple of her great DIY posts recently that included two different ideas for upcycling stuff headed for the recycling bin into seed-starter pots.

Here’s the best tutorial on making newspaper seed-starter pots that I found and used.

(NOTE: I’m not entirely thrilled with newspaper as The New York Times ink is probably not of the soy-based, non-toxic variety, but I really didn’t have enough toilet paper rolls and everyone convinced me that it would be okay… I succumbed to the easy, cheap access, but under protest.)

Sustainable seeds
Getting ready to have fun making sustainable seed-starter pots out of The New York Times (after a long session with the best Sunday Times bits of course) and toilet paper rolls
Photo by Megan McWilliams
Production fun while watching episodes of Rescue Me
Got some lovely organic seed starter soil from our local nursery
Got some lovely organic seed starter soil from our local nursery
Just waiting for the sun...
Just waiting for the sun…
My hubby found this awesome small pink watering can for me – made my day!
My hubby found this awesome small pink watering can for me—made my day!


Gardening is the art that uses flowers and plants as paint, and the soil and sky as canvas. ~ Elizabeth Murray

Gardening is how I relax. It’s another form of creating and playing with colors. ~ Oscar de la Renta

Gardening is a way of showing that you believe in tomorrow ~ Unknown

Gardening imparts an organic perspective on the passage of time. ~ William Cowper

Megan McWilliams

Green Diva Meg (aka Megan McWilliams, host of The Green Divas Radio Show) is a TV/radio/interactive content producer, blogger, product/book/restaurant/film/anything reviewer, humorist, and recovering ex-publisher. Having fun. Keeping it green.

Like elephant green on facebook.

Ed: Lynn Hasselberger


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6 Responses to “DIY Sustainable Garden: Starting with Seeds. ~ Megan McWilliams”

  1. jack says:

    Very interesting breakdown, indeed. It’s nice to have such information available in one location and some ideas for new and different directions to take to help one stand out.

  2. As you say, it's starting early that really helps.

  3. Naomi says:

    Hi Megan! Cool idea, seems easy enough to do with the step by steps and is a interesting way to brighten up the home. However the set up is a bit hard to follow with the pictures and the use of italics is it a bit distracting from the content. Overall a great post, thanks so much!

  4. Rebecca says:

    Hi Megan, I had gone through a lot of problems with planting and building my own little garden. I think it is just because I never really had the patience you need and neither do I have the constant commitment to take care of them. With my hectic social life, university and work. I’m really glad though, that it was so easy to follow your steps to make one and you made it looked really fun! 😀 I would definitely try it again after reading this blog and of course when I get more time to myself, so thank you so much for sharing! 🙂

  5. Tracey says:

    The arrival of spring brings a lot of change in our surroundings, as the sun starts energising the plants and helps germination of seeds. It’s time to decorate your garden with different varieties of fruits and flowers, and grow vegetables at backyards.

  6. Jon says:

    The farmers have started realizing the disadvantages of using synthetic chemicals and fertilizers, so they have started following the natural ways of growing vegetables and fruits with the help of organic seeds and manure.