Just one of them, really. Fancy-schmancy B.E.F. polypropylene Growers’ Pots from the U.K. (they cost 25 cents each about 25 years ago and have been outdoors ever since; I don’t know of a source any more). Soil-less mix is equal parts peat moss, perlite, and sand. The pots are set in dishpans of very hot water (helps the mix absorb the water), and when the water has cooled …..I do this in January…..the seeds are sown onto the mix, pressed in lightly, and then dusted with a little squeegee or washed ant gravel. Then I wait.
The frame is for rodent protection. Since some determined rodents can get through the holes in chicken wire I added a layer of screen, too.
This frame was on the patio, under snow, until I started seeing germination, and then I moved it into full sun. There is a problem with the trays holding water after it rains, but I use a rubber bulb (it has a name, I forget, it’s a watering thing with a rubber bulb) to suck out the excess water.
I have to trim back the catmint, too.
Really, almost everything can just stay outside for a few years until the plants are big enough to move, but it’s the “almost” that I don’t know about. Most bulbs, believe it or not, are not hardy in pots below about +15F, and this is true of some other plants. I don’t know which ones, and don’t feel like losing them just to experiment. So I try to get as many plants as possible in the ground by the end of August, no matter how small they are.
In the seed flat farthest away there are some shrubs germinating. Mountain-mahogany, etc. Why a person who’s going to be 61 this year indulges in activities like germinating shrubs and trees from seed is one of gardening’s great mysteries.