Monday, October 20, 2014

Pumpkin Bars in a Jar

Preparing Layered Mix in a Jar: 


  • 1 1/3 Cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 3/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Cup Oats
  • 1/2 Cup Chopped Pecans
  • Jars
  • Jar Funnel
  • Recipe Cards

Layer the first four ingredients into jar, firmly packing with between each layer. Layer pecans into the jar, screw on lid and band. Makes base for one recipe of Pumpkin Pie Bars.

Baking Instructions for Bars (To be written on the recipe card): 

  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) cold butter or 
  • margarine
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, 
  • softened
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 (15-ounce) pumpkin
  • 1 Tbsp. pumpkin pie spice

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 13 x 9-inch baking pan with foil; grease foil lining. Remove pecans and
oats from Jar and place in small bowl. Remove granulated sugar from Jar and place in another small bowl. Place brown sugar and fl our in medium bowl. Measure 1/4 cup granulated sugar and add to fl our mixture. Stir to evenly blend. Cut in butter with pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in oats and pecans. Reserve 1 cup of the crumb mixture; press
remaining mixture onto bottom of pan. Bake 15 minutes. Beat cream cheese, remaining 1/2 cup of granulated sugar, eggs, pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice in medium bowl with electric mixer
on medium speed until well blended. Pour over crust; sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture. Bake 25 minutes. Lift from pan by grabbing edges of foil. Cool completely. Yield: about 24 bars.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

How to Dry or Dehydrate Garlic for Homemade Garlic Powder

Homemade Garlic Powder
Homemade Garlic Powder
If you have ever made your own spices, you know they taste better than anything you can buy in a store. Homemade garlic powder is more flavorful and more aromatic. You can make your own homemade garlic powder by drying, or dehydrating, garlic cloves. The cloves are then ground into powder.

Difficulty: Easy
  1. Step 1
    Preparing the Garlic

    Peel back the paper from your cloves of garlic. Remove any bad spots. Cut garlic cloves in half lengthwise. This will significantly reduce the drying time.
  2. Step 2
    Dry the Garlic

    Dry the garlic in a dehydrator at 100 degrees until the bulbs lose most of their moisture. The bulbs should not feel soft or spongy to the touch. This can take anywhere from 12 hours to several days depending on humidity and the number of garlic cloves being dried. After performing this step you will get a better idea of the time it takes in your own dehydrator.
  3. Step 3
    Grinding the Garlic

    Once the cloves have dried well enough to be powdered. Place them in a coffee or spice grinder. A food processor usually does not grind finely enough for this step. Place the ground garlic in a container and store in a cool dry area. Use in recipes as you would normally use garlic powder.

How to Dry Peppers in the Oven

Dry Peppers in the Oven
Drying, or dehydrating, is one of the oldest and least altering methods of food preservation. To dry peppers without the sun or a food dehydrator, follow the methods below.
Difficulty: Easy

Things You'll Need:

  • Chili, sweet or jalapeno peppers
  • Oven
  • Pan
  1. 1
    Wash the peppers and allow them to dry on a towel.
  2. 2
    Set the oven to a temperature between 100 and 150 degrees. If your oven does not heat to a temperature this low, it will probably not work well for drying foods.
  3. 3
    Place the peppers on a pan and allow them to dry in the oven for several days until they are completely dry. You can stem, cut and seed peppers before drying them, but it isn't necessary. Chili peppers will turn dark red when they are completely dry. The chili peppers that started out green will turn dark red as well.
  4. 4
    Chili peppers, dried whole and ground, make excellent chili powder. It is much better than anything you will find in a store. You can grind chili peppers with a coffee grinder.
  5. 5
    Jalapeno peppers are most attractive when dried sliced. They can be reconstituted easily by covering them with water and allowing them to stand for a short period of time (usually less than an hour if the pieces are small). Alternatively you can substitute dried peppers for fresh peppers in recipes at a ratio of 1/3. Use 1/3 the amount of fresh peppers called for and add a little water to the recipe.

Tips & Warnings

  • When drying jalapeno peppers, be sure to wash your hands completely if you touch the peppers while they are drying! Concentrated jalapeno juice will BURN your skin!

How to Use Dried Fruit

Dried Fruit
You don't have to give up the health benefits of organic fruit when it is out of season. Organic fruit is often dried to preserve it for winter months. There are many uses for dried fruit, snacking, cooking, and blending are just a few of them. Read on to learn uses for organic dried fruit that you may not have considered.
Difficulty: Easy



Things You'll Need:

  • Organic Dried Fruit
  • An Appetite (Optional)
  1. Step 1
    As a Snack or Quick Addition to Other Foods -
    Dried fruit makes a wonderful snack alone or with other foods such as trail mix, cereals, salads, yogurt, granola, or blended into a smoothie.
  2. Step 2
    Dried Fruit Cornucopia
    Dried fruit makes an appealing gift when mixed with nuts and placed in a cornucopia or gift basket. There is a wonderful recipe for a small trail mix cornucopia that is kid friendly in the resource section below. It would make a healthy treat for school, home or holidays.
  3. Step 3
    Cooking With Dehydrated Fruit -
    You can use dried fruit in recipes such as breads, pancakes, soups and stews. They can be reconstituted and used in recipes in hydrated form. For example, they can be rehydrated and used in syrups, jams, and jellies.
  4. Step 4
    Rehydrating Fruit -
    *Smaller pieces of dried fruit will reconstitute more quickly than large ones.
    *Boiling water reconstitutes fruit more quickly than water at room temperature, but is less natural and may reduce the nutritional content of the fruit. Boiling Water Method: Cover fruit in boiling water for 5-30 minutes depending on the type and size of fruit. Room temperature water method: Cover fruit with water and allow to stand for ½ to 1 ½ hours. Drain the fruit and use in recipes or serve immediately.
    *The hardness of your water supply will effect the amount of time it takes to rehydrate fruit. Softer water rehydrates more quickly than hard water.
    *Sugar added to the fruit before drying will increase the amount of time that it takes to rehydrate the fruit.
  5. Step 5
    Fruit Powder -
    Fruit that is Dried into a crispy form can be pureed using a coffee grinder into a powder that can add flavor to smoothies, ice cream, breads, or hot cereal.
  6. Step 6
    Survival Food -
    An uncertain economy in the US has more and more people considering methods of storing food. Dried food, including fruit, is ideal for long-term storage in a poor economy because it does not require any energy to maintain dried food.
Tips & Warnings
  • Decorations: Dried fruit also makes an excellent addition to potpourri or to craft projects.

How to Dry or Dehydrate Tomatoes

Dried tomatoes are a wonderful addition to soups, salads, sauces, or simply eaten alone. Follow the steps below to dry, or dehydrate, tomatoes for later use.
Difficulty: Easy




Things You'll Need:

  • Tomatoes
  1. Step 1
    Wash the tomatoes. Set aside in a strainer or on a towel.
  2. Step 2
    Remove the skins from the tomatoes by dipping each tomato in boiling water for 30 seconds, then placing it in ice water. The skin should slide off the tomato easily.
  3. Step 3
    Cut tomatoes into slices 1/4 inch thick and remove the seeds.
  4. Step 4
    The ideal temperature for dehydrating, or drying, tomatoes is 145 degrees. This can best be accomplished through use of an oven, or a food dehydrator. However, it is possible to set tomatoes in a sunny window on very hot days and allow them to dry naturally in the sun.
  5. Step 5
    After the tomatoes are completely dry and there is no moisture present, label them with the date and store in a tightly sealed container.
Tips & Warnings
  • Reconstitute tomatoes in warm water for 30 minutes, or reconstitute in oil for 24 hours in the refrigerator.
  • Dry tomatoes may be added to soups, stews, or casseroles, while cooking.
  • Dry tomatoes may be eaten dried as a nutritious snack.
  • Dry tomatoes may be powdered in a coffee grinder for enriching the flavor of soups and sauces.

How to Make a Garden Cloche

Make a Garden Cloche from Recycled or Reused Items
Make a Garden Cloche from Recycled or Reused Items
The word cloche is french for bell. A garden cloche is a clear object used to cover plants and protect them from frost, while allowing sunlight through at the same time. Garden cloches may be small and bell-shaped, covering individual garden plants, but cloches can also be large transportable greenhouses covering several rows of garden vegetables at once. You don't need to buy a garden cloche at the store, you can make one by recycling or reusing materials you already have at home.
Difficulty: Easy

Things You'll Need:

  • Used Plastic (either plastic film, or bottles, buckets and jugs
  • Used Wood and Lumber
  • Used Pipes
  1. Step 1
    Save scrap lumber and plastic. Build a sturdy frame using the lumber, that will not blow away. The shape of a small tent works well for a row of garden plants. Wrap plastic around it and secure the plastic using a staple gun.
  2. Step 2
    Cut the bottoms off plastic bottles, jugs and cartons. These make great garden cloches because they are the right size for individual plants and they can be gently tapped into the ground with a hammer. A large, clear bucket, such as an ice cream bucket, works well turned upside down.
  3. Step 3
    Scraps of waxed paper, plastic wrap, or reused plastic film stretched around a frame of wood, wire, or stiff plastic can be used to create a makeshift garden cloche for your plants.

How to Make Homemade Herbal Remedies

Homemade herbal remedies can be used in place of over the counter drugs, which often have unwanted side effects. Often the correctly used herbal remedy will help you bounce back eliminating expensive trips to a doctor. The type of herbal remedy you choose depends on the ailment you wish to treat and the herb you are planning to use for the remedy. Below are 6 common ailments and the herbs and homemade herbal remedies used to treat them.
Difficulty: Moderately Easy


  1. Herbal Remedies for Colds and Flu

    The most common herbal remedy used to treat colds and flu are homemade herbal teas. This is because colds and flu often come with congestion and hot herbal teas will help reduce congestion immediately. Herbal tea is often called an infusion or decoction as well, depending on the part of the herbal plant used. There are instructions in the resource section below for making herbal teas as remedies. Common herbal teas for colds and flu are:
    * Echinacea
    * Nettle
    * Peppermint
    * Ginger
    * Comfrey
    * Blackberry

  2. Herbal Remedies for Aches and Pains

    Homemade herbal remedies for aches and pains are usually made in the form of lotions, liniments and salves to be rubbed on the body externally. There are instructions below for making herbal lotions, liniments and salves as herbal remedies. Herbs commonly used for aches and pains include:

  3. Herbal Remedies for Bites, Stings, Abrasions

    Herbal remedies for bites, stings, and abrasions are also commonly treated with salves and lotions applied to the skin. Infused oils can also be applied externally as a natural remedy for these ailments. Herbs commonly used include:

  4. Herbal Remedies for Sore Throat

    The best homemade sore throat remedies include herbally infused honey. There is a link below for preparing herbally infused honey. Herbs that will sooth a sore throat include marshmallow, slippery elm, plantain and thyme. In addition onion and garlic infused in honey is a traditional homemade remedy that works very well.

  5. Herbal Remedies for Insomnia

    An herbal tea made from infusing herbs in water is a very good homemade remedy for insomnia. The best herb for encouraging sleep is valerian. Valerian is a natural herbal sedative. If you prefer something more mild you might also consider chamomile or lavender. Both of these herbal remedies are suitable for young children.

  6. Herbal Remedies for Headache or Fever

    An herbal compress to be applied to the forehead is the best herbal remedy for headache and fever. A compress of the following herbs will often remedy a headache.
    *cayenne pepper

Monday, September 8, 2014

How to Use Yogurt Containers for Seeds

Yogurt Containers for Starting Seeds
Yogurt Containers for Starting Seeds
You can reduce waste by recycling plastic yogurt containers to start seeds. Reusing household waste lessens a person's impact on the environment. Yogurt containers are the perfect size and they are free.
Difficulty: Easy
  1. Step 1
    Gather some yogurt containers from your recycle bin. Poke holes in the bottom of the containers for drainage.
  2. Step 2
    Nestle the yogurt containers closely together in a pop flat or cardboard box. Fill the containers with potting soil or compost.
  3. Step 3
    Wet the soil. It should be moist, but not soggy. Place the seeds to be used for starting plants approximately 1/4 inch deep in the soil. Two or three seeds should be used in each yogurt container to ensure 1 plant germinates in each. The containers can be covered with plastic wrap to aid in germination of the seeds.
  4. Step 4
    Place the recycled yogurt containers in a sunny window. Check the seeds daily to see if they need water, but do not get them too wet. After a week or two the seeds should germinate and small plants will pop up from the soil. Thin the seedlings down to one plant per container.
Tips & Warnings
  • The plants can be transplanted to the garden after several weeks. Consult the back of the seed package for planting dates.

Reuse Toilet Paper Rolls to Start Seeds

Reuse Toilet Paper Rolls to Start Seeds
Reuse Toilet Paper Rolls to Start Seeds
Reusing is the step prior to recycling in the common phrase, "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle." Reusing allows items to be used up, rather than using resources to recycle them into another product. By reusing, we reduce waste! Look into your recycle bins and see which items you can reuse. Here is a tip for reusing toilet paper rolls to start, or germinate, seeds.
Difficulty: Easy


Things You'll Need:

  • toilet paper rolls
  • dirt
  • scissors
  • seeds
  • water
  1. Step 1
    Save your empty toilet paper rolls.
  2. Step 2
    Cut each of them in half.
  3. Step 3
    Going around the end of the toilet paper roll, gently press in creating a bottom.
  4. Step 4
    When you are finished, the bottom of your new seed starting cup should look like this.
  5. Step 5
    Arrange all of your seed starting cups together.
  6. Step 6
    Fill your new seed starting cups with dirt. Place a seed in the center of each one. Water them daily. Within a few days, your seeds will begin to sprout. When you transplant the sprouts to your garden, be careful to support the bottom of the cup with your hand. This will prevent the dirt from falling out. You can place the cups directly in the garden. You do not need to tear the paper away.
Tips & Warnings
  • Reusing will also save you money! This method will ensure you never have to purchase pots for starting seeds again.

How to Make Compost

How to Make Compost

Make Compost
Make Compost

Composting is very simple. All you need is food scraps and some earth. Compost benefits are the production of fertile soil and the reduction of waste. You don't have to be a master gardener to benefit from composting. Your plants will love composted soil.
Difficulty: Easy


Things You'll Need:

  • Dirt
  • Food scraps
  1. Save your fruit and vegetable scraps. Get an old coffee can or similar container with a tight lid. Place it under your sink and when you are peeling fruits and vegetables, make sure they go in the can instead of in the trash. Fruit and vegetable scraps, egg shells, and coffee grounds make excellent scraps for composting. Never compost anything greasy such as meat. It will compromise the quality.

    Once your can of scraps is full, you must bury the scraps in dirt. You can also bury yard waste, such as leaves and grass. The most efficient method of composting is to bury the waste. The worms will migrate there. No bin or tumbler is needed. However, you can compost more elaborately, by setting up a special compost bin. If you use an open bin, once again, the worms will migrate to the soil and food scraps. Make sure you drill a few holes in the bottom of the bin to give the worms easier access. If you use a sealed bin or tumbler, you will need to add dirt and worms as the worms will not be able to enter on their own. A sealed bin, such as a compost tumbler, is convenient in colder months because you can keep it near your back door without worrying about odor.
  2. 3
    Let the worms do the composting work. Worms naturally create compost. Compost is essentially very fertile dirt. It takes a few months for the worms to turn the waste into fertile dirt. Various factors play into the length of time, including the temperature of the soil. Turn the soil, a few months after burying the scraps and you will notice the scraps have become dark healthy looking dirt.
  3. 4
    Use your compost. You can use compost in your garden or to perk up a houseplant needing fertilized.



Tips & Warnings

  • Learn to love worms. :)

Ice Box Pickles

Make Easy Refrigerator Pickles
Make Easy Refrigerator Pickles
This is the easiest pickle recipe you will ever find. There is no cooking and no canning. My mother adapted this recipe after hearing about it from a elderly farmer. He called them "ice box" pickles. They are so simple!
Difficulty: Easy



Things You'll Need:

  • 1 very large jar (2 quarts or bigger)
  • 6 C Cucumbers
  • 1 C Onions
  • 1 C Vinegar
  • 2 C Sugar (I use unrefined sugar)
  • 1 t Celery Seed
  • 1 t Mustard Seed
  • 1 t Sea Salt 
  1.  Step 1
    Slicing. Slice 6 Cups of Cucumbers as thin as you can get them. Slice 1 Cup of Onions as thin as you can get them.
  2. Step 2
    Combine Everything. In a very large jar, place the cucumbers, onions and remaining ingredients. Don't heat anything. You can add other spices to your taste or preference, such as dill weed shown above.
  3. Step 3
    Refrigerate. Place in the refrigerator and stir or shake daily for 6 days. It will take a few hours for the pickles to become juicy.
Tips & Warnings
  • I've been told these will stay good for 6 months in the refrigerator. In my home, they are always eaten well before that, so I haven't had a chance to test that for myself.
  • These have a subtle flavor. They do not have a strong vinegar flavor, and they are not extremely sweet.
  • If you have never made pickles before, you may think you have made a mistake. They will initially look dry. It takes several hours for the pickles to make their juice.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Freezing Peaches With or Without Sugar

this lens' photo

1. Wash the peaches in cold water. Be careful while handling them, so they do not bruise.

2. Set them aside to drain.

3. Peel each peach.

4. Pit and slice it into 1/4 to 1/2 inch slices.

5. As each peach is sliced immediately use one of the methods below to prevent browning. 


Preventing Browning, or Oxidation, of the Peaches

Peaches are a fruit that are prone to oxidation. Oxidation is the browning that occurs soon after a peach is sliced open. It occurs from exposure to oxygen in the air. In addition to being unsightly, oxidation causes a decline in the nutritional value of the peach. To prevent oxidation, a produce protector, such as Fruit Fresh can be used. A more natural solution can be prepared at home by mixing lemon juice in water. For each cup of water, 3/4 of a teaspoon of lemon juice is needed. Drop the peaches in the solution after slicing them, while preparing them for the freezer. Alternatively, lemon juice can be added to the syrup the peaches are frozen in at the ratio of 1/2 teaspoon to each quart of syrup.

Freezing Peaches With Sugar

Sliced Peaches with or without sugar Dry Sugar Packing – After treating the peaches with an antioxidant agent above, measure 1 quart of sliced peaches. Add 2/3 cup of sugar and shake to coat the peaches. Let the sugar-coated peaches stand for 10 minutes. Place them in a freezer safe container, leaving 1/2 inch of space at the top of the container. Label with the contents and date before freezing.

Syrup Packing Peaches – Peaches are typically frozen in a heavy syrup. Heavy syrup is prepared by mixing equal parts of sugar to water. Alternatively 1 cup of honey can be used to every 4 cups of water. Fill a freezer safe container with 1/2 cup of the syrup. Add 2 cups sliced peaches. Shake well to coat the peaches and freeze.

Heavy syrup is recommended to freeze peaches, however, you may find a lighter syrup preserves peaches adequately. Here are the ratios for mixing types of syrup.

Extra-Light – 1 1/4 cups of sugar to 5 1/2 cups of water
Light – 2 1/4 cups of sugar to 5 1/4 cups of water
Medium – 3 1/4 cups of sugar to 5 cups of water.

Freezing Peaches Without Sugar

The danger of freezing peaches without sugar is that they may discolor. However, to a few teaspoons of lemon juice added to a fruit puree or freezing with unsweetened fruit juices can be used as an adequate substitute for syrup packing.

Puree – Combine 2 cups of sliced fruit with 1 1/2 teaspoons of lemon juice and puree. Placing freezer wrap over the top of the puree will prevent discoloration.

Slices – Add enough unsweetened fruit juice to completely cover the peach slices. For every 2 cups of fruit add 1 1/2 teaspoons of lemon juice. Shake to ensure the peaches are well coated with the fruit juice and lemon juice before freezing.

To freeze peaches, or any food product, the freezer should be set at 0 degrees F or colder. This prevents browning and helps the food retain it’s shape, color and flavor. Temperatures below zero also prevent ice crystals from forming in the food.

Peach Pie Filling for Freezing

6 pounds peaches
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons lemon peel
1/4 cup lemon juice

Wash the peaches, slice them and treat them for oxidation as described above. Mix the sugar, flour and spices in a separate bowl. Stir the peaches into the dry mixture and allow it to stand for 30 minutes. Simmer the mixture over medium heat. When it begins to thicken, remove it from the heat. Allow it to cool completely. Ladle the peach pie filling into freezer safe containers with 1/2 inch of space at the top. Seal, label and freeze the pie filling.


“Ball Blue Book of Preserving.” Jarden Home Brands. 2005. Muncic, IN 47305.
Food Safety and Food Preservation. University of California Cooperative Extension. August, 1997.
Fresh Peaches Photo: adactio,
Peaches in Syrup Photo: Ken Hammond,

Sunday, February 23, 2014

How to Preserve Dandelion for Later Use

The entire dandelion can be preserved and used at a later date. The most common use of dandelion is preparation of coffee or tea. You can harvest dandelion in the spring for use throughout the year.


The aerial part of the dandelion, or part which grows above the ground, include the leaves, stem, and flower. It is generally advised that these parts be gathered while the dandelion is small because the taste of the leaves and stem is less bitter at this stage. This is of more importance when the dandelion leaves and stem are to be used fresh for salads. While small, fresh dandelions are a spring treat; the larger dandelions can be collected and preserved for making teas at a later date.


The aerial part of the dandelion is better preserved by freezing because it retains more of its medicinal value when frozen rather than dried. If you have a preference for the flowers, leaves or stem you can separate and preserve only these parts. However, it isn't necessary. The parts can be frozen together. Rinse the leaves and flowers well. Set them on a towel to dry. Tear them into small pieces prior to freezing if they are to be used for tea.
Flash freeze the dandelion pieces by lying them on a flat surface in the freezer for an hour. This allows the dandelion to freeze separately without sticking together. Place the frozen dandelion stems, leaves and flowers in a freezer safe storage container or bag. Label with the contents and date. Frozen dandelions are best used within 6 months.
For preparation of dandelion tea after freezing:
Pour 1 cup of boiling water over 1/8 cup dandelion pieces. Allow steeping for 15 minutes. Strain and enjoy.


Although dandelion root can be frozen, it is most commonly preserved by drying because the root is often used in its dried state for grinding and brewing coffee or tea. Soak and rinse the dandelion root well. Lie flat to dry in a window, dehydrator, or oven with a temperature setting below 125 degrees. When the dandelion root is dried place it in an air tight container label with the date and contents. Dried dandelion root is best used within 1 year.
To prepare dried dandelion root tea or coffee:
Grind the dried root in a coffee grinder. Use as you would coffee grounds or steep 1 teaspoon in a cup of hot water using a tea strainer for 15 minutes.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

How and When to Start Seeds Indoors

The first step to starting seeds indoors is to find the last frost date for the local area. There are handy maps online to locate the last frost date. The last spring frost date is important because the timing to start seeds indoors depends on this date.

When to Start Seeds Indoors

Some seeds are started indoors 4, 6, or 8 weeks before to the last frost date, depending on the type of seed.The seeds are then transplanted outdoors after the last frost date has passed and danger of freezing has passed in that area.
  • Garden seeds started 4 weeks before the last frost date include: cucumbers, endive, and lettuce.
  • Garden seeds started 6 weeks before the last frost date include: broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, and kale.
  • Garden seeds started 8 weeks before the last frost date include: eggplant, leek, onions, parsley, peppers and tomatoes.
Garden seeds are often started indoors to get a head start on the growing season. The plants are weeks old before the danger of frost has passed. But, not all garden seeds should be started indoors. Some garden seeds, such as beans, peas, radishes, corn and spinach prefer to be directly sown into the garden soil. Reading the back of the seed package will also give you specific information on when the vegetable seeds can be started.

How to Start Seeds Indoors

Garden seeds can be purchased at most retail stores in the spring. Organic and heirloom seeds are available online and at organic grocery stores or health food stores. In addition to buying gardening seeds, experienced gardeners often save seeds from the fruit of the last crop and store these seeds throughout the winter to use in next year's garden.
Vegetable seeds are usually started in flats or peat pots purchased from the store. In addition to starting them in purchased flats, environmentally conscious gardeners may want to consider reusing household items to start seeds. Some common household items that work wonderfully are used egg cartons, yogurt containers, or paper rolls.
Fill the containers for starting the seeds with soil. The soil can be specialized soil for starting seeds, or composted soil. Leave 3/4 inch of space at the top of the container. Dampen the soil with water. Press the seed into the dampened soil the depth recommended on the seed package. Most seeds should be planted on the soil surface to 1/2 inch below the soil surface, depending on the type. Lettuce and tomatoes, for example, are planted 1/8 of an inch below the soil surface. Do not push the garden seeds too deep into the soil.
Place the planted seeds in a sunny window. The seeds can be covered with plastic wrap or a sheet of glass to maintain humidity while the seeds germinate. Keep the soil moist, but not soggy. The seeds should be stored in a sunny window. If enough sunlight isn't available fluorescent lighting can be used to help germinate the seed. In a week or two, depending on the type of garden seed, a small plant will begin to emerge. Thin the seedlings as they grow and transplant them outside to the garden after the last frost date has passed.

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