Last year, I dumped a ton of expired seeds in pots some time in April. Wound up with a million plants and a handful of pots with nothing going on and in the end a pretty impressive garden. We called it the Great Seed Experiment.
This year, we're attempting another seed experiment. I don't do the seed starting thing. Seriously, I don't have the energy to put away the laundry or find the floor underneath the layer of toys that have made their way into my living room so the thought of trays, seeds and florescent lights just ain't happening.
Then I remembered an experiment we did in school a million years, germinating seeds of some kind in wet paper towels inside Ziploc bags. So that's what I did. Some new seeds, some old, some expired and some saved from veggies we grew last year.
Most of the packets said the seeds would take 7-14 days to germinate. So far, in under a week, the carrots, corn, peas, cantaloupe, Roma tomatoes, spaghetti squash, and the Serrano chili seeds have sprouted.
I started to worry about how long to leave them in the paper towels. I'd imagine they need sun and nutrients from somewhere, so I transplanted the corn, cantaloupe, peas, spaghetti squash and a fourth of the carrots into egg cartons.
I read somewhere that tomato seeds don't usually do well with the paper towel method (apparently, this was not an original idea) so I wound up planting some seeds in the egg cartons. I guess I am officially doing some seed starting...albeit, half-assed. I was at Home Depot and the seedlings seem to be a lot more expensive this year. I'm cheap. And broke. It seemed worth it to try it this way.
I'm super excited about the corn. Last year didn't go so well. Hopefully this year will be better.