Save Water! Use Seedling Flats!

Or: How to feed an extra person and still save over 5,000 gallons per year.

It may be a little late in the season for this post (at least in this hemisphere), but we just had a series of storms that would feel right at home in February, and this information isn’t going to become less useful, so I’m going to go ahead and post it anyway.

You may not think that starting seedlings in flats vs. sowing them directly in the growing beds makes much difference in terms of how much water your garden uses over the course of the year. You may think that the extra step isn’t worth the work, even when water is expensive or scarce. Think again! Study the two attached information sheets carefully:

  •  The first shows a comparison of factors that impact seedling development and resource use in direct sowing vs. sowing in flats and then transplanting.

Direct Sowing and Transplanting Compared page 1

  • The second shows water saved by using flats. You may need to zoom in to read it.

Direct Sowing vs Transplanting p.2 shows water saved by raising seedlings in flats

Do you see the amazing possibilities for growing food and soil sustainably with biologically intensive practices on an increasingly water-scarce Earth? By starting your seedlings in flats and transplanting them into the beds when they are sufficiently matured, you can save enough water to grow calories and compost materials to support up to one additional person annually without increasing your overall water use AND you can save up to 14.8 gallons of water per day all year long to use for other purposes.

This savings is in addition to the 67% less water used per pound of food produced with biologically intensive practices compared with standard gardening and farming methods!

The solutions are available to us. Let’s change scarcity to abundance now, so there can be more than enough for all as we go forward into the future!

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