Written by TagTomat 01 Mar 2022 10:12

Upcycling and pre-germination


Text & photo: TagTomat


The days are beginning to get longer and the last couple of sunny days have gotten us in a mood for pre-germination. Here at TagTomat we love this time of the season, just before the greenhouse season. Because it is at this time that you can daydream and plan what crops you want to have in your greenhouse.


You may already be pre-germinating, but if you are not, now is the time to start. In this article we will share our tips about what greenhouse plants you can sow in March and guide you through how you easily and free of charge can upcycle milk cartons, newspapers, toilet rolls and much more to make sustainable pre-germination pots.

What you can pre-germinate in March - from tomatoes to cape gooseberries 

Sometimes it can be difficult to get an overview of what to sow and when to do it. Therefore, we would like to share what we have started to pre-germinate and what we will pre-germinate in the next couple of weeks.  

We have sown chilli and peppers in mid February. You can also sow these plants in the beginning of March if you want to make sure that you get ripe fruit in summer. Furthermore, you can now sow greenhouse plants such as tomatoes, aubergines, cucumbers, melons, cape gooseberries, herbs (e.g. thyme, basil, parsley, coriander, dill, lemon balm, oregano, tarragon, rosemary) and many different flowers (e.g. marigold which is a good neighbour plant for tomatoes).


How to get started with pre-germination

If you have not collected seeds from the previous season (later there will be an article about harvesting your own seeds), you can buy your seeds and begin the pre-germination in a windowsill. Besides seeds, you will need potting soil which must be room temperature when you sow your seeds in the soil. When you have your seeds and your soil, then you can prepare your pre-germination pots.

You can make your pre-germination pots out of everything from milk cartons, toilet rolls, egg cartons, plastic bottles, newspaper or take-away boxes. Below you will find a short visual guide for how to fold newspaper into propagators, which later can be transplanted directly in the soil without damaging the roots. There are almost no limits to what you can use as containers for pre-germination. What is important is that the water can drain away. So look in the attic, the shed or even in the bins, and if the container does not have a hole in the bottom, you can make some yourself.


Make your own potting soil by mixing:

- 2 parts old soil (for example from the greenhouse)

- 1 part finished compost

- 1 part sand (for example from the sandbox)


Guide: Make your own pre-germination pots of newspaper 


If you tend to pre-germinate a lot of different crops, it can be nice to see what you have sown. For instance, we use discarded venetian blinds, which we cut in smaller pieces or we write on lolly sticks from children’s birthday parties. Use a waterproof marker to keep track on what sorts you have sown and also add the date for sowing to follow the development.

Remember to frequently irrigate so your seeds never dry out. We love to follow the process and to see the tiny sprouts come up and follow their growth.


Have fun cultivating!