The first day of spring has come and gone, inviting our sleepy world to start blooming once again.

For anyone planning a vegetable garden this season, it's time to start the seeds. With so much concern for genetically modified organisms (GMOs) ending up in our produce aisles and on the grocery shelves, this is where you can take control. Choose a seed company that is reputable and aware of the issues. Companies that sell heirloom seeds are often good choices because they are preserving the diversity of the plants. Rather than selling 5 popular tomato choices, they may offer 15 varieties of seeds. A little searching can go a long way when it comes to choosing your seed company. I have personally chosen Happy Cat Organics this year - a company local to my area and dedicated to sustainable heirloom seed production. More on Happy Cat later!

Starting seeds can be a tricky task. Go into any garden supply store and you will find all sorts of trays and heaters and watering systems promising a successful start to your seeds. Buy those, reuse items at home (egg cartons are great) or find something creative in the middle.
A trip to the hardware and garden store resulted in two 1-square-foot tiles and a seed starting kit. This is the simple version - no heating pad or self-watering tray. Just 72 peat pellets, a tray and a lid. With a large enough radiator in front of a sunny window in the living room, I created my own heated base. The tiles provide a level surface on top of the radiator while still conducting the heat to the tray. The peat pellets are clean and simple, and with 72 spaces, there is room for lots of seeds!

Not only is this innovative set-up saving space, it's also sparing the budget. Together, the tiles and starter kit were less than $9 and can be reused for many years.

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