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Monday, April 27, 2015

For Peat's Sake

The desperate truth is, I'm a lazy gardener. I like to direct sow all my seeds at the appropriate times, and let water and soil take care of the rest. After all, it's a seed's one purpose in life to sprout and grow into a plant, and it certainly doesn't need any help from me. But this year, I had some seeds that I had painstakingly gathered and collected on my own, and didn't want to leave them to the vagaries of wind, weather, and marauding critters. As such, it was time I tried starting seeds indoors.

I'd read about using empty plastic salad containers as mini greenhouses, and saved a few of these in addition to some cardboard egg cartons to make individual "pots" for my seedlings. The only thing I needed now was the seed-starting medium. As I perused the options available at the garden center, my eye fell upon a small box of peat pellets for starting seeds. To be exact, it was a box of replacement peat pellets, intended for use with a coordinating system of trays and lids. But I was still curious, and furtively opened a box to examine its contents. And you know what? Those pellets were a good enough match to use with my egg-carton cups and salad mix boxes:

peat pellets

I noted that each pellet seemed to have a "top" and a "bottom", wherein the top had concentric circles and a divot impressed upon its surface, while the bottom was completely smooth. I set up my trays and cups, and plunked a pellet into each receptacle:

I added water per the instructions, and after just a few minutes, they all plumped up like sea monkeys, ready to receive my precious cargo. Using a toothpick to help me open up the divots and tuck in my seeds, I sowed away. Once done, I put the lids back on my "greenhouses" and placed them in the sunny kitchen window:

I know I'll be anxiously checking on them as the days and weeks go by, watering as needed and hoping they're all warm enough inside their little ecosystems. I also started a small container with peat pellets and no encapsulating egg cups, just to see if it made any difference, or if it will be any easier/harder when it comes time to transplant. But on the whole, I'm very excited, and looking forward to seeing the results of this little adventure :-)


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