Thyme to Sow

Seed Starting 02.14.15

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Right now retail stores and nurseries are loaded with racks of pretty little packages of's hard to resist filling your basket full of them! If they don't have you #Itching4Spring...the rows of primula's definitely will ( that's another post coming this weekend....stay tuned....)

If you plan to start seeds indoors you've most likely seen the toilet paper tubes or egg carton planters or even just the egg shells themselves being shared as nifty planting vessels. Let me warn you, after so many watering's, these paper based liners break down pretty quick and become quite unstable for transplanting...even rotting faster than your seedling can grow!

And as far as the egg shells go, you're going to have to crack them eventually so the plant can put on size, risking damage to the young roots. As darling as this method appears the truth is egg shells take years to break down in the soil....which is why they get crushed with my boot when I throw them into the compost. I have tried it all, so I know from experience.

A simple tried and true method for the virgin gardener would be to use peat pellets. They look like little brown discs the size of a

  • Some of the tools you can use to sow seeds. My favorite is my green dibbler but a chopstick with a narrow end works great too. ( even a pencil if you only have that on hand :)
  • You can buy little greenhouse kits like this one above to place your pellets in. I usually use long black seeding trays. Lay the flat round discs in an even row and add water. Add more water as it's quickly wicked up.
  • Once pellets have completely swelled (takes several minutes ) then use your dibbler tool to gently make a shallow indentation in each pellet.
  • Use your dibbler to sow seeds, it's the easiest way to handle them. With a moist end, gently pick up a seed and as you place these into the soil, it will be re-moistened for the next seed pick-up.
  • Place 2-3 seeds in each pellet. You will thin these later to the strongest seedling.
  • Gently squeeze the peat over the seeds. Now you talk to them and send lovingly growing vibes...well, that's what I do :)
  • Terri J
    Terri J Annapolis, MD
    Thanks for all the tips about planting seeds. I never thought about damaging the little roots b4 now when you have to break the egg shell.
  • Darreleen Wiles
    Darreleen Wiles Fayetteville, AR
    I really appreciate the tips cus I'm planning an in ground garden this yr for the first time ever. Last yr I did a small raised bed of cucumber and watermelon with small amount of success. the bunnies really liked the watermelons and I struggled with
  • Kelly S
    Kelly S Bremerton, WA
    When I was a child we would put the seeds directly in the ground, however that was in Illinois and I now live in the cooler and wetter Pacific NW. I haven't had much success with starting seeds early because I either drown them or forget to water them.
    • Sow and Dipity
      Kelly S Hello fellow webfooted rainy coast friend! No doubt about it, direct sowing is the best, but we have some pretty unpredictable weather in our part of the world so other
  • Kelly S
    Kelly S Bremerton, WA
    The ones I have are some sort of fabric not muslin or canvas but like a cross between the 2. I'll be on the lookout for a tray to put under the shoe holders to catch the excess water. I just don't know which door to hang them on. It still gets too cold
  • Kelly S
    Kelly S Bremerton, WA
    I started some peas and beans in peat pellets, some peas were directly sown in holes that I poked in the ground with #8 knitting needles along both the north and south fences in the back yard and the last 10 seeds were just broadcast. I'm performing
    • Kelly S
      Kelly S Bremerton, WA
      Douglas Hunt , Thank you. I've been reading on here about not weeding between rows to reduce the need for weeding so I thought why not just poke holes in the ground and see what
Sow and Dipity

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