Thyme to Sow

Propagation 01.05.16
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 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

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  • Pattie Patterson
    Pattie Patterson Deltaville, VA
    I find that using the larger, 72 pellet plant starter is only good if you have the same type of plants in them, or ones that germinate at the same rate. I tend to like to use the smaller ones. After the initial investment, save the containers and you
  • Kelly S
    Kelly S Bremerton, WA
    I can't wait for fresh home grown tomatoes and sugar snap peas. I'll have to try this to get a jump start on the growing season.
  • Rindy Bergbower
    Rindy Bergbower Newton, IL
    I use the s.foam tray that chicken come in at the store's meat dept. Or even aluminum cake pans, anything that will hold water will work . I use the plastic containers that veggies come in too, but I line the bottom with coffee filters, then set them in
  • Zelda?
    Zelda? Albert, OK
    Thanks for the great tip Rindy. I'll have to bring in my plant rack from the garage and buy a light for it. I'm not sure how I'd water from the bottom since the pods sit in
  • Karen - The Graphics Fairy
    I've used these before, and you are right, they are great! Thanks for reminding me that I need to get started!
  • Rindy Bergbower
    Rindy Bergbower Newton, IL
    Becky you probably had dampening off where the stem pinches at the soil line. this is caused by too wet of soil. Water from the bottom not the top and keep the soil slightly damp on top and not too wet. The roots will go deeper into the soil for the
  • Zelda?
    Zelda? Albert, OK
    I tried starting my own seedlings last year and they all died before it got warm enough to transplant them and I started a few weeks late too. I bought the 72 pellet covered green house starter kit. They started wonderfully, but then all fell over and
  • Randall S
    Randall S Debary, FL
    Great, timely tips. Excellent ideas. Experience counts!
  • Theresa A. Steingard
    Theresa A. Steingard Philadelphia, PA
    Love, love, love fresh herbs. Thank you for the post.
  • Sow and Dipity
    Sherry C I wish I had kept the picture of the egg carton after a week of watering... it had started to mold, turn black and was all mushy. That got me thinking...I am SO against
  • Trish & Bonnie {Uncommon Designs}
    What a great post and tips! love the old salad container idea too. This would be awesome to do with my kids!
  • Sherry C
    Sherry C Portland, OR
    So glad I read this Shelley! I have used peet pellets in the past but was considering trying some of these other ideas that have gained so much popularity. I think I'll stick with what works! Thanks for the voice of experience. :)
  • Sow and Dipity
    Ha Linda Henning another Alaskan!! I use those salad containers for everything...that's a great tip for a mini greenhouse!
  • Sow and Dipity
    Yes Wanda, thanks for the reminder! I give the moistened pellet's a little 'massage' to loosen the peat :)
  • Linda Henning
    Linda Henning Wasilla, AK
    For mini greenhouses I'm using (Instead of throwing away) the containers that salad mix greens come in. Kind of made me laugh that the greens I buy most of the year would provide a shelter to start new seeds. 6 & 8 packs fit in them perfectly as would
Sow and Dipity