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germinating seeds in peat pellets

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How to Start Seeds Indoors with Peat Pellets in a Planting Tray

January 16, 2020 By Jennifer

You guys! My favorite season is almost here… Planting season! It comes right after my favorite day as a gardener… The last frost date!! Ha ha ha. All jokes aside, looking forward to that day requires some pre-planning. I wanted to share with you How to Start Seeds Indoors with Peat Pellets in a Planting Tray, because you generally want to start seeds 6-8 weeks before your last frost date. In Illinois, that is May 15th, so we are almost at that magic day which is right around the middle of March (If you live in a warmer climate, you may be starting even sooner.). I know it seems early to talk about starting seeds now, except that is the fun part! It’s when all of the seed catalogs start coming, garden dreaming begins, and ordering starts to allow for shipping time.

(This post contains affiliate links, shop this post at the end to find supplies and related items.)

Last year, I ordered many of my seeds from Floret Flowers. I just love her book, and her Instagram is amazing! She has a new book out too, and I can’t wait to get it! I just ordered this year’s seed packets. I love the flexibility of being able to start my own seeds, because I can order things that not every neighbor or garden center in my area has. I also love being able to grow something new every year for the cost of a $5 seed packet. Some of them needed to be started indoors in a planting tray, and others can be directly planted in the ground, such as pink cosmos.

You can check out the video below detailing the steps of starting seeds, and I’ve added a few tips and tricks as well. You can also read the rest of the article below for a quick overview to starting seeds indoors. You can also find supplies for planting here.

In the past, I’ve bought peat pellet starter kits. They have the growing medium as pellets that you expand with warm water. Once they are fully expanded, you plant your seeds, one per pellet.

Where I find I have a challenge when starting seeds indoors, is it seems like the pellets can dry out very quickly. Seed starting kits with pellets are great for beginners, because they have everything except the grow light and work best with seeds that are easy to start such as sunflowers, most veggies, and squash. I do find some flowers are a little more finicky, and don’t do as well in the peat pellets. These can be better started in actual potting mix. I am going to do some testing and see how soil vs. pellets do side by side with the same kind of seeds.

After your seeds are planted, follow the directions when to remove the cover, and how high to place the grow light when starting seeds.

One trick I found when starting seeds is to use cinnamon to help with something called “damping off”, a fungal disease where the stems of your seedlings suddenly become thin, spindly and die. Supposedly, cinnamon and good air circulation can help keep it at bay. Lightly sprinkle it on top, and leave a light coating just after planting.

Are you excited for spring and gardening time? If you’re looking for supplies to start your own seeds, you can find some here.

If you like this post, you might also like: Plants for a winter cutting garden,

Want to grow your own flowers and veggies from seeds! Here's how to start seeds indoors with peat pellets in a planting tray.