Saturday, July 27, 2013

Starting Pansies Part I

I didn't follow my own advice and clean my seed starting containers after I used them and now I don't want to but I know I have to have clean containers, so I bought some. I noticed that places like Home Depot and other retailers who carry gardening items have already eliminated or condensed their garden sections. It's amazing how stores rush the season. There is still a lot of Summer left but stores have removed the gardening section and replace it with isles of school supplies. Next it will be a seasonal section with Thanksgiving and Christmas decorations long before the season arrives. It's frightening. I remembered this from last year and did plan to buy my seed starting medium and extra smaller seed starting containers. Most of the containers I have are 72 cells. I found that I like smaller containers because seeds germinate at different rates. When a seed germinates the cover of the container is taken off to prevent damping off. When there are still seeds to germinate that still need a moist greenhouse like environment it hard to know if they will still germinate once the top is taken off. Working with a smaller container works better for me.

When I wanted to start seeds in December last year I couldn't find seed starting medium, seeds, or trays. Of course these items can be ordered on line but who wants to wait. I could have also went to a nursery but Home Depot is closer to where I live. I have read a lot of blogs where bloggers make their own mix, maybe I will do this eventually. Some also use vermiculite or perlite as a seed starting medium but I prefer an already packaged seed starting mix. I did look for vermiculite during the Winter but it was not available in stores. I didn't see it until the Spring and the bags were huge and heavy so I didn't purchase it. I need to think about using it after my problem with fungus gnats last Winter.

This year I tried to remember to start buying before everything disappeared off the shelves until January. I normally use Jiffy seed starting mix but that disappeared off the shelves in the Spring. Miracle Grow has a seed starting mix that I already have but I didn't like it because it's like potting soil and not light like a soil less mix. It did say seed starting potting soil mix but I guess I didn't pay attention to this when I bought it last Winter. Some gardeners don't use seed starting mix but potting soil. I have thought to try this but for now I will stick to what works for me. I ended up buying a brand that Walmart sells. Home Depot only had the Miracle Grow mix. I bought five Jiffy seed starting trays. These were the last five trays in the store. They have the peat pellets. Last year the trays I bought were from Burpee and had the coir pellets.  The Burpee seed rack at Home Depot was empty and a sign attached to dismantle, I guess until late Winter when 2014 seeds come. W. Atlee Burpee & Company is in Pennsylvania I believe in Warminster not far from Philly and many of the large retail stores have Burpee seeds. This is a good time to buy patio sets because they are really discounted. I look forward to the large planters being discounted around Thanksgiving. I got some good deals discounted at 70% last year. I really don't need any more planters but I have family members who do and they will be nice gifts.

Jiffy Green House, I think I will do 2 of these trays

Saved Egg Carton

I purchased  2 packages of these last Winter to have for this Winter. They are the coir ones.


  1. Patricia, I love your thoroughness and resourcefulness. You deserve to be rewarded with pansies aplenty. Good luck.

    1. Thank you Lee. I love your blog. Your new garden is progressing beautifully.


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