Starting Seeds Indoors

It’s a germination sensation!

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The seeds I’m starting indoors have all begun to germinate and so far, are flourishing. I have used two methods of starting seeds: newspaper pots with potting mix and jiffy 7 pellets.

As our school has been suffering under mountains of newspaper thanks to an Olympics promotion, I decided to start some seeds in newspaper pots. I used an origami method, which is really based on a traditional design, but which is floating around on the internet as a method for making newspaper pots. If you want to try making your own I recommend visiting For Greenies as their instructions and photographs are easy to follow. There are many other methods out there such as rolled paper pots and pots made using commercial pot makers, but this is the method of choice for me.

I filled my pots mostly with seed raising mix, although I ran out and had to use regular potting mix for the last few, but it doesn’t have bothered the seeds much, it may with seeds that are a little harder to germinate I’m not sure. I planted 2/3 seeds per pots depending on the germination rate of the seeds and so far have at least one plant for each pot which was my aim. I started off watering with a spray bottle but once the seeds were more firmly embedded/started germinating I have just been tipping a little water into each pot most days. The newspaper is beginning to yellow but I think they should hold together until planting time.

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The other method of starting seeds I am using is Jiffy 7 peat pellets in a Jiffy Pro ‘greenhouse’. These seeds were planted 5 days after the ones in the newspaper pots so they have not reached the same level of germination as the others but are coming along nicely.

For those of you not aware jiffy pellets are small pellets of peat which can be hydrated with water and used to start seeds. They are relatively inexpensive, particularly if you already have trays you can put them in. you can buy 500 from ebay/various websites for about $50-$70, maybe less if you really shop around.

There are some criticisms of peat pots and pellets. There are questions about whether the peat is sustainably harvested. Also some people say they are too small for the root system and by the time plant is significantly developed enough for the seedling to be planted outdoors with a reasonable chance of survival the roots will be strangled. However I don’t think at they are significantly smaller than standard seedling punnets.

Both of these methods are designed for the seedling, growing material and container to be planted directly into the ground when the seedling is significantly developed. So for now it is just a case of watering and maintaining them for a few weeks.

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I’m still reading The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas

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