A green space for urban gardeners

It’s showtime: pellets and seeds today, tomatoes tomorrow

Peat pellets expand in minutes, so it's not quite like watching paint dry. (See slideshow below.)

Peat pellets expand in minutes, so it's not quite like watching paint dry. (See slideshow below.)

They don’t look like much right now, but the small peat purses I’ve tucked safely away in a mini-greenhouse will, with a few seeds and a little luck, produce a bounty of heirloom tomatoes by mid-summer.

I finally chose four seed varieties to join my two stars (black plum and sun-sugar hybrid) in this year’s garden. Yes, I know I said I was only planting four or five heirlooms total, but I was so intrigued by my options that I decided to try and squeeze in an extra pot. So, drum roll please . . . Isis candy, Rosalita, Dr. Carolyn and Wild cherry are the extras that will join my favorite performers onstage. Hope they’re ready for their closeups!

I cast them mostly because they offered color variety — nothing looks better than a fabulous mix of shades and shapes in a simple summer heirloom tomato salad. Of course, I wouldn’t dare compromise on taste, and according to the ebullient descriptions on the Tomato Growers Supply Co. seed packets, there is much to look forward to in the flavor department as well. (I’ll post my own reviews in due course.) Isis candy is golden-yellow with red veins, Rosalita is pink, Dr. Carolyn is ivory-toned and wild cherry is dark red. Rosalita is an oval, grape tomato; Isis candy is a 1-inch oblate; Dr. Carolyn is a cherry, and Wild cherry is a small, 1/2-inch cherry.

It only took about an hour to get 36 peat purses (six per variety) seeded and tucked away inside the mini-greenhouse. (Adding warm water to the small, coin-like peat pellets causes them to expand into a soft growing medium held together by a fine mesh. You then pull the little purses open at the top, sprinkle in a few seeds, cover lightly with the medium, and put the lid on the greenhouse. See slideshow below for a look at the process.)

So now the seeds have been sown, and although temps will only reach the 50s today, spring is definitely waiting in the wings.

Slideshow: How to start seeds using peat pellets. (Click on 2nd button from right below image to enlarge to full screen.)

P.S.: You can order purchase these supplies at your local nursery or online from many garden suppliers (including those listed on my Blogroll).


  Stephanie wrote @

Thank you for dropping by my blog. Yes, Coleus is a pretty plant to have 🙂 Sorry, I wrote my answers in my blog just now.

I like tomatoes. I used it to cook soup that taste like minestrone sometimes 🙂

  Lynne Jordan wrote @

Thanks for the slideshow!! Excellent way to prove the ease of this seedling stuff!!

  bughunter99 wrote @

I love the picture of your cat! I’m trying Dr. Carolyn for the first time this year too. Mine was much slower to germinate than my other heirloms but once sprouted it caught right up and looks great.

  April wrote @

I have never grown tomatoes…#1 I don’t eat them, #2 I hear they are hard to grow??? My husband loves them….maybe I should grow him some!

  Avis Weathersbee wrote @

bughunter99 and April:

bughunter99: I can’t wait for mine to sprout, we’ll have to compare results on Dr. Carolyn. I’ll let you know if she keeps pace with the pack…

April: I promise if you grow sun-sugar hybrid heirlooms you will change your mind about tomatoes! And your husband will thank you 😉

  urbantravelgirl wrote @

This is kinda freaky, but VERY cool! And I love the slideshow….

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: