CityDiggity

A green space for urban gardeners

Archive for peat pellets

Blue review: undeclared flower seedlings show true colors

DSC00648

DSC00646My plan was to strike a certain color balance in the garden this year. Blue was to be dominant, followed by yellow, then pops of red-orange and pale greens.

After buying numerous seeds, and supplementing those with online plant orders, I became a little concerned that I might wind up with blue overload. Well, leave it to happenstance to alter the landscape…

Some of the blue seeds that I planted in the peat pellets never sprouted, and I had a couple that sprouted, but later the seedlings dried up. Suddenly, I was facing the prospect of possibly having much less blue than I’d wanted.

Then, after the unusually cold spring and early summer — not to mention my unique challenges Read the rest of this entry »

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A tale of two sweet potato vines – healthy growth inside and out

DSC00619DSC00625DSC00328While my purchased sweet potato vine grows fast and furious outside, my home- grown vine, sprouting from an actual potato, is on quite a growth spurt inside, too.

As you can see, the longest stem has grown from mere sprouts (third photo) to about two-feet since I started the project a couple months back. Of course, my next challenge is to figure out how to get rid of the potato and create a traditional indoor plant from the vine.

The jar of water that I suspended the cut sweet potato into is now filled with fibrous roots and I have multiple leafy stems protruding from the potato. I’ve decided to take off some of those stems as cuttings and try to root them using one of the peat pellets left over Read the rest of this entry »

The circle of life goes on and more seeds come out

Heirloom tomato seeds sprouted quickly.

Heirloom tomato seeds sprouted quickly.

The tax man notwithstanding, mid-April brings with it many a happy harbinger of spring: Tomorrow’s weather forecast puts Chicago in the 70s, we’ve had a couple of days of fitful April showers, the heirloom tomato seeds I planted just last week have sprouted and now, in their new sunny location, are bowing their heads in deference to heliotropism.

Life goes on.

And so does my planting. I’m about to start a second wave — this one just for flowers — and pulling out the 72 peat pellet tray for the occasion. I realize that if you’re a first-timer it’s hard to imagine that these slight seedlings will become strong, fully developed plants, baring flowers and Read the rest of this entry »

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 . . . Read the rest of this entry »