Planting Peas and Starting Peppers and Petunias

March is always a busy gardening month here, with lots of seed starting and planting activities going on. This year I am growing edible podded peas for the first time in several years. To make planting easier, I prepped the spot for them last fall. It’s at the end of the bed where I planted garlic back in November. The soil was already worked up, so I went ahead and added a trellis for the peas, and covered the soil with straw to keep down weeds and to keep it from washing out over the winter.

planting peas

planting peas

I’m growing Avalanche and Oregon Sugar Pod II snow peas and Sugar Ann snap peas (1984 AAS winner). The fall prep made planting the peas a snap, pun intended. The soil under the straw was still loose, so all I had to do was dust the seeds with some inoculant and push them down into the soil at about two inch intervals. Once the seeds are up and growing I’ll spread the straw as a mulch around the base of the vines.

pelleted petunia seeds

pelleted petunia seeds

If planting the peas was relatively easy, then starting the petunia seeds was certainly a bit more of a challenge. Petunia seeds are tiny, dust-like little things, and are almost always sold pelleted. But even pelleted, they are still quite small, as you can see in the above photo. You can read about how I grow the petunias with my 2010 post Do The Wave. This year I am growing five varieties: Easy Wave Red, Easy Wave Red Velour, Wave Blue, Wave Purple Improved and Tidal Wave Hot Pink.

peppers in plug flat

peppers in plug flat

Peppers seeds are definitely larger than petunia seeds, and a lot easier to sow. The only complicating factor for me is I grow so many varieties! I used the 200 cell plug flat to accommodate all the seeds. There’s not much room for roots in that size tray, so I’ll pot them up into bigger quarters in about three weeks. I wound up with right at 60 varieties, and it took a while to get everything labeled and then planted. I had a few empty spaces left so I started a couple of eggplants as well. I’ll keep the flat on a heating mat until the seeds are up. Since the cells are so small I have to water every day.

I also moved all the brassicas out to the greenhouse, where they are basking in the relative warmth out there. Next up in the seed starting activities will be tomatoes and the rest of the eggplants. You can see my general timetable in my Seed Starting & Planting Schedule.

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6 Responses to Planting Peas and Starting Peppers and Petunias

  1. ray edwards says:

    After reading your Feb 22 post, I bought some 128 cell plug flats from Johnny’s.
    Too bad they forgot to mention that they DO NOT fit in the standard 1020 bottom watering tray. I was very disappointed.

    Does the 200 cell plug flat fit in a standard bottom tray?
    This kind of information would be helpful for YOU to include in your future posts….don’t you think?

    • Dave says:

      Sorry about that Ray! The plug flats are designed so they are rigid enough to be used without a bottom tray, but the ones I have (including the 128 cell and 200 cell plug flats) do fit in my 1020 trays. They don’t go down inside all the way though, but fit over the edge and stay in place nicely. I generally use the 1020 mesh trays myself. I would contact Johnny’s and see what they recommend!

      Here’s a photo of the 128 cell plug flat with a 1020 mesh tray under it:

      http://www.ourhappyacres.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/plugflat1283.jpg

  2. Margaret says:

    I sowed my petunia’s a couple of weeks ago and it’s been a challenge keeping the soil moist enough once they germinate as the seedlings are so tiny & fragile. I have a fan going for air circulation and it’s lowest setting isn’t really that low, so it tends to dry out the soil – I may have to reposition it.
    Margaret recently posted…2016 Garden PlanMy Profile

  3. Mark Willis says:

    I finally got my chilli seeds sown this week – a major milestone in the gardening year for me! Since my garden is very small, I don’t need huge numbers of plants. I never use those multiple-cell trays like you use. I prefer separate ones, usually round pots. Like you I have recently sown some peas outdoors (none have germinated yet), but just to be on the safe side I have sown some in pots under cover too.
    Mark Willis recently posted…Sicilian sausagesMy Profile

  4. Those petunia seeds are tiny. And you have a very organised tray of peppers, wow.
    Lou@rainbowchard recently posted…Harvest Monday – overnight pickle, an allotment update and a trip to RSPB StrumpshawMy Profile

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