Pelleted Petunia seeds mush when planting?

nbadgerMarch 26, 2008


This is my first attempt at planting pelleted petunia seeds. I am using the burpee seed starter kids with the soil pellets that you add water to. I added the water and they expanded to the proper size. I then put 15 Pelleted Lilac Wave Petunia seeds in 15 different soil pelletes and gently pressed them into the soil. I was very gentle, barely touching them. It seemed like a coating was coming off of each one but it was difficult to see so I didn't think much of it. When I got done I took a different, less expensive, pelleted petunia seed out and set it on top of one of the soil pellets that had some dirt exposed. When I touched it, it also turned to mush with no visible seed. Hopefully I'm just missing something obvious and there's nothing wrong here? Should I have made sure the soil was dry first?

I appreciate any help. Thanks.

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georgez5il(z5 IL)

The seed is very small and could easly be missed.damp soil should not have been a problem. could the pelleted seed gotten damp befor you planted them?

    Bookmark   March 26, 2008 at 7:27PM
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No, they were dry right out of the package. when you say they are small and could be missed are you saying I missed putting them in the soil pellet? There was literally greenish yellow stuff on the pencil I used to "push" the seeds into the soil. I'm half tempted to simply set them in w/o pushing them into the soil??

    Bookmark   March 26, 2008 at 11:08PM
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Petunia seeds need light to germinate you don't need to press them into the soil. You absolutely should just set them on the surface. I used pelleted petunia seeds for the first time this year. The second they touch a damp surface (including a damp finger that just touched damp soil) they will expand and become mushy as you stated. There absolutely are seeds in the pellets. I thought the same thing, that there weren't seeds, but every one of mine germinated. The reason seeds are pelleted is because they are too small to handle, so it is not surprising you don't see a seed otherwise they wouldn't need to pellet them. Are you saying added water to the pelleted seeds or are you talking about peat pellets? You shouldn't be adding any water to the pelleted seed, just place the pellets where you want them and they will expand on their own, you shouldn't have to touch them after you drop one on the soil. Also because the seeds are so small you shouldn't be watering from the top all of your water should come from below or you risk washing the seed out of the container (or at least to a different spot in the container). When the seeds do germinate you still want to always water from the bottom. I watered from the top after my seeds sprouted, with a fine mist from a spray bottle and the seedlings fell right over, they didn't have enough of a root system to hold themselves up.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2008 at 11:46PM
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Wierdtrev - thank you for the information. From what you've said I think I am ok. I watered my "soil pellets" from the bottom to start with. They expanded as they should and I then dropped the dry seed pellets in the soil and gently pushed them down. This caused the mushing. I was curious if the mushing was simply the pelleted coating coming off and it sounds like that is what it is.

Now that I know that I won't push the other seeds in and I most definately will water from the bottom. Thanks.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2008 at 7:17AM
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The pelleting is doing exactly what it is supposed to do. Get wet and slough off the seed. The pellet is there only to make this seed sowable. Place 1 seed on a piece of white paper, and add a drop of water. Stir it around with a pin until it dissolves - that tiny dark speck you see is the actual petunia seed.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2008 at 12:49PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

You ought to invest in a misting nozzle for your hose. Then you can use water (the best way) to settle the seeds in, without any disturbance. I've had my 'Fogg-It' for about 20 years!

I use it to settle transplants into their new containers, too. You'll get perfect soil-to-root contact without having to tamp the oxygen out of the soil.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2008 at 2:02PM
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