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Archive for February 25th, 2011

tray3

I have been so enchanted with the native grasses that I have introduced to my garden over the last couple of years that I wanted to try starting a few new varieties from seed. I purchased seed for Prairie Dropseed (Sporobolus heterolepsis), Indian Grass (Sorghastrum nutans) and Sideoats Grama (Bouteloua curtipendula) from the Wildflower Farm. They carry a great selection of native wildflower and grass seed.

I haven’t done a lot of seed starting and don’t have any fancy equipment such as grow lights. Last year I had good success with an inexpensive pellet greenhouse kit and thought I’d try my grass seeds in a similar kit.

tray1

The packaging states that this is an environmentally friendly product because it is 100% peat free. Facts on the back of the cover point out some of the issues related to using peat products. It takes about 220 years to replace the peat stripped from the land in one year. Harvesting peat releases carbon dioxide, a known greenhouse gas. Peat bogs have the amazing ability to remove harmful impurities from water. Peat bogs hold 10% of the world’s fresh water. More information is available at their website, Saveourpeatbogs.com.

I can’t vouch for the precise accuracy of their figures, but I certainly doubt the claims of peat bog harvesters, who would have you believe this is a sustainable industry. Peat does not happen in any timeframe that relates to an average human lifetime. The planet is way, way past the point where we can continue destroying vital natural habitats for unnecessary or frivolous uses.

Anyway, I got my little grass seeds settled into their peat-free starter medium. I don’t know how long they will take to germinate, but look forward to little tufts of green in my foreseeable future.

tray2

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