I have a problem and I hope someone can help. I recently planted a large flower garden, all from seeds, and all by hand. I was on my hands and knees for days planting clumps of this and that all over, I have everything from snapdragons to zinnias to california poppies, etc. My problem is I bought peat moss to cover them with, like I would usually do. This time I did not realize the peat had fertilizer in it. A .05-.10-.05 ratio. They did not have the peat I usually buy this time, so I bought what I thought was standard peat moss.
Will this kill my seedlings when they emerge now from excessive "food"?
Is there anything I can do to save my garden at this point? All that work... all my seed... yikes I hate to lose it. I don't know how I didn't notice the fertilizer numbers when I was applying it... ugh...
Any advice or experience would be greatly appreciated. Thank you all so much in advance,
.5-.10-.05, are those for sure the correct numbers, if so don't worry that is so low I could hardly call it fertilizer. I would think just a normal watering or rain and it would be mixed into the soil and do no harm, I also doubt it will do any good. 5-10-5 would be a much more common ratio but I have never used peat so I am not that familiar with it. To me it seems the peat would draw all the moisture away from the seeds, or you would have to keep sprinkling it throughout the day. What was the reason for covering the seeds with peat, does your soil tend to "cake" or harden? Even if it is 5-10-5 I would think if it was slow release it would do no harm, and if it is not slow release then maybe watering it really good a few times would prevent any damage.
Thanks for that Seedfork. Yes, the numbers are correct, 0.05-0.10-0.05. I too thought it too low to do anything, but I do know one would normally not fertilize while seeding.
Interesting note on the peat, I worked as a landscaper for over 15 years, and was always told to use peat to cover grass seed to retain moisture, not the opposite. Hmm, this is interesting...
I have been using it in my veggie garden forever for the same purpose and always had great success, but I can see how that would makes sense. My other main reason was to keep birds from eating all the top seeds, and keep them from washing out in a good rain. I thank you for your reply, we have already had a good rain, and that puts my mind at ease. This is my first real endeavor into flower gardening from seed, and I guess I just assumed the same concepts for veggies would apply, lol.
Most of the seeds I planted are ones that need little cover, what would you suggest using other than peat to help keep seeds from washing out and to help hold moisture? Thanks again,
Well from your first post I see you planted a lot of different seeds, some of them like California poppies need very little water, the first year I planted them I drowned them all. The second year I watered them when I planted them then did not water them again unless it really got dry and had they beautiful blooms. Snapdragons, I normally start indoors and transplant to the garden, the more plants you do this way the less you have to worry about them washing away or birds getting them, or course it does not stop the squirrels and Armadillos from digging them up. Too, by starting the plants early indoors you get a jump on the season, and you know when you space your plants there is something there, with seeds you are really hoping there will be something there later.
I have added so much organic matter in the form of grass clippings, leaves and compost that my soil drains very well and almost never washes unless we have a flood. It holds the moisture also down deep, but I do have to keep the top moistened daily for seeds to germinate if they are very shallow. After they germinate and the roots get a little growth I still have to water about twice a week, except in one bed where I have clay soil, it holds moisture a long time.
Thanks again for your advice, it's much appreciated. I would be happy to start indoors if I only had the space for it. And if the 4 kids wouldn't reek havoc on everything, lol. Thanks again, I think next year I will not cover so much as use a bird guard and or chicken wire, etc. Again, thanks for your help, now all I cn do is wait and see what pops up. It should be fun regardless :-)
Enjoy your Sunday, Danny