The Q&A Archives: Cat Urine and Seed Germination

Question: I'm new to gardening and am trying to start sweet pepper and hot pepper seeds in a flat. After 14 days, nothing happened. I caught the cat using my pepper flat as a litter box! The sweet peppers and hot peppers are now completely mixed, covered with cat urine, and have still not germinated. I have read that hot peppers and sweet peppers should not be planted near each other. Should I throw out the seeds, dirt, and cat? Does the cat urine have anything to do with them not germinating? Do you have any suggestions? Is this a bad omen for my first real vegetable garden?

Answer: It sounds as though you've kept your sense of humor over this entire event! I'd throw away the soil and the seeds, but not the cat. It's very likely that the cat urine, plus the digging around, have ruined your seeds. Sterilize the seeding tray with a 1:9 ratio of household bleach and water, then rinse and dry. Put new seed starting mix in the tray and plant with new seeds. You still have time to get seedlings started before it's time to plant outdoors. Once you've successfully raiseda crop of transplants, both types of peppers can grow side by side in the garden without problems.<br><br>Maybe it's time to have a serious talk with your cat and set some boundaries!

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