Make your own peat pellets with no netting

anney(Georgia 8)July 18, 2010

The internet is certainly great for imaginative ideas.

You can make your own peat pellets using gelatin as the binder, instructions here. Many have noticed that the netting on commercial pellets can cause root binding.

Though the author doesn't mention it, the small amount of gelatin that will be present in the pellets is also a source of nitrogen for the seedlings.

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taz6122(N.W. AR.6b)

Most seedlings don't need extra fertilizer and it can inhibit some seeds from sprouting. I use the 6oz yogurt cups with sphagnum peat moss and a little sand or perlite. The plug releases easily enough from the cup.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2010 at 2:59PM
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anney(Georgia 8)

Hi, taz!

Since so many people use the commercial peat pellets, I thought it might be useful information if people would rather make their own. I usually use cups to germinate my seeds (with ProMix BX as the growing medium), too, but if I have a lot of seeds I want to start, it's handy to be able to start them separately so they aren't disturbed with transplanting. Even the smallest cups (or cell paks) take up more room and require more fiddling later on than I'd like.

The amount of nitrogen in one packet of gelatin mixed into a 10-pound bag of growing soil will hardly cause the seeds any trouble! It's about a teaspoon, IIRC.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2010 at 3:18PM
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taz6122(N.W. AR.6b)

It was a good thought and come to think of it I did use some MG potting soil this year and got decent germination with some seed. I'm not really sure what types of seeds didn't germinate in MG vs peat and will probably loose a few next year too. I need to take better notes on those type of things instead of trying to remember it all. I'm sure it's costing me a little more for seeds and supplies that I could be saving. I do know tomato, pepper and cucurbit seeds do well in MG and herbs do better in peat.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2010 at 3:54PM
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Thanks for the link. I've often wondered why they don't use cotton for their netting so it will break down. I've pulled plants in the Fall and found roots choked of in that plastic netting they use.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2010 at 4:07PM
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anney(Georgia 8)


Do all MG growing soils contain fertilizers? Would you believe that I don't think I've ever used anything of Miracle Grow's, so I don't know! I also like the idea of making whatever size pellets I'd need.

Actually if I decide to make some of these pellets, I don't think I'd use pure peat. I think that pure peat would dry out too quickly and one would risk losing some seedlings if they weren't watched very carefully. I assume that with the gelatin the ProMix would work.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2010 at 4:13PM
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anney(Georgia 8)


Did you see the photo someone took of a "mature" pepper plant with the roots bound up in the netting? It's been posted on GW a couple of times that I know about. Some people say they've never had any problems with the roots getting bound in the netting while others say they just don't want to risk it.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2010 at 4:17PM
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taz6122(N.W. AR.6b)

As far as I know all MG soils have fertilizer. I've only used the potting mix and garden soil. Pellets made from peat should always be in some kind of container that holds extra water IMO. I even use trays with the yogurt cups and poke 2-4 small holes in the side right at the bottom of the cups and keep water in the trays.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2010 at 4:44PM
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Dimitrios, that was pretty ingenious!

    Bookmark   December 13, 2012 at 9:53AM
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Silly me, I just take a pair of scissors and cut off the netting before I plant. Heck of a lot easier than trying to make my own pellets (when I don't just use loose coir to start with).

    Bookmark   December 13, 2012 at 3:22PM
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