What is the consensus on using these or has anyone been blessed by using them. I don't want to waste my time with them if they don't work. But to the amateur ,they sound like they would be marvelous.
JMO but don't waste your time. They sound a lot better than they work. ;) Search 'Peat pellets' here for lots of discussions about all the problems associated with them.
You'll read this in many of the other posts but I will add it here too that if you decide to use them and if you get some plants be sure to strip off the netting prior to planting them in the ground or pots.
Ditto what Dave said...
I've never gotten the hang of germinating in those little peat pellets or peat pots either one...they are too wet, or too dry for me with never a happy in between.
When peat dries out you have a hard time wetting it again. I'd only use peat pellets if I was despirate and them I'd have to think twice
I wouldn't use the greenhouse for a variety of reasons. However, I do love using the Jiffy peat pellets. They are super cheap and I haven't had a problem with the netting (except that it doesn't break down - but it comes up when you pull out your dead plant at the end of the season). They've made my germination rate go much higher because it's easier to keep my seeds consistently moist until they germinate.
They actually work just fine. I have had seed germinate in 3-4 days. Instead of 10-12 days. Just make sure when you expand the peat pellets you drain off the excess water. Then all I do is have a cheap squirt bottle that I mist the pellets every other day so they DON'T dry out. That easy!!
I am neither a garden genius nor a garden idiot. That said, I hate using the jiffy pellets or containers.
I find that regardless of what I do they end up drying out or having uneven moisture - and the plants suffer. I also find that they act as wicks in the garden. They suck up the moisture, fail to break down and the plants end up inferior to the same type of plant which didn't begin it's life in a jiffy pellet or container.
If you want to drop by, you can have the extras I purchased that I don't intend to use.
Just kidding on the invite, but not on my dislike for the pellets.
Can't comment on the 'greenhouses', but I've been using the peat pellets for years and have never had a problem with them. For tomatoes alone I use at least 75 to 100 of the pellets each year and won't even try to count ones used for other veggies. I use a chamomile tea solution to hydrate them right from the start and the solution diluted a good bit for further bottom watering. When I do my first pot up, I cut the netting so it won't be restrictive. I have some of the healthiest plants around and don't have a damping off problem.
I bought one and I haven't had any luck...
I was trying to start cucs, zucs and jalapeno peppers, but none have germinated and it's going to be 3 weeks this Sat.
My home has AC, but the temp doesn't drop below 69 or above 73.
However, I am a newbie to gardening, so I may be doing something wrong.
I used a toothpick to look for the seeds thinking I may have put the seeds in too deep, but in most cases it was barely covered with peat.
I didn't think I was over watering, but I'm going to try to cutdown on watering.
At this point, do I need to start from scratch or should I just wait and not water as much?
I'm not sure how to tell if the seeds are bad now. Any suggestions on how to continue?
I tried these this year for lettuce. I planted seeds in 6 peat pellets, 1 6 pack with Jiffy mix and 1 6 pack with Miracle Gro seed starting mix. The ones in the pellets are the biggest and look the best. The ones in the Jiffy mix came up but have grown slower and the ones in the MG mix didn't germinate. That said, I think I will only try the rest on things that don't like to be transplanted, cukes, squash and zucchini. I found that with the lettuce, it had to be transplanted to a bigger container from the pellets faster than the ones in the 6 pack. And with the 6 pack, I was able to split the seedlings in each cell by separating the roots, with the pellets, that was harder so I just snipped off the extra seedlings.
This is my first year making a serious effort to start by seed, so my experience is limited.
However, I wound up really liking the pellets. I didn't want to like them, and initially just bought a small tray on a whim. I started onions in the tray, and in cells. The onions in the tray are doing MUCH better than the ones in the seed starting mix. I bought another tray and tried the same thing with peppers. Same result. It's really irking me because I'd rather not use them...but when it comes down to it I'm getting better results with those things.
Our house is well ventilated and dry, I think those silly pellets do a better job of holding consistent moisture. Next year I'm going to splurge on a self watering tray and see how that works out.
I started a bunch of herbs in peat pellets and while they all germinated they seem to have quit growing, has anyone else had this experience? They look green and healthy but don't seem to be growing.
That's happened to my peat pellet plants, too. I noticed that a little extra warmth helped some of my plants; what I did was bring the seedlings in their pellets outside, and then made a quick greenhouse tent for them out of a clear plastic poncho (plastic vegetable bag works too), cut up and draped over an old wire basket (as a frame), which I then placed over the pellets. I didn't tie it down all the way, just gave them a little bit of a roof but let the air blow around them. On really sunny days, though, I just take the plastic off so they don't bake. If you do something like this, be sure to check that they don't dry out. Mine definitely lost moisture, fast. Some of my plants grew faster when they had the extra heat.
I guessing your plants need a little more time before they start showing their true leaves. In my experience, it may take another couple of weeks. Once they've got their true leaves (the second set) then they'll need a tiny bit of food.
Also, for me personally, I'd transplant them as soon as they get their true leaves, and I make sure to take off the pellet mesh (or at least tear it up a bit). My plants grew faster the sooner I transplant them from the pellets.
I tried an experiment, I took half out and put them in Styrofoam cups and left the other half in the pellets. The ones in the cups have really taken off while the ones in the pellets still aren't doing anything. I'm wondering if the peat is too tight around them to allow root expansion?
Lynneblack, that is possible. I just transplanted a bunch of my pellet plants today, too. Another factor could be that they've run out of nutrients and don't have any more energy to devote to growth.
Anyways, regardless, it sounds like your transplanted seedlings are much happier. It shows that it's never good to leave seedlings in those pellets for too long.
This is my second season growing from seeds and I used these again. However, I don't germinate in them, I germinate the seeds using the Baggie Method. Once the seeds have germinated, I put them in the peat pots.
I soak the pots to expand them, then I loosen them by squeezing them a bit. I then poke the top of the peat pot with a toothpick to loosen it further. I dig a hole, with the toothpick, just deep enough for the existing root to fit and put the seed in it, root down. I put it deep enough to just see a tiny bit of the seed poking out. I then drop a few drops of water on top to get the peat into contact with the seed.
In a few days, the seed pops up out of the peat, sheds the hull and the cotyledons fan out. I give them about 1-2 week indoor (depending on the plant) and then take them out to start acclimating them, but not in direct sunlight (that will dry them out).
When I first used the Baggie Method, I put the seeds in too deep and it took forever for them to pop out of the peat...some didn't. They also grew faster.
Once the true leaves appear and grow a bit, I transplant them to a pot/ground. I think they are convenient, because I don't have to go outside (if sown in the ground) or move a large number of pots around indoors. I bought one of the larger ones, so it's usually big enough for whatever I'm growing.