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Transferring and thinning seedlings from peat pellets

Posted by wreckitriz 7a (My Page) on
Wed, Feb 20, 13 at 20:39

Hi all! I am new to gardening and this forum has been a wealth of knowledge. I am hoping y'all can help me out.

I made the error of using peat pellets (72 count) and planting 12 different varieties in it (6 pellets per species).

My cucumbers have popped up and have a little leaf on them and my basil has little green sprouts going too.

I planted 3-4 seeds per pellet. With the herbs with tiny seeds, I put a pinch of seed in each pellet. :: I am thinking this was a huge mistake.

Anyhow, I moved the cucumbers and basil out and left the others in the dome to germinate. When I moved the cucumbers, I split the seedlings up because they were in clusters. I planted them in a 4 inch pot with jiffy seed starting mix. I was gentle and tried very hard to not smush or touch the roots. But they are very delicate and I wasn't as graceful as I had hoped to be.

Should I be doing it this way? Is the way I'm going about this terrible? Any advice on how to make this go more smoothly? Should I leave the clusters in the peat pellet when transferring to a 4 inch pot and then thin the clusters when they are bigger and closer to transplanting into my garden? Should I only plant 1 seed per pellet?

I am not going to use pellets again after this batch. I think I will use a 4 inch pot or plastic cup for germination so I don't have to deal with this mess again and not have to transfer until it's time to transplant into the garden. When I am using the pot/cup for germination, how do I keep the humidity level up? I was thinking of putting the cups in a plastic bag, on top of my fridge for the first days of germination and then remove the cups and put them under my grow light after I start seeing green.


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Transferring and thinning seedlings from peat pellets

You may be starting those cucumbers to early. I dont know when you can plant them out, but 3-4 weeks is the longest you really want to have them in pots. They are susceptible to lots of fungal diseases and will also stunt easily if you keep them in pots to long.

Most people have to do some transplanting/potting up. You will get better with practice. I start them 2-3 seeds in little 3oz plastic cups in a domed tray, them divide them as soon as they get their first true leaves. At that size the roots havent developed much so its easy to pull them apart with out damaging them. If you really want to avoid transplanting at all, plant 2-3 seeds in a 4" pot, bag them or saran wrap them and if all three seeds germinate just take scissors to the two smallest weakest seedlings.

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