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peat pots

Posted by casagrande 7 (My Page) on
Wed, Apr 30, 14 at 12:56

hello....after reading lots of posts here about seeds and peat pots, can I get some input as to why most do not recommend peat pots...and why. and what to use instead. thank you. I have no had good luck with the peat pots...


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: peat pots

It's because we're all a superstitious lot. Try something, then another thing, and even do it again until you find what fits the way you work. Some people here can sprout anything in solid concrete, but most have quirks that the death of a thousand seedlings have forced on them. And those quirks work.

Take me. f'rinstance. I have had hordes of seedlings never emerge. I've had ninety nine percent of the ones that did die out screaming in agony. Then I discovered peat pots.

This season I have had ZERO seedlings die from damping off, and (I think) four or five peat pots not sprout. When toms, peppers, zinnias, and so on get just a few inches tall, I plant those pots into plastic or foam cups with garden dirt, and almost none of them fail to thrive.

I don't use lights but have to admit that Arizona's biggest weather factor is bright intense sunshine.

They are east to sterilize: hydrate them and give them a ride in the microwave oven until they steam. This goes a long way towards reducing damping off. Once cool they’re ready to go.

Peat pellets allow you to treat many different plant seedlings in a consistent manner. When watering they absorb the water very quickly and all the excess water can be drained off in seconds. Very few media let you drench peppers every day. For plants that need to go a bit dry between waterings (like some peppers) they do that in a very gradual way, and they are very forgiving.

They come with that fine poly mesh covering and plant roots have no problem growing right through. They are cohesive enough that you can handle and transplant them without disturbing roots one bit.

It would be silly for me to use any other method, yet nearly everyone else does use other methods, and they aren't wrong. They just are not me in my climate with my highly advanced laziness.

Watch out for the few people who tell you your way is stupid or that you're wrong because you don't do it their way. It's only plants.

Peppers below are at eighth day with 19 out of 22 seeds sprouted...


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RE: peat pots

hello. thank you! thank you! please, just give me a little more explanation of this comment I have taken from your email:


" They are east to sterilize: hydrate them and give them a ride in the microwave oven until they steam. This goes a long way towards reducing damping off. Once cool theyre ready to go"


are you talking about ANY seed that you are going to germinate? iris, calla lilys, hostas.....please give me a little more infor on that statement....thanks. oh...and what do you mean by "damping off"....


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RE: peat pots

  • Posted by morz8 Z8 Wa coast (My Page) on
    Wed, Apr 30, 14 at 20:16

Casa, I think the poster means the pots, not the seeds. You do not want to steam your seeds in the microwave, you would kill them.

Damping off is the collective name for loss of seedlings by a number of fungi and bacteria that can present in the growing medium when using unfavorable growing conditions - typically too heavy a seed starter, too wet, not enough air circulation.

I don't find the pellets and their covering produces freely growing extensive roots, I do find the peat pots make it difficult to maintain consistent moisture. They are either too wet and will begin to mildew, or too dry and wick moisture from the growing medium. I sow in reusable plastic flats, cell, pots - washing them and using year after year.


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RE: peat pots

There are many discussions here (and on the other forums as well) about the problems with both the peat pots and the pellets. The search will pull them all up for you to review so we don't have to go into all the details again. Just type peat pots in the search bar.

Basically the issue with the pots are

(a) they wick moisture out of the media, the mix, making it appear drier than it is so the grower consistently over-waters. That either rots the seeds or rots the roots if the seed does germinate. That issue is easy to solve IF the growers is experienced and propers properly but most aren't and don't even when they think they do.

(b) they stunt root development which is why removing all or most of the pot before planting the plants is strongly recommended - despite the manufacturer's claim that they can be directly planted. Numerous pictures have been posted of the pots dug up in the fall still intact with very few roots growing through the pots.

s to what to use instead? Any of the hundreds of different plastic containers available. They range from yogurt cups to all the various nursery and seed starting plug trays and flats available.

Dave

Here is a link that might be useful: Seed starting supplies


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RE: peat pots

It is personal experience. I also use the trays of various sizes of rows and cells. Used over and over for years. I just clean and sterilize. But i start 6-8 trays that soon turns to many transplanted pots. I need a tried and tested method tending so many.
Peat pots were fine when i just tended a couple dozen babies. They just stay too wet for too long and can cause many problems in my damp late winter basement set-up.
Peat pots need to be bone dry before watering again. About the weight of a balloon. (in my climate)
Early on, 20yrs ago, i often used a few methods suggested, and ones not suggested, to see what worked for me. In my old home, i passed them on the way to the morning coffee pot. Even a busy work week was hard to ignore their needs. Now i'm shuffling hundreds in a back room. Still testing, always learning.
My husband picked up an organic potting soil i'm not familiar with. It turned to rock solid very quickly. First transfer suffered so i added some vermiculite. We are always learning and solving problems and finding answers and cures.


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RE: peat pots

>> (b) they stunt root development which is why removing all or most of the pot before
>> planting the plants is strongly recommended - despite the manufacturer's claim
>> that they can be directly planted. Numerous pictures have been posted of the
>>pots dug up in the fall still intact with very few roots growing through the pots.

You are absolutely right. Notice the intact peat pot with very few roots. Rule number 1 is don't mess with the roots!


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RE: peat pots

cold_weather_is_evil - not sure what your point is with the photo but since it was me you quoted I'll bite.

First that sure doesn't look like a peat pot. Maybe one of the peat pellets? And there are lots of roots there.

So could you clarify your point please? If you are advocating using them, why?

Dave


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RE: peat pots

I don't use them, just because I make myself try simple things first. This year I did the thing where you cut the top off a water bottle, and then put it back on like a greenhouse top. As soon as seeds sprout, discard top. It worked for me, with cheap potting soil. I got a little mold, but I did the thing where you spray weak chamomile tea. Don't know if that is superstition, but the mold went away.

I think, no matter the container or medium, the trick is to learn to work with what ever it is you have, for proper watering, not too little, not too much.


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RE: peat pots

thank you to everyone who has input into this subject. I got some really good tips and I will try them all. I still like the thought of the peat pots, but I may have been over watering...one good tip was to be sure the pot is bone dry before watering again and I sure have not done that. right now I hage about 20 hosta seedlings really trying to grow in these things. we have been working on these since January this year. I do believe I will get some new hostas of my own this year but I will stop watering these pots so much. hope this picture comes through.


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RE: peat pots

All other arguments aside, why spend money every year on non-reusable peat pots when a collection of modules and pots, often available for nothing round the back of the garden centre or recycled from bought annuals, will last you pretty much for ever?


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RE: peat pots

got a bunch of peat pots at a yard sale. Crumbled them up and spread the course dry ground stuff on the soil surface when potting up annuals and vegetables. I imagine that it helps to reduce damping off because that is what my grandmother said.


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RE: peat pots

In the past I used cowpots, but they have issues.

This year I use plastic Grow Pots (GRO PRO).


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