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Seed Starting Mix vs. Jiffy Peat Pellets (experiment)

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Seed Starting Mix vs. Jiffy Peat Pellets (experiment)

Post  landarch on 3/13/2014, 10:40 pm

Can you tell the clear winner?

Tomatillo and Tomato seedlings in Jiffy Peat Pellets on the left...tomato seedlings in NK Seed Starting Mix.

Had the same results last year.  My only complaint about Jiffy is that the refill pellets are just as expensive as buying a whole new kit (pellets, tray, clear lid)...doesn't make sense.




Also trying 16 oz clear cups from Walmart to pot-up seedlings this year (holes drilled in bottom).
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RE: SEED STARTING MIX VS. JIFFY PEAT PELLETS (EXPERIMENT)

Post  Rick Seeger on 3/16/2014, 4:20 pm

Very interesting results!  I did a similar experiment using Burpee 'Super seed growing pellets' and vermiculite.  With my Salvia and Petunias it was a dead heat - all plants have germinated (in 4 1/2 days from planting with light and bottom heat).  My tomatoes also seem to prefer the pellets Sweet Baby Girl cherry, Seedless Hybrid, and Wisconsin 55.  So far no call as to what my peppers prefer - only one sprout at this point.  I think next year I will run the same side by side and maybe try Mel's Mix vs. pellets.  I also like the idea of the clear plastic cups for potting up transplants - much less expensive than plant pots!
   
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Re: Seed Starting Mix vs. Jiffy Peat Pellets (experiment)

Post  donnainzone5 on 3/16/2014, 5:03 pm

I've tried peat pellets in the past.  In my experience, they don't degrade in the garden, leaving the roots [size=12.727272033691406]snarled up and reluctant to grow.  [/size]


On the other hand, starting seeds in vermiculite (even coarse) has been successful for me.  

See what works for you!
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Re: Seed Starting Mix vs. Jiffy Peat Pellets (experiment)

Post  Marc Iverson on 3/16/2014, 7:41 pm

I had very poor results with Jiffy pellets last year. And I guess pretty much universally, the wrapping around the outside of the pellets did not biodegrade. Generally that didn't do good things for the root balls, keeping them small and the plant small too. Just today I dug up another pellet in the garden from last year. Still intact, the undegraded wrapping binding it thoroughly.
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Re: Seed Starting Mix vs. Jiffy Peat Pellets (experiment)

Post  jimmy cee on 3/16/2014, 10:30 pm

Mel's Mix for me wins
I tried it with everything and it sure is a winner IMO
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Re: Seed Starting Mix vs. Jiffy Peat Pellets (experiment)

Post  camprn on 3/16/2014, 10:31 pm

Nice Jimmy!
 okay 

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Seed starting mix vs. Jiffy peat pellets (experiment)

Post  GloriaG on 3/16/2014, 11:38 pm

Hi landarch,

I use Jiffy Peat Pellets all the time because I've had really good results with them. 

To the cost of replacement pellets down, I shop eBay.  Last year, I splurged and bought 1,000 pellets for about $95 ($0.095 each).  But they're available in any volume you need.  Usually at a good price. 

FWIW, to prevent the roots from "circling" and avoid having non-biodegradable mesh in the garden, I remove the little covering before planting.  It's really easy to do, and if the pellets are handled carefully the peat stays together so the roots don't get disturbed at all.  (Much like planting soil blocks.)

Hope this helps,
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Re: Seed Starting Mix vs. Jiffy Peat Pellets (experiment)

Post  Marc Iverson on 3/16/2014, 11:42 pm

I'm glad you had better results than I did. When I tore off the binding prior to planting, it tended to tear off some roots while I was trying to preserve some others. When I left it on, it never went away. Maybe I'm just cursed with the things.
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Seed starting mix vs. Jiffy peat pellets (experiment)

Post  GloriaG on 3/17/2014, 2:44 am

Hi Marc,

Sorry to hear you've had so much trouble. 

FWIW: I pot-up into 3" peat pots of MM when the seedlings are fairly small.  To remove the mesh binding, I use a small pair of scissors to clip the mesh near roots that have worked their way through.  Haven't really had too much trouble with it.  Its a very quick job and the plants seem to handle the transplant well.  (BTW: I also purchase peat pots on Bay at under $0.10 each, so my total cost is very low per plant.)

I haven't tried transplanting the pellets directly into the garden, so I don't know if that would make a difference.

Good luck,
Gloria

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Re: Seed Starting Mix vs. Jiffy Peat Pellets (experiment)

Post  landarch on 3/18/2014, 10:48 am

My experience has been that the peat pellets are packed full of wonderful roots...and I transplant into 3" pots or plastic cups right when the roots reach the fabric.  If the moisture content is spot on, the pellet stays in tact while pulling off the fabric (I pull apart at the seam).

In addition, if I need to consolidate seedlings into a single tray, the pellets with seedlings can be easily moved around.
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