Peat Pellets

mikkle(5A)February 1, 2006

Anyone have any knowledge of peat pellets? eg, what's in the peat besides peat? and what is the webbing made from? And anything else of importance.

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Only that I wouldn't use peat. It's a lousy soil amendment. It's dead material and adds nothing to your soil except acidity. You want to add material that brings microbes to your soil, full of nutrition and makes plants growth and stay healthy. Compost is a much better option. Besides, peat is a non-renewable resource, reason enough not to use.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2006 at 6:02PM
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paquebot(Z-4b WI)

I've never heard of peat pellets having anything added to them. When the larger ones were introduced years ago, the webbing was plastic. Those seen lately had a cotton lace so as to be totally biodegradable.

And since there may be some here who aren't gardeners and who haven't heard of peat pellets, check out one gardening definition.


Here is a link that might be useful: Peat Pellets

    Bookmark   February 1, 2006 at 9:16PM
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I think they stink... too tiny, they dry out... the webbing never goes away... wouldn't ever use them again.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2006 at 9:31PM
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I used them once. They were either too dry or too wet. If they dried out they were hard to rewet so it was best to keep them wet. Even trying to only keep them damp they ended up molding real bad. The webbing did break down on mine but the excessive moisture and the molding led to a sorry batch of flowers. Wouldnt ever use them again.


    Bookmark   February 1, 2006 at 9:47PM
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There is nothing in peat pellets except compressed peat, unless otherwise stated on the packaging. These are kind of okay for seed starting but there are other things out there easier to use for that and usually much less expensive. Even if you did start your seeds in these pellets you would need to put them in another pot fairly soon after germination to give them a chance to grow.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2006 at 7:11AM
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paquebot(Z-4b WI)

I only tried them one time and they were the small ones. It was the result of spend $25 and get $25 free from Gardens Alive!. Coir was purchased at the same time for starting medium. The coir was the disaster as lots of it molded and many seedlings were lost. On the other hand, the peat pellets worked great! I swore never again for coir and have no need for peat pellets. I have, however, bought plants from nurseries that were started in larger peat pellets. They seem to do quite well after setting out in the gardens and they seem to vanish soon enough.


    Bookmark   February 2, 2006 at 9:39AM
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Yes, I too will never buy coir again either... unless I want my soil to rot.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2006 at 11:28AM
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The trouble with peat pellets is, because the walls of the container are extremely porous, the peat dries out very quickly. You need to be vigilant with watering. The pellets I've tried have webbing made of something that doesn't readily decompose-- I've found old "webs" hanging around the garden a year later.

They also tend to "wobble"-- when your seedlings get a few inches tall, they tend to fall over because of there is no rigid base for the container. Of course, you could just pack a whole pile of them close together in another tray. Overall, I don't like them. I stick to my cellpacks and trays.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2006 at 6:04PM
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crankyoldman(z5 NY)

I have used peat pellets for about 20 years and like them a lot. The acidity seems to help some seeds to germinate more easily. I like that I can easily take just the plants that have germinated and pot those up and not have to mess with the others that have not germinated. I have had plants get surprisingly big in those things when I was negligent and didn't pot them up when I was supposed to. One thing though is that the netting does not seem to decompose. I am not sure what it is made out of. You can get them without the netting, but I have never tried those. I usually water them with some liquid kelp to help germination and to feed the plant. You do have to keep up with the water. If peat dries out, it is really hard to rewet, and you can consider those seeds goners most of the time. But I did have the experience of leaving some mandrake seeds in dried up peat pellets. I thought the seeds were dead. I had a tray of them on the porch and just shoved them aside, so they did get rain. A couple months later, they germinated. Some seeds are masochists, I guess.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2006 at 9:20AM
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paquebot(Z-4b WI)

I've attempted to locate the source for the pellets which came with what I would call "expanded cheesecloth" cotton webbing. Someone may still make them but no luck finding who that is. They may have been discontinued because the cotton rotted away too quickly. I'll have to inquire next time I run across them. The popular Jiffy-7 is still a plastic mesh and I've seen advice to cut it open before planting.


    Bookmark   February 3, 2006 at 11:46AM
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I've done a little research on peat pellets and it appears that manufacturers of peat products regularily use synthetic wetting agents in their products - peat pots, peat pellets, and also coir to name a few. There are organic wetting agents - yucca, for example - but likely, unless you buy from a trusted organic supplier, you'll be getting the sythetic wetting agents. The synthetic wetting agents are not allowed in the USDA NOP. Some of the commercial peat pellets also incorporate a little chemical fertilizer to initially boost the plants' performance.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2006 at 3:40PM
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ptmax(Zone 6b)

I think the Jiffy 7's are great for starting larger seeds and as long as you don't let them dry out too much. Also I always cut the netting away before transplanting to the garden as this netting does not break down.
I've had great success for many years starting seeds this way.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2006 at 8:20AM
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In the olden days peat pellets had cotton or jute fiber nets to hold the pellets together. Sometime in the 1980's the manufactures switched to synthetic fiber to hold them together and because I did not like that idea I stopped using them then. If properly used they were okay, but they do need to be watched and watered more frequently than even small pots. The one problem I saw was the pellets were so tiny that the seedlings roots started reaching through fairly quickly necessitating potting them up anyway.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2006 at 7:01AM
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ruthieg__tx(z8 TX)

I love them for starting seeds...I generally end up transplanting to a larger cup but for sprouting, I wouldn't use anything else...

    Bookmark   April 1, 2006 at 6:13PM
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A majority of people who use them, use them once and decide they don't like them, mostly because the roots never really spread outside of that pellet, for reasons mentioned above.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2006 at 3:20PM
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byron(4a/5b NH)

For Cole crops their ok IF you call then a seed start medium

As soon as the seeds emerge, you cut the netting and transplant into larger pots.

Peppers and tomatoes don't appear to like the pH as the germination rate is a lot lower than a seed starting medium

    Bookmark   April 6, 2006 at 7:29PM
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I like using peat pellets. When the seedlings are ready for transplant, cut the webbing away. That way it won't interfere with the roots spreading. Just be careful you don't rip any of the roots that may have already started growing through the webbing.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2006 at 7:43PM
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stevethelizard(SE uk z8-9)

HOW THE HELL CAN YOU CALL YOURSELF ORGANIC? when you seem to have not problems with using peat. peat bogs are a very important habitat that takes centuries to regenerate if they do at all after the draining of the land.they are an important carbon sink which slows our effect on the environment so as the bogs are depleated global warming speeds up not a lot ill grant you but every little helps.i think you should all fell very ashamed about what you have done

    Bookmark   April 15, 2006 at 7:18AM
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i like to use the pellets but the webbing must come off because it restricts growth. The pellets stay moist for a very long time if they are kept in a domed or enclosed environment. If they are watered from the top, they can develop moss or green goo on top. Always water from below. If they dry up, they tend to get as hard as a rock and should be soaked to get them back to normal. The peat is beneficial to my clayish garden.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2008 at 7:36PM
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tomakers(SE MA Zone 5/6 or ?)

I have used them for years with no problems. I do remove the netting when I transplant. If used correctly they work fine.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2008 at 5:18AM
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Mother Earth News has great recipe for seed starter pots made from toilet paper rolls--I am going to give it a try. Has a nice picture of it too. See the link below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Mother Earth News

    Bookmark   April 29, 2008 at 1:48PM
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icebear(z5b southern Maine)

have always used them. never had any problems, tomatoes planted in them have no different germination time than those that are started in anything else i have fooled with.

i have heard that you can spritz the pellets with water if you are having a hard time keeping the moisture right. but i have not had this problem myself.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2008 at 1:41PM
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I'll gladly use peat pellets if it makes the Earth-Firsters foam at the mouth like the one above -- next they'll say we shouldn't use dirt for our gardens. We've used peat pots for years, and never had a problem with drying out, just with getting too moist and falling apart. Since there are many favorable comments here, I'm going to try some peat pellets now with my aquaponics system (I need the acidity to bring down the PH). Thanks

    Bookmark   July 4, 2009 at 12:41PM
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I used them twice...once I loved them once I didn't... I'm still up in the air with whether I like them or not.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2010 at 9:56PM
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I hate do gooders like the one above. I wonder what kind of cigarettes he smokes, beer he drinks, what modern medicines are keeping him alive and what the heck he has parked under his kitchen sink. If he lives in a Tee Pee, uses a pony to go for more food and wears buckskin clothing he may be otherwise alright. LOL

    Bookmark   April 15, 2010 at 10:19AM
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It's just that the person above feels very passionate about preserving the Earth and there is nothing wrong with that. But yelling at people is not going to help, shaming them won't do anything. Education is the key.

It sounds like people don't necessarily LOVE peat pellets but for acid loving plants. The webbing is not biodegradable, so for beginners like myself, it would seem like a waste of time or pain in the @$s to deal with them. So what else can be used. I tried reusing egg cartons with just a bit of compost and that seems to be going very well. But can you all share some wise secrets?


    Bookmark   April 14, 2011 at 2:27PM
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jonas302(central mn 4)

The very best I have found is the is the grow cells they cost about a $1 for a 72 pack they fit perfectly in the trays and have lids you can put your choice of starting medium in them mine just happens to include peat(: Really though they let you start a lot of plants for 5 dollars and I reuse them for several years

Oh and I have used the peat with the "biodegradable" webbing never again

    Bookmark   April 14, 2011 at 7:16PM
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stevethelizard, lighten up.
You environment activist need to start your own forum & stop being rude to persons who want to grow organic gardens.
I have used organic gardening & organic gardening books for over 30 years & NO where have I seen or read that I have to be an environmentalist to be an organic gardener. Sure there are a lot of environmentalist who are organic gardeners, & they are welcome until they preach from the religious platform that we ALL have to be like them.
The polar bear are going better today, then they have in 30 years, world wide. No matter what Mr. SUV Gore said on his little movie.
This is America & we are each free to be organic gardeners, even if we do not drive electric car or have solar power plants on our roofs.The way I see it, if you do not have those thing you are a hypocrite & should get your house in order first.
And if you do, then you still do not have the right to jump on other poster for using peat. Peat which is protected & in very large amounts over a good part of the world.
And did not you change from "Global Warming" to "Climate Chance", when your research proved that the earth is not warming up as doom day has been saying .Is it not a fact that from 2006 until now the heat of summer has been dropping, not going higher as All of you claimed 1995-2010?
This is the wrong forum for this , when your start the
Environment Forum, we can debate this.
To everyone else, I am sorry, I will compost my soap box now.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2011 at 11:53PM
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jolj, have you discovered the Hot Topics forum yet? That's a forum I think you'd be interested in. I'm getting a little tired of hearing about Global Warming from you on these gardening forums. If you want to talk about Al Gore, Hot Topics is where that is welcomed.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2011 at 6:54PM
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