Is it really okay to just bury the peat pots?

cdpropMay 10, 2012

Last year, I had some chives planted in a peat pot and I buried the entire peat pot, but the chives never seemed to spread out. This year, I have my tomatoes in 3" peat pots and I'm considering removing them from the pots when transplanting. What do you think?

Also, some of my tomato plants are ready to be transferred to larger pots (but not yet ready to go outdoors). Is it okay to plant them in larger peat pots (5")? I want to make sure that the roots will be able to make their way out of two layers of peat. =)

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terrybull

get rid of the peat pots.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 10:38AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Rip off the whole pot. Wet it well first. Do not, for any reason, leave the pot or any part of the pot on the plant.

Is it okay to plant them in larger peat pots (5")?

Why compound all the problems caused by peat pots by using them by choice when so many better alternatives are available? Lots of info is available here - especially on the Growing from Seed forum - on the problems and disadvantages of using those. Use plastic cups with holes put in them instead.

Dave

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 10:52AM
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dirtguy50 SW MO z6a(6a)

Definately, like terrybull said, get rid of the peat pots. The roots need loose soil to spread and intake nutrients. Those pots prohibit their ability to do that.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 10:54AM
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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

16 oz. cups at Walmart. I snip narrow v's out of the bottom edge for drainage.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 12:41PM
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SneakyP86(7B)

I agree with everybody else get rid of the peat pots. Although I have crumbled them up and put them in the bottom of my hole when planting. I would definitely not put one peat pot inside another when transplanting to a bigger one.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 12:48PM
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natalie1313

Yeah, if you wet the peat pots thoroughly, they're really easy to peel off. The only time I've ever planted the whole pot is when the roots had already grown through the bottom, which is what happened with my basil a couple times. But for seed starting, I prefer to just use plastic cups from the grocery store and poke some holes in the bottom. Any peat pots I've ever tried using seem to grow mold because they take forever to dry out. Plastic cups are easier and can be re-used if thoroughly sanitized.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 1:42PM
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cdprop

Thanks for the advice, everyone. I have a red cup here, and it measures about 4" in diameter at the top, and about 4.5" tall. Is that big enough for the tomato's final potting before going outside?

Both varieties are indeterminate (brandywine pink and big rainbow).

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 1:43PM
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Djole(6)

I always bury peat pots, but only with tomatoes and peppers. Some other plants did have problems breaking through, but with tomatoes it was always fine. Although i'm guessing there are other factors that contribute to whether it can break through easily or not.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 5:26PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

I have a red cup here, and it measures about 4" in diameter at the top, and about 4.5" tall. Is that big enough for the tomato's final potting before going outside?

Most use the 16-18 oz. Solo type drink cups - there are current posts here with pics of them in it - and they are large enough for most to hold the plants until transplant time. Of course that all depends on how early you started them and how soon they can be moved to the garden. Plant size varies widely from grower to grower.

I don't know the exact measurements but that sounds about right.

I always bury peat pots, but only with tomatoes and peppers. Some other plants did have problems breaking through, but with tomatoes it was always fine.

Then you have been quite fortunate indeed. Try doing it without the pot and you'll be amazed at the difference it makes in the plant health and performance. Several members over the years have posted pics of the comparative differences in plants buried in the pot vs. those with the pot removed.

Dave

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 5:39PM
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newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)

I ALWAYS rip off the pot and just treat them like they came out of ordinary pots.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 8:37PM
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Djole(6)

Might be fortune, might be something else. I use Windhager peat pots, not sure if you guys have them on market over in US. They are quite thin, so i suppose that might be the reason why it was all good. The roots start coming through the sides weeks before transplantation time.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 9:14PM
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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

Djole, I don't know if our American "peat" pots are actually peat, or simply cardboard/paper pulp ... maybe a mix of both.

Like SneakyP86 I also crumble the pieces and add them to the hole.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 12:54AM
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Edymnion(7a)

Agreed, remove the pots. Even if the plants do eventually break through them, it will take them a while and that will stunt their growth due to the confined roots in the mean time.

Think of it this way, would you ever intentionally plant something in the ground with a cardboard box around it? Of course not, so why would you leave them in the cardboard pot?

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 9:10AM
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Djole(6)

I apologize for my posts being misleading. In my own defense, i could not have known what's available on market for you. Also, here's a photo of a tomato in a peat pot i use here, taken just before transplantation (6 weeks old). That's the view from below, those roots are on the outside of the peat pot.

Here is a link that might be useful: In case pic doesnt show follow this link

    Bookmark   May 18, 2012 at 10:14AM
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angela.t

Djole, that looks incredibly thin! When I first went to the link to see the pic, I thought, "why is he showing a pic of the plant once he took it out of the pot?" I then went back and re-read what you said the pic was of. Haha! Yeah, compared to my peat pots I used this year(won't next year!), you can't even tell yours is there. Mine were about 1/2" thick I'd guess.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2012 at 1:42PM
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Djole(6)

Oh, wow! That's quite thick actually :) I just measured mine, its about 3mm, which is ~ 0.12 inches (MY PEAT POT) :)

    Bookmark   May 18, 2012 at 10:13PM
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