Can you re-use peat pellets?

I have a bunch of peat pellets in which the seeds never germinated. They are all dried out now. Are they okay to use them again, or should I just remove the netting, crumble them up, and add them to the garden soil? --S.
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Suzanne D. said:

They are very difficult to re-wet, and who's to know why the seeds never germinated. (Did they carry some sort of mold or pathogen?) The pellets themselves are relatively cheap, especially if you buy them in bulk mail order, so my opinion is, better safe than sorry. I don't reuse them.
I always run my 'extra' seedlings and dud pellets through the compost bin.
(I use the Jiffy-9 pellets for the most part, which avoids the netting issue.)
--
Pat in Plymouth MI

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That was what I figured as well. They would probably do just fine in the compost. I am actually thinking of getting a soil blocker next year and making my own small blocks instead of the Jiffy peat pellets. --S.
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Hi All,

and the right type of soil, or it will not work very well. I gave up in the end. It was more trouble than it was worth. Hope this helps you.
Richard M. Watkin.
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It's something I am only thinking about right now. On one hand it DOES seem like a lot of hassle--making sure the dirt blend is just right, dealing with the inevitable crumble, and spending a lot of time to make planters when you can prepare 72 Jiffy pellets in minutes just by adding water to the tray. On the other hand, I like the idea of having really tiny blocks (I'd get the 3/4" size) for things like corn, of which I would want a LOT but on which wouldn't find prudent to waste a whole Jiffy pellet for each seed, and for having no leftover pots and netting, and for having to hardly spend any more money once you get the initial equipment. I'll just have to see how I feel about it next spring. --S.
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'Suzanne D.[_2_ Wrote: > ;855587']"R M Watkin" snipped-for-privacy@tiscali.co.uk wrote in message

> wet ]

> trouble

> seem

> with

> when you

> tray.

> get the

> which

> for

> more

> feel

I got a paper plantpot maker and it does the job perfectly. They are fairly easy to make by using anything cylindrical with a flat base. You can decide what size you want to use. You use up your old newsppers to make them, and two thicknesses of paper is adequate to prevent them falling apart. Allow about an inch overlap at the base, fold it over and press it down on a hard surface. The roots grow easilt through the paper offering no problems with transplanting. I use three diameters of approximately 1 inch, 1 1/2 inch, and 2 inch. You can make the pots whatever length you wish. Your costs are based on whatever you use fr potting. I have no problems with using one seed per pot. Anything that hasn't germinated goes n the compost heap. If you like small leaf salads try growing several varieties in the 1 1/2 inch pots on the windowsill, or staging in the greenhouse. THree seeds to a pot works well. I havent tries it through the winter yet.
--
Bigal


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I have thought abut making these as well, though have no source for newspapers. Would phone book pages work as well, or do the papers have to be fairly large? --S.
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'Suzanne D.[_2_ Wrote: > ;855729']"Bigal" snipped-for-privacy@tiscali.co.uk wrote in message-

> base.

> to

Probably, and would do the 2 smaller sizes I mentioned. If the book is a standard size A4 you should get 2 pots from each sheet, but don't use glossy paper (not so porous). A loty of people just dump their old newspapers. If you don't know anyone, do you know where the newspapers are dumped? You won't need many, you can get quite a few pots from one paper.
Bigal
--
Bigal


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To be sure, you can sterilize them, say in a microwave.
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snipped-for-privacy@stopspam.com says...

And what happens if they aren't completely dessicated?
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Interesting question. You want the pellets a bit damp if you are using a microwave to sterilize, otherwise it wouldn't work well. I'm sure it wouldn't matter much with most any other sterilization method such as various steam or heat methods. Biocontrol/Chemical sterilization methods would be another matter. However, I really do not find proof beyond Internet mythology that chemical fertilizers will "sterilize" soils very well as often alluded.
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snipped-for-privacy@stopspam.com says...

I framed my question in the way that amused me at that moment (though I don't know why it did) but obscured my thought.
That is, does a partially dry peat pellet explode in the microwave?
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I appreciate the candor.

No, I invite you to do a quick search on sterilizing soils. There are a lot of myths about microwave use. It is still heat that kills most bacteria, ( But note: NOT the toxins). Pesky critters, such as fungus gnats and fruit fly, can also survive microwaving under certain conditions and you can use metal in microwaves although you really need to know what you are doing.
This is the quickest way to sterilize small amounts of soils when you need to. I use a thermometer rather than time to ensure I have a good 165 + internal temp.
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To sterilize jiffy pots, or soil heat (in convection oven) to 200F for 30 min. "If" you had perfect heat transfer, it would only take 20 min. at 182F. I use a metal mixing bowl.
--

- Billy

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Your method can also be used in conventional for those who don't have convection ovens, still its a bit of overkill sterilization though.
"The Organic Gardener's Handbook of Natural Insect and Disease Control", by Barbara W. Ellis, Fern Marshall Bradley, Helen Atthowe, which recommends covering "a shallow pan of moist soil with aluminum foil in a preheated 200 degree f oven. Start timing for 30 minutes when the soil reaches 140 degrees f. If the soil begins to exceeds 180 degrees, take it out and allow to cool and then put it back or sprinkle with a small amount of water to cool below 180.
also http://www.coopext.colostate.edu/4DMG/Soil/sterile.htm http://ag.arizona.edu/pubs/garden/mg/propagation/seeds.html http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/226670/how_to_sterilize_potting_soil.html?cat2

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On Wed, 8 Jul 2009 17:41:29 -0600, "Suzanne D."

I just re-used some. They were from last year, and completely dried-out. They worked OK: some stuff germinated, some hasn't yet. About the same as usual, for us.
I can't say for sure about any particular pellet, but we often get a slimy green mold in our trays - so, there's a good chance some were 'infected'. Nothing bad happened.
G
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