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?
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
(I use the Jiffy-9 pellets for the most part, which avoids the netting issue.)
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.
I made a soil blocker. The soil has to be just right [ damp but not wet ]
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.
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.
'Suzanne D.[_2_ Wrote:
> ;855587']"R M Watkin" firstname.lastname@example.org wrote in message
> wet ]
> when you
> get the
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.
'Suzanne D.[_2_ Wrote:
> ;855729']"Bigal" email@example.com wrote in message-
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.
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.
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
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
This is the quickest way to sterilize small amounts of soils when you need
I use a thermometer rather than time to ensure I have a good 165 + internal
Your method can also be used in conventional for those who don't have
convection ovens, still its a bit of overkill sterilization
"The Organic Gardener's Handbook of Natural Insect and
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.
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.
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