Question:Growing seedlings in peat pots

I have been growing my seedlings using the square 2 1/4" and 3" peat pots. They make transplanting easy and clean. The problem is that if I am forgetful about watering them (from the top) from time to time and their large surface area tends to dry them out quite a bit. They are put into large plastic growing trays with a drainage hole. Can I put them into trays without drainage and keep about a 1/2" of water in the tray. Will the water wick up into the pots and provide adequate moisture or would it tend to drown the seedlings. TIA, Richard
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Richard wrote:

That's what I do. No problem with drowning seelings. It may depend on your soil mix, how much water it soaks up, but it works well for me.
Lorenzo L. Love http://home.thegrid.net/~lllove
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wrote:

Be careful. Half the problem with growing plants is not enough water; the other half is too much. The seed-starting trays I've used (successfully) have a wicking mat that dangles in a water reservoir and delivers moisture to the (open) bottom of soil-filled cells. Works well. Not quite the same as setting pots in standing water.
Be aware, too, that peat pots will wick water away as well as take it up. When planting the pots, tear or cut off the tops at soil level to keep them from providing a large evaporative surface.
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That is what I do (give them 3/4 inch of water at a time). If you do that, you will increase the chance of damping off for certain types of veggies. In my case, most damping off happens with brassicas, sometimes with chard and rarely with the other veggies. For the sensitive veggies, I start with sterile (microwaved or baked) potting soil and trays that have been washed, bleached and rinsed. For most of the other seedlings (notably chicory, lettuce and tomatoes), I don't even use potting soil, just compost passed through hardcloth. They don't mind the soaking all that much, and of course, if they can take it you are safe and only need to water once a week. I have a well ventilated situation (southern glass door) and that may help with damping off.
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