help with seed starting mix

I decided to try starting a few tomato plants from seed for the first time, but I'm having trouble. I'm using large peat pots and I'm filling them with jiffy seed starting mix. How do you get this stuff wet? It repels water rather than soaking it in. Is there a secret to getting this starting mix wet?
Thanks, Gloria
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wrote:

Peat, when dry, takes time to absorb water
Set the containers in another container of water and it will slowly absorb and wick up the water, likely more than needed. Set them out and let them drain.
Another solution is to wet your starting mix in a container and work the moisture in, by mixing and adding water. Takes a while. Let it sit for a day or so to equalize.
After it has taken up moisture, be sure not to let it dry out again.
Charlie
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<Charlie> wrote in message > wrote:

Thanks, Charlie. I think I'll try your second solution. At least I know it's normal for peat to resist taking the water right away....
Thanks, Gloria
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I also use a spray bottle to keep the top moist. Seems to take it a little better than pouring. Absorption from the bottom is best ans won't take long to start working for you.
MJ
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Use hot water with a few drops of dishwashing liquid per gallon added as a surfactant to rehydrate your seed mix.
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Hot, near-boiling, water.
You may have better luck with plastic seedling containers... peat pots tend to wick moisture away from seedings, and seedlings transplanted outdoors with the peat pot still on tend to be stunted compared to plants transplanted from a plastic or clay pot.

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This is good advice for those buying/starting plants in peat pots.
Simply tearing off the bottoms, like some commercials show, or cutting the sides is not best. One should always remove all the peat pot, after thoroughly soaking, even if roots are coming thru. They tend to become root bound even if in peat.
Thanks for pointing this out to folks. Kay.
Care Charlie
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Darnit, meant to add, I've had problems with plastic pot grown plants whose roots are going round and round. Give 'em a cutting or rip, spread 'em a bit, and they do much better.
Charlie
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wrote:

I'd rather use the peat pots, but they're not the problem, it's the seed starting mix, but thanks to all the great responses, I've got it wet and the seeds are planted. You're absolutely right about leaving the peat pot on......I've learned from experience to always tear the peat pot completely off of any plant I buy that is in a peat pot. I've had plants that I bought in peat pots in the past that didn't thrive even though they looked great when I set them out. My investigation determined that the peat didn't break down and the roots got pot bound after planting, even though I tore the bottom out.
Thanks, Gloria
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On 3/15/2009 1:32 PM, Gloria wrote:

Instead of a commercial mix, make your own. See my <http://www.rossde.com/garden/garden_start_seeds.html .
Plastic pots (which I generally refuse to use) are best for starting seeds or rooting cuttings. That's because they don't need frequent watering and because you can easily remove the plants from them.
--
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean
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I find using very hot water helps get it wet. Or pour some very hot water in the bag, mix it as best as you can, and let the moisture soak in.
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