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
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.
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.
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.
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
Instead of a commercial mix, make your own. See my
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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