More pot talk...

on Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Yesterday I talked about making your own pots from recycled newspapers, and a few weeks ago I covered using Jiffy-7s to "grow your own" peat pellet pots. I guess there's a chance you don't want to go to that much work, and maybe you'd rather just hit the store and buy something ready to go, hunh? Well, here's yet another option...peat pots (or, going by the brand name, Jiffy-Pots):y

As you can see, they come in many different shapes and sizes, and there's plenty more than what you see here! A nice thing about peat pots is that you can start your seeds in them, and when your seedlings are ready to be planted out in the garden, you just bury the peat pot and all - no need to gently wrestle the plant and its soil out of the pot like you do with plastic pots. The theory is that the plant's roots will grow through the moist peat pot and into the soil of your garden.

I purchased the strips of small square ones last year, and found I wasn't really fond of them. I guess they just seemed like they were a high peat-to-soil ratio when you're dealing with such small pots. One disadvantage of peat pots is that you HAVE to bury them below the soil line when you set your transplants out in your garden. While this stuff is great for many reasons, it does have one big disadvantage. If part of the peat pot is exposed in your garden, the air/breezes will wick moisture from the peat pot. The peat pot will continue to pull moisture from the ground right around it as the air wicks it away, resulting in the soil around your seedlings to dehydrate faster.

So these little square peat pots just seem too thick-walled, and with that small of a pot, I figure the plant inside is also going to be small, and there's too much risk I won't bury it deep enough to cover all the peat.

It's a little different with the larger peat pots. I've included two shapes (square and round) purchased at different locations. I got the square ones at Donzell's last year, and the packages of round ones were purchased quite inexpensively at Wal-Mart just a few weeks ago. Maybe something like $2 for 22 pots? A plant needing that big of a peat pot is more mature, and so I can be a little less gentle with it at the time of planting. I LOVE these larger peat pots for starting large vining plants like summer squash (that includes zucchini) and pumpkins! I'll start some of these indoors early, and I'll direct sow others outside once the soil has warmed up. This gives me two ages of plants in the soil at the same time, and a better chance of hopefully surviving an attack by squash bugs or cucumber beetles. When I set out the plants I started earlier indoors, the peat pot has already been softening up for weeks, and it's for a plant that's pretty hardy. I still like to break up the edges/base of the peat pot some when I plant my squash and pumpkins, just in case the initial roots aren't strong enough to grow through the peat.

Oh, and just for comparison, I've also including the little Jiffy-7 pellets in the same picture....


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