Seed starting kits advice and review

Q: I have planted seeds in my starting kits (like Jiffy) about a month ago. Most of the seeds have sprouted and are longer than an inch, but some peat pellets have no sprouts in them. Should I wait longer?

A: Probably not. Please read reviews below on the starting kits for more advice. If some pellets still have no sprouts, get something pointy like a pencil and carefully move peat soil around to expose the seeds. Some of my seeds were either rotting or still unsprouted. If seeds of the same type or size have all rotted, then you should have used less water like I wash cautioning you in the reviews. If some of the seeds are still unsprouted, then very likely they will not in the future. You can leave the pellets with unsprouted seeds for next time, or replant with new seeds.


Q: My sprouts are several inches long already. What should I be doing?

A: Peat pellets with long roots should be immediately taken out and planted in a 4 inch round transfer peat pot. Plants that grow too thin and too long to support themselves (if they are supposed to be stem plants, not climbing ones) should be cold hardened. Explained simply, plants are placed on a chilly window sill, but in plenty of sunlight or a plant light bulb. Climbing plants or stem plants that are thick but still too long to support themselves should be supported by a stick and a gentle tie. Separate large plants from small plants. Large plants can already be hardened off when it is warm and sunny outside, and small plants should probably get more of the plant light bulb. Start moving to 4 inch round transfer pots. Start hardening plants off outside. Bring them inside at night (April in New England), and do not take outside on days when it is chilly, cloudy, or windy.


Q: What are the easiest plants to start from seed?

A: As a rule of thumb, the bigger the seed the easier it is to grow the plant.


Burpee Seed Starting 72-Cell Greenhouse Kit (Ultimate Growing System) review

DO NOT BUY THIS PRODUCT! This product has several problems:

  • Pellets do not expand properly. They expand sideways, do not expand, or hold too much water. You will need to manually correct these problems.
  • The growing kit is NOT REUSABLE like it claims for several reasons.
  • It is impossible to get the plants out of the cells without breaking the soil. The soil will crumble and fall apart in your hands, and that is AFTER you manage to get it out of the cell. (I had to cut the 9x9 sections off and then push on the bottom. However, most of the time, the soil will completely break off, leaving A BARE SEEDLING/ROOT in your hands!
  • The kit has overall a very bad draining/evaporation system. The cells themselves are too watery, yet not enough water evaporates to make the "greenhouse effect".


If you have bought this kit, but have not broken the plastic wrapping, I suggest that you return it to store and NOT USE IT! Get the Jiffy kit instead.


Jiffy Professional Greenhouse 72-kit review

This product works as advertised. Use this to grow your plants. Pellets expand uniformly, evaporation rate is good, seeds sprout happily. I have only a few recommendations. First, get at least one more kit than you plan to use. Take the pellets out. When sprouts get longer than about one inch in other greenhouses, take them out and place in the empty kit without the plastic top off. This is where they can stay until you transfer them to peat pots or final pots. That way, the plants that emerge earlier will not be kept with the ones that have just sprouted. Second, the 10 cups of water seem ridiculous to me. This seems like too much water, as the peat pellets will readily absorb a lot of water. Add about three cups slowly. When pellets have stopped expanding, add some more to get the amount of water in pellets that you want. Since this is a greenhouse, there should not be any water on the bottom tray. Instead, water will evaporate and condense back on the seedlings as well as the top of the plastic cover. Thirdly, I would never wait as long as the picture suggests (with flowers) to keep inside the greenhouse kit. DO NOT FOLLOW THIS MARKETING BS. Transfer to large peat pots when seedlings are about two inches long, or get strong. At this point, you will start to see roots break thru the netting. If left for that long, the roots will certainly spread beyond the pellets into the tray, and die off (since there is no soil or water on the bottom of the tray).


Burpee Seed Starting Fiber Pots (3 inch SQUARE) review

Another stupid product from Burpee. Since my pots will all be round, I would stick with ROUND peat pots. Secondly, I would get another great product from Jiffy: 4 inch peat pots. I am comfortable that these are big enough to hold my plants, no matter how large, for some time before being transferred to an ever bigger pot.


Jiffy 3 inch peat pots review

See my advice above and get the four inch version. They look much better for large plants. And you can wait longer before transferring to an even larger final pot.

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Page last modified 29-Jun-11 12:39:10 EDT
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