Friday, May 30, 2008

Fiber Pots vs. Peat Pellets

The reviews are in. Peat pellets win.

For my first adventure in sowing seeds indoors, I tried both the peat pellets and the Burpee fiber pots, thinking I'd get a chance to see which worked best for me.

The peat pellets were a cinch. They were easy to water in their trays, most seeds sprouted, and they were easy to plant. No disease- great plants.

I had high hopes for the fiber pots because they were a little bigger than the pellets, so I assumed the plants would be able to get a bit bigger before I needed to move them outside. This might have been true if the plants lived long enough, but many didn't.
The pots were easy enough to plant seeds in, but after watering, the paper fiber weakened quite a bit before they went into the ground. The plants in the fiber pots were also victims of "damping off" disease- a white, powder-like mold that is apparently pretty common in seedlings.
The damping off could have come as a result of over-watering, I admit. I watered both sets of seedlings at the same time, with the same amount. The fiber pots may have needed less water. But, when the damping off disease appeared, I tried to scape it off, and that's when the pots started to fall apart on me. I ended up losing about 1/2 of the tray of seedlings. :(

I'm sticking with the peat pellets next time. They are cheaper and easier, and they provided the best results for me!

1 comment:

S & T said...

/agree completely. I tried to sow seeds in flats this season after doing them with peat pellets last year. Last year we had a 4x35 foot flowerbed full of marigolds, nasturtiums, columbines, and other assorted plants. This year, we have seen many flats of seedlings get big enough to plant and then die off, once due to mice and another couple of flats due to damping off.

I don't give up easily and I have started another couple of flats with more marigolds, daisies, celosia, and petunias. Maybe I let them get too big before transplanting??

Next year it will be all peat pellets!