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Pre-molded peat pellet trays

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Pre-molded peat pellet trays Empty Pre-molded peat pellet trays

Post  CarolynPhillips on 2/8/2011, 8:40 pm

I recently sowed some snow peas in peat pellets that came in a pre-molded- celled tray for each peat pellet to sit in its own cell. I have to tell you that I do not like the peat pellets in this tray. I love the peat pellets and have used them for years but this is the first time I ever used the peat pellet celled tray. The snow pea roots grew through the peat pellets and worked like a charm. The problem is with the cell that it was sitting in. Each cell has a drain slit and there is a drain space under the cells. The roots grow through the peat pellet and down through the drain slit. This root is the tap root. Tap roots are important. When you lift the peat pellet out of the cell, the roots get cut on that sharp slit in the bottom and you loose your tap root not to mention transplant shock that we were trying to avoid by using the peat pellets to begin with.
I recommend NOT using the pre-formed celled trays.
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Post  dizzygardener on 2/8/2011, 8:58 pm

So what should we use instead?

I also picked up one of the pellet and try combos.
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Post  CarolynPhillips on 2/8/2011, 9:05 pm

an open tray with no cells, or a cell tray that has not slits for the roots to travel under. And space the peat pellets just far enough apart that their roots do not tangle up with their neighbor.
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Post  Furbalsmom on 2/8/2011, 11:48 pm

I am using the peat pellets and the cell tray that came in the kit. I placed the peat pellets in every other cell, so the roots will not get tangled with their neighbors (I had that problem last year), If I cannot place them in the garden once the roots are ready to go thru the membrane of the peat pellet, I plan to transplant everything into something a little larger, like a yoghurt cup.

Hope this takes care of the problem. I started Tomatillos, Long Purple Eggplant, Vit Corn salad, Double Choice spinach, Prizehead Lettuce, and Parris Island Coos Romaine all on Saturday the 5th. The artichokes were started in 3 inch pots so they won't have to be up-potted.

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Post  acara on 2/9/2011, 7:16 am

I have no idea on the peas ... but on other plants (like tomatoes), I just use the peat pellets to get the seedlings started & then go right to a 2" or 4" peat pot. That way the roots never get a chance to get outside the peat pellet & intertwine roots with their neighbors.

Under optimal conditions, a peat pellet is only a 2-3 week home for my seedlings.
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Post  CarolynPhillips on 2/9/2011, 7:50 am

My snow peas were in the peat pellets about 10 to 12 days. I didn't have a problem with the roots tangling up with their neighbors while growing in the pellet cells. The roots traveled through the the drain slit and when i pulled the pellets up to transplant, the roots got cut off by the drain slit. I had no idea that snow pea roots grew so big and fast. I only lost 6 of the older plants which were about 1 inch tall. The younger ones had shorter roots and did great. For my own future reference, I should transplant snow peas 7 days after sowing in the peat pellets since they are Sensitive to transplanting or transplant as soon as I see growth popping up.

I do agree that these pellet cells are fine for plants that don't mind being transplanted and for plants that will survive possible root damage.
I wasn't thinking about toms and peppers and etc while fretting over my snow peas. Sorry.
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Post  Lavender Debs on 2/9/2011, 8:06 am

Can I ask why you are starting any kind of pea in a cell?

They are such tough little guys. I put mine right into the ground in February (2/12) and again in March (3/17) if I feel like it. Sixteen to a square without thinning. No transplant shock. The most I do is set them overnight in a wet paper towel roll to make sure older seed will sprout or that Sweet Peas will sprout at all.

Deborah...just wondering (and counting the days to Lincoln's birthday)
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Post  CarolynPhillips on 2/9/2011, 8:24 am

I was anxious to grow something. I wanted to see how they reacted to transplanting in peat pellets. I wanted an extra early start because down here it seems like we go from cold winter straight into hot weather and I wanted my peas grown , harvested, and out of the way for warm weather veggies by mid April. I thought Feb 1st was colder than normal to sow in the soil outdoors and I wasn't sure where I was goin to plant them at the time because we have been trying to sell our home and I would be moving my beds around. So sowing them in peat pellets felt like a good idea until I sorted out my gardening problems. My decisions were a tangled web.
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Post  Lavender Debs on 2/9/2011, 8:54 am

@CarolynPhillips wrote:snip..... My decisions were a tangled web.
And yet they make perfect sense.
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Post  acara on 2/9/2011, 10:56 am


I wasn't thinking about toms and peppers and etc while fretting over my snow peas. Sorry.

And if I was brave/skilled enough to grow something other than toms/peppers like you ... I'd probably have your same opinion of peat-pellets/trays Very Happy Very Happy

FWIW, the "pea problems" with the peat pods don't surprise me ...... that's probably why our school teachers always had us use peas/beans when we were growing stuff in school .... they always seem to sprout/root/develop very quickly .... which works well for little kids with no patience and short attention spans (unfortunately, peeps like me never grew out of that phase).
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Post  elliephant on 2/9/2011, 1:56 pm

@acara wrote:
FWIW, the "pea problems" with the peat pods don't surprise me ...... that's probably why our school teachers always had us use peas/beans when we were growing stuff in school .... they always seem to sprout/root/develop very quickly .... which works well for little kids with no patience and short attention spans (unfortunately, peeps like me never grew out of that phase).

I do a rotating Mommy-run preschool with both of my girls. I did "gardening" as a theme last fall with the older group (4 year olds). We planted 2 green beans (bush) in a yogurt cup. When my daughter's sprouted (just 1 of the 2) I put it in a big yogurt tub. After a while we put it outside and it hung out with the other plants, still in its tub. Have brought it in for cold spells. Finally harvested a handful of beans last Friday for her birthday. It was a lot of fun!
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