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An "interesting" lesson learned  Toplef10An "interesting" lesson learned  1zd3ho10

Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

An "interesting" lesson learned  I22gcj10An "interesting" lesson learned  14dhcg10

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An "interesting" lesson learned

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Hoggar
tomperrin
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An "interesting" lesson learned  Empty An "interesting" lesson learned

Post  Tuxdad 4/16/2012, 8:08 pm

Hey All,



Was prepping a few of my plants to go outside to get hardened off, but ran into something that I wasn't expecting.. You see I used MM in my seed pots, under the grow lights.. Well when "trying' to transplant my little vigorously growing seedlings to my outside I stop watering for usually 2 days to let things get clumped up and the roots all dug in good and have a good grip on their soil.. Well with MM, that doesn't happen:lol: ... It just crumbles apart as you tilt your pot over...Embarassed



I stood there with the first of my transplants in my hand with MM falling thru my fingers wondering WTH An "interesting" lesson learned  601593 ?? I figured it was just a fluke but on the second and third pots I knew something was amiss(sp)... I went inside and grabbed my book, and read over the section on MM, and had to do a forehead slap...An "interesting" lesson learned  889526



Oh well, thought it'd be good to share in my laughing at myself with others.. Next time I may try some of my own compost(withOUT any vermiculite !!) just for starting plants or I may try what Mel talks about(using just straight vermiculite...



Hope you enjoyed, my lesson with SFG..An "interesting" lesson learned  61949



Tux
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Post  AvaDGardner 4/16/2012, 9:24 pm

LOL...there is also peat pots. Plant the pot and all, and your plant is in MM!

I've had that same experience with a number of very light growing mixes. Even with big plants, like roses. That's when I LOVE peat pots!

Congrats on moving them to the garden!
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Post  trukrebew 4/16/2012, 11:01 pm

I start all my seeds in straight vermiculite ('fine,' not 'course') and then transplant to MM-filled pots. Before they go into their squares, I water them to get them nice and moist. When you flip it over into your hand, the moist MM will hold together better. Not perfect, but better!

Happy to hear you are already getting your little ones in their boxes, Tux. Do you have covers for potential frost? I don't and will wait a few more weeks to put them in their plots.
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Post  BackRiver_SFG 4/17/2012, 8:12 am

AvaDGardner wrote:LOL...there is also peat pots. Plant the pot and all, and your plant is in MM!

I've had that same experience with a number of very light growing mixes. Even with big plants, like roses. That's when I LOVE peat pots!

Congrats on moving them to the garden!

I used some peat pots last year and this year too. My thinking was to simplify transplanting the seedlings and stress them less.

Here is my lesson learned...almost all my seedlings in the peat pots were very stunted well after planting them in my garden. Many crops that I grew from seed the year before far outgrew these seedlings. It turns out all my plants in them became root-bound! Very frustrating to have pepper plants grow under an inch in a month and a half. The roots couldn't penetrate the peat cups.

This year I made sure to cut the bottom of the peat pot off and snip any root clusters to promote new growth. So far so good.
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Post  camprn 4/17/2012, 9:27 am

When ever I transplant peat pot bound plants, I take my knife and quarter the pots with slits and then just pull on the quarters a little bit, this allows the roots to escape. It has worked well for me in the past. Slicing off the bottom of the peat pot is a great idea.

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Post  quiltbea 4/17/2012, 9:38 am

I've noticed when one buys plants in peat pots, some will state in the instructions to remove as much of the pot from around the plant as possible and put the pieces deeply in the bottom of the hole to finish composting later. Evidently there's been many problems with plants being rootbound in the ground when planted directly in those pots, even with the wicking tops removed from aboveground.

Personally, I cut away the whole thing and put it in the compost pile. I don't want my roots restricted in any manner. They need to start growing quickly.
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Post  littlesapphire 4/17/2012, 1:53 pm

I noticed last year that the peat pots I started my seeds in literally stayed in tact in the MM all season long! So this year I'm going to remove the pot before I put them in the MM, so there's no way the pot can get in the way of the roots.

But I also had the same problem today of the MM falling apart in my hands! Next time I'll make sure the mix if thoroughly wet before transplanting.
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Post  tomperrin 4/17/2012, 2:14 pm

quiltbea wrote:Personally, I cut away the whole thing and put it in the compost pile. I don't want my roots restricted in any manner. They need to start growing quickly.

+1

Before I discovered SFG/MM, I bought a whole lot of peat pots. I suppose that eventually I will find a use for them, but I've been doing pretty well planting directly into the SFG from seed.

When I do transplant a store bought plant (or tree), I remove the pot, use scissors to make a cut up the four sides and trim the bottom.

Not doing this with some very expensive trees killed the trees as they remained rootbound. The roots need to reach out from the hole in which they are placed, and can't do it if they are going around in circles in a pot or burlap bag. The peat cup just doesn't fall apart quickly, and in any event, the plant is still root bound unless the aforesaid cutting takes place.

Tom
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Post  Hoggar 4/17/2012, 2:26 pm

Last year we planted our Peppers with peat pots around them
we had just cut off the bottoms and the plants didn't thrive they
became root bound I recommend removing the whole pot from the plant.
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Post  HereIGrowAgain 4/17/2012, 3:00 pm

Back when I first started gardening I had trouble with plants getting root bound in peat pots. It took me a couple years to figure out why some of my perennials were so stunted. A combination of peat pots and clay soil made them think they were still growing in little pots.
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Post  Tuxdad 4/18/2012, 4:53 am

trukrebew wrote:I start all my seeds in straight vermiculite ('fine,' not 'course') and then transplant to MM-filled pots. Before they go into their squares, I water them to get them nice and moist. When you flip it over into your hand, the moist MM will hold together better. Not perfect, but better!

Happy to hear you are already getting your little ones in their boxes, Tux. Do you have covers for potential frost? I don't and will wait a few more weeks to put them in their plots.



I picked a bunch of shower curtains from the dollar store, and use them for JIC of a frost warning .. They've worked quite well so far...
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Post  curio 4/18/2012, 8:52 am

I use peat pots, but when transplanting or up-potting, I make sure the pots are wet (not damp... WET) and then, using a pair of scissors, cut from top to bottom down two sides and then pull the sides apart, and right before placing in the bed/pot, I gently tear the bottom off... unless there are abundant roots growing through the bottom of the pot. By doing this, the roots have an escape route. Just make sure when planting out in peat pots that the top edge of the pot is underground, or it will act as a wick and draw the water out of the ground around the roots.
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Post  kbb964 4/18/2012, 8:55 am

[/quote]



I picked a bunch of shower curtains from the dollar store, and use them for JIC of a frost warning .. They've worked quite well so far...[/quote]


Wow Nice cheap Idea !
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Post  Tuxdad 4/19/2012, 4:56 am

Thanks, but I can't take credit for it... It was given by our awesome Mod..cheers
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Post  plantoid 4/19/2012, 6:34 am

I've gone the opposite way with potted plants in MM in plastic pots of all descriptions . from direct sown to re potted plants that havehad oneor more re pots.

I've stood the pot in an inch or so of water in a deep tray for a couple of hours refilling to an inch if needed to get things as wet as possible . Then almost slid the plant out the pot direct into the prepared hole . There is very little root disturbance & the plant gets a decent watering in it's new home to boot , so it gets off to a good start .

For the seedlings started from seed in the preformed plastic trays of multiple mini pots . I use a teaspoon to gently scoop out the now sopping wet plant in MM and again put it in a prepared hole in the bed or a bigger plant pot of MM .

The excess water in the wet MM moves out into the bed's MM and and forms the required capillary passages for nutrient transfer and further moisture at a later time .

Over the years I found that unless you soak the peat / fibre pots for a couple of hours before planting out in tepid water they can be so dry as to not be able to make those capillary connections and are almost like dessicated / dried out peat ... very hard to get wet again once they have dried past a certain point

Another thing I found is that unless you bury the lip of the peat pots abut 1/4 inch below your soil level they act as wicks , especially in a warm / hot dry wind and evaporate most of the water away from the plants , which gives many of the problems you guys & gals have already mentioned..
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Post  tomperrin 4/19/2012, 7:33 am

plantoid wrote:I've stood the pot in an inch or so of water in a deep tray for a couple of hours refilling to an inch if needed to get things as wet as possible. Then almost slid the plant out the pot direct into the prepared hole. There is very little root disturbance & the plant gets a decent watering in it's new home to boot , so it gets off to a good start.

That sounds like a great technique. Thanks,
Tom
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Post  AvaDGardner 4/22/2012, 2:21 am

I'm so surprised by everyones poor experience with planting uncut peat pots!

Several years ago I bought a rose late in the season, and it was in a peat pot. The nursery told me to to plant it. I did...no soaking, with the top edge sticking up above the dirt, creating a basin for the water to focus on the plant. Sound familiar?

In a few years, the top edge crumbled away, and the plant has always done well.

This is the first time I've bought roses probably since that one, but none have been potted, so I don't know if they use peat still, or not.

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