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planting weed seeds in peat pellets

Can You Use Jiffy Pellets For Hydroponics?

Growers are always searching for the ideal technique for producing vigorous, healthy seedlings that can be successfully transplanted. A favorite in the gardening community is the peat pellet, which boasts a neat, compact cylinder comprising peat inside a thin fiber package. Jiffy pellets provide exceptional convenience – but do they have limitations or a downside?

Can you use jiffy pellets for hydroponics? Jiffy pellets should not be used to start seedlings in a hydroponic system because once these break down, they cause the pump to clog. You can instead put these starters in a 2” net pot for best success.

The simple process of expanding the disk in preparation for seed merely through the addition of water is a concept of convenience for even a novice. There are seeds specifically for a hydroponic system, but the recommendation is not to use any type of peat pellet, potting soil, or jiffy pot within a hydroponic system. It has the potential to damage your unit.

Why Not Use Jiffy Pellets for Hydroponics

Hydroponic gardening is a soilless system. The seeds and, later, the plants receive a nutrient solution for their growing needs. A gardener can also carefully control the lighting, temperature, and moisture – in ways that can’t be done in soil.

Hydroponics also requires a pump to move the moisture and nutrient solution around. As Jiffy Pellets are made of peat, the eventual breakdown of that pellet will find its way into the water system and eventually clog the pump.

Rockwool, coco coir, or a similar growth medium is best for seeds grown hydroponically. Peat pellets may be great for seedlings that will eventually be transplanted into soil, but in a hydroponic system, they can do more harm than good.

Rockwool does not break apart and retains both water and oxygen well. It is ideal for a hydroponic growing medium. Similarly, coco coir retains moisture and also gives roots access to oxygen if you happen to overwater. And it won’t break down and clog your pump.

Are Jiffy Pellets Worth Using?

Yes, absolutely. Just not in hydroponics. If you are new to the gardening hobby, jiffy pellets are the ideal beginning for your endeavor. The requirement of adding water, placing seed, and watching the miracle of a seedling is hugely gratifying for a novice. But what precisely comprises these little pods?

A jiffy pellet is a small disk consisting of peat moss or a type of coco husk that will expand dramatically with the addition of water. The elements are wrapped in mesh to keep them together in a neat package. The mesh wrapping serves as the ‘pot’ for the material.

The seed is pressed into the top of the pellet and ultimately begins to grow. As it develops roots, the roots connect with the mesh surrounding the disk. In some instances, this mesh creates a barrier causing the roots to travel within the mesh only.

Those roots that can manage to slip into holes aren’t able to grow far because there’s no water or potting mixture outside the mesh lining. In terms that a gardener would institute, the plant would be considered ‘root pruned.’ When it comes time for transplanting, you will place the entire disk in the soil.

The Complications Presented By The Mesh

In all reality, the jiffy pellets would seem to be the perfect system. It’s clean, convenient, and all-inclusive in one little disk. But the size is incredibly compact. A plant can develop rapidly with the roots needing to break out of the mesh lining.

If the roots stay confined within this barrier, they won’t be sufficient for transplant. In the instance where roots become trapped within the mesh, you need to consider removing the mesh and putting the seedling in a pot to continue the growth process.

The problem with removing the mesh to plant into a pot defeats the reason for using the jiffy pellet in the beginning. It’s almost as though the whole seed-starting process is beginning from scratch when you succumb to this method.

Roots that start to grow through the lining have the potential to get damaged when you rip the mesh away. Doing this can result in the complete loss of the plant.

The bottom line in using the jiffy pellet:

You need to be sure this is the technique that you want to use because there’s no turning back once you start the process. The mesh is a staple for one of these disks. The seedling will need transplanting with the pellet, mesh included, intact for the best results using a jiffy pellet.

Peat Pots And The Environment

The claim is that pots, pellets, and strips are biodegradable components of moss that assist in enriching the soil that makes up a garden, a sort of ‘biodegradable planting pot.’

They are touted as comprising natural materials that will lose their neat packaging in an effort to join the soil surrounding it. There’s no particular time-frame as to how long it takes for the material, e.g., the mesh with the pellets, to decompose after planting in the soil.

Everyone is becoming more environmentally aware, transforming their lifestyle to serve in a green, clean, and efficient way. In doing so, people are eating healthy, living resourcefully, and buying products that better serve the planet.

Gardeners are no exception in attempting to use eco-friendly techniques in their endeavors to keep foreign materials out of the soil. Some methods may be more successful than others.

Peat Pellets vs. Peat Pots vs. Peat Strips

Gardeners have a choice when it comes to planting using peat products. They each have their own unique benefits and drawbacks.

Peat Pellets

Peat pellets don’t contain the same wood pulp component that pots or strips offer. These use the fine mesh netting to provide a form for the disk. This peat product is a compact, compressed pellet that comes with a plastic tray (this is true of Jiffy starter kits) with round slots to house the pods.

The idea is to use warm water over the disk, which will cause expansion. When the pellet expands, it will create a swollen surface of peat that stretches that mesh to near breakage. The peat forms an indentation where the seeds will go comparable to a tiny fabric pot.

Peat Pots

A peat pot is a container that is typically much bigger and greater in thickness, enabling it to keep a plant until it becomes a bit more mature. You can use the peat pot to transplant seedlings into from the pellet or the strips until they reach further maturity for placement in the soil.

The pot won’t truly begin to warp and disintegrate for several months from when you start using. The suggestion is that these are particularly beneficial when you combine them with a quality soil mix.

Peat Strips

Little chambers form with these pressed strips of peat that are comparable to a traditional seed tray. The idea is to take them apart either by hand or with a sharp instrument.

Plant that entire chamber inclusive of the pot so as not to cause undue stress. The break down of the peat takes place once in the soil. The issue with the strips is their lightweight allowing only enough time to begin a plant.

Breaking down the peat happens quickly, meaning transplanting needs to be done nearly immediately with the strips.

Choosing The Right Product For The Garden

Selecting the right method is going to depend on your specific needs and what you’re trying to do, not to mention your skill level as a gardener.

Jiffy pellets will be the most straightforward technique for a novice gardener starting seeds with the notion of transplanting them rather soon. They boast as being a fun option in the planting world and note to work exceptionally.

One downside is that peat doesn’t provide a lot of nutritional value, and you don’t have the luxury of compost or a potting mix. You may need to consider adding some type of liquid fertilizer to the pellet at the point that you see a sign of growth taking place.

The bottom line for gardening is the jiffy pellet construes as an ideal concept. There is some debate about whether the mesh is a hindrance to the roots and the growth of the plant as a whole, not to mention the length of time the mesh takes to decompose, rendering it potentially harmful for the environment.

These are significant issues to take into consideration when choosing your planting methodology. The overall consensus, though, for those in the planting community is these are a biodegradable method of starting seeds for fast, clean, easy transplanting. Enough said.

Peat Pellets – Seed Starting

Plants will be shipped at the proper planting time for your area of the country using the shipping timeframes outlined below. We continually monitor weather conditions for extreme hot or cold and adjust shipping schedules as needed. Due to hot weather conditions, we are unable to ship most plant items in July and August.

Fall 2021 Shipping Schedule
ZONE Hardgoods, Foods & Supplies
1A to 4B 6/1/21 – 10/29/21
5A & 5B 6/1/21 – 10/29/21
6A & 6B 6/1/21 – 10/29/21
7A & 7B 6/1/21 – 10/29/21
8A & 8B 6/1/21 – 10/29/21
9A-10B 6/1/21 – 10/29/21
Last Order Date All Grow Zones: Oct 25, 2021

The type of product you order or the weather in our area to yours may affect the anticipated shipping schedule, shifting earlier or later, depending.

Trees and shrubs are kept in the nursery row until full dormant for optimum stress protection.

In all cases, we choose the fastest, most efficient way to send your orders via the U.S. Postal Service or FedEx. Large orders or large items may be shipped to you in multiple packages.

Sorry, we cannot ship products to Hawaii, Alaska, APO/FPO or outside the contiguous United States. Please provide a street address as some products are unable to be delivered to Post Office boxes.

Plants will be shipped at the proper planting time for your area of the country using the shipping timeframes outlined below. We continually monitor weather conditions for extreme hot or cold and adjust shipping schedules as needed. Due to hot weather conditions, we are unable to ship most plant items in July and August.

Fall 2021 Shipping Schedule
ZONE Hardgoods, Foods & Supplies
1A to 4B 6/1/21 – 10/29/21
5A & 5B 6/1/21 – 10/29/21
6A & 6B 6/1/21 – 10/29/21
7A & 7B 6/1/21 – 10/29/21
8A & 8B 6/1/21 – 10/29/21
9A-10B 6/1/21 – 10/29/21
Last Order Date All Grow Zones: Oct 25, 2021

The type of product you order or the weather in our area to yours may affect the anticipated shipping schedule, shifting earlier or later, depending.

Trees and shrubs are kept in the nursery row until full dormant for optimum stress protection.

In all cases, we choose the fastest, most efficient way to send your orders via the U.S. Postal Service or FedEx. Large orders or large items may be shipped to you in multiple packages.

Sorry, we cannot ship products to Hawaii, Alaska, APO/FPO or outside the contiguous United States. Please provide a street address as some products are unable to be delivered to Post Office boxes.

Plants will be shipped at the proper planting time for your area of the country using the shipping timeframes outlined below. We continually monitor weather conditions for extreme hot or cold and adjust shipping schedules as needed. Due to hot weather conditions, we are unable to ship most plant items in July and August.

Fall 2021 Shipping Schedule
ZONE Hardgoods, Foods & Supplies
1A to 4B 6/1/21 – 10/29/21
5A & 5B 6/1/21 – 10/29/21
6A & 6B 6/1/21 – 10/29/21
7A & 7B 6/1/21 – 10/29/21
8A & 8B 6/1/21 – 10/29/21
9A-10B 6/1/21 – 10/29/21
Last Order Date All Grow Zones: Oct 25, 2021

The type of product you order or the weather in our area to yours may affect the anticipated shipping schedule, shifting earlier or later, depending.

Trees and shrubs are kept in the nursery row until full dormant for optimum stress protection.

In all cases, we choose the fastest, most efficient way to send your orders via the U.S. Postal Service or FedEx. Large orders or large items may be shipped to you in multiple packages.

Sorry, we cannot ship products to Hawaii, Alaska, APO/FPO or outside the contiguous United States. Please provide a street address as some products are unable to be delivered to Post Office boxes.