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TopTropicals.com— rare tropical plants for home and garden

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Seeds of Tropical Plants

Seeds: general information || Germination instructions || Germination time || Order seeds

Peat pots and peat pellets

Whether you're a beginner or an old hand, you'll find that our seed-starting products make starting seeds and for growing them on, until seedlings are ready to be transplanted in your garden...

1. Peat pots

The unique property of peat pots is the ease with which plant roots grow right through the pot walls, permitting replanting without removing the pot. No shock or setback is suffered, so faster, heavier growth takes place.

The results are: better plants, earlier crops, heavier yields, shorter production time. Peat pots are inexpensive, and completely biodegradable.

Once soaked, they need less watering and allow excellent root aeration. Molded from a mixture of 75% sphagnum moss and 25% wood fiber to which soluble fertilizers have been added.

 

  1. Pack the peat pots firmly with potting mix and arrange 32 of them in one 11 x 20 in (28 x 51 cm) plastic tray.
  2. Water the peat pots thoroughly until the potting mix and the peat pots are saturated. Firm the potting mix down again and pour any excess water out of the tray.
  3. Place two or three seeds on top of the potting mix in each peat pot and insert a labeled marker.
  4. Use forceps or tweezers to push the seeds a quarter-inch deep into the potting mix (depth may vary if planting other types of seeds - In general, plant seeds as deep as about 3 times their length.
  5. Install the clear plastic cover and place the tray on the heating pad set to medium heat.

2. Peat pellets

Compressed peat pellet is about 3/8 inches thick and 1-11/16 inches in diameter, it expands up to 1-11/16 inches wide by 1-11/16 inches tall cylinder when wet. It is compressed peat. Pellets are encased in thin mesh. This plant starter makes it easy to start seeds indoors. Just add water and the pellet expands to form the pot as well as the soil. Drop the seeds into the hole at the top of the pellet. When the roots grow through the pellet bottom you plant the pellet. Plant the pellets into the garden or into growing containers.

Planting in Peat Pellets

Peat pellets are compressed peat, a coarse wafer of crushed peat moss with nutrients added. Some types are enclosed in a mesh that eventually disintegrates. When water is added, the pellets swell into small cylinders of peat about 2 inches across and seven times the original height. The following steps outline the procedures for starting seeds in peat pellets.

  1. To prepare the pellets for planting, arrange them side by side in a shallow pan. Add enough warm water to cover the pellets, add more water as needed until they are fully expanded.
  2. When the pellets have reached their full size, use a needle/pencil point to make one to three shallow planting holes in the top of each pellet (one when the seed is large, three when using smaller seeds), spaced as far apart as possible. Plant the seeds into the holes about 1/4 inch, then press lightly with your thumb to cover the holes. Label each pellet.
  3. Cover the containers with plastic. Keep the pellets in a well-lighted area but out of direct sunlight. As soon as the seeds germinate, poke holes in the plastic tent to increase ventilation and prevent overheating.
  4. When the pellets begin to turn a lighter brown and dry out, add warm water to the container. Remember that at this stage they have to stay moist but not soaking wet. After germination, reduce watering slightly, but do not let the seedlings dry out.
  5. When the seedlings show their second set of right leaves, remove the plastic and reduce watering. Place the containers in a south-facing window where they receive at least six hours of direct sunlight a day. At this stage best temperatures for the seedlings are 60 to 70 degrees during the day, to about 10 degrees at night. Turn the container daily to keep the stems growing straight. Plants are heliotropic, which means they turn toward the light.
  6. As the seedlings begin to crowd each other, use scissors to thin them to one per pot, snipping off the weak ones. Don't pull out the extras; you may unintentionally pull up the one you want to keep, because the roots are tangled.
  7. Three to four weeks after the seeds have germinated, begin applying diluted liquid fertilizer.
  8. When the roots begin to grow through the bottoms of the pots, it's time to transfer them into the garden.

 

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