In this blog post, I will answer all your questions about how peat pots work, how you should use them, how they are made, how long they last before decomposing. And anything you need to know about these nifty little things!
In fact, I found that planting in peat pots is a great way to start seedlings that I eventually transplant into the ground or indoor garden. You can use them for various plants, from flowers to vegetables and everything in between!
They are also a biodegradable alternative to plastic pots that comes in many shapes and sizes. And yeah, you can also make them at home using materials you probably already have lying around the house.
So, let’s dive right in.
What are Peat Pots?
Peat pots are biodegradable, reusable plant containers made of peat moss and other plant materials. They are most often used as starter pots for seeds but can also be transplanted to larger containers once the seedlings have grown in size.
For centuries, they have been used to grow plants sustainably that don’t deplete soil resources. They are similar to clay pots, but instead of sand or gravel, they use peat moss as the base material for construction.
How are Peat Pots made?
Peat moss comes from decomposed plants initially found in bogs and marshes, formed over centuries by a natural process of extensive decomposition underwater or saturated soil conditions. It’s rich in nutrients like nitrogen, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorous, making it perfect for growing healthy, nutrient-rich plants!
Commercially, manufacturers of these pots will take large quantities of peat material and thoroughly saturate it in water, causing it to turn into a thick muddy mixture. They will add some wood pulp to this mixture for rigidity and blend it thoroughly into a peat slurry.
Once the slurry is prepared, it will be pressed into forms. Pressing it compacts the moss and wood pulp into its intended shape and squeezes out most of the excess liquid. Tightly compacted together, it will be dried thoroughly, creating a biodegradable pot.
Due to the addition of the wood pulp, these pots will hold their shape long enough that starting seeds in peat pots shouldn’t be a problem. However, the pot will eventually lose form, so it’s essential to plant your seedlings quickly once they’re ready.
A planting pot can also be made at home using materials you probably already have lying around the house. Look further for details.
What plants can you be planting in peat pots?
If you’re looking to grow plants in a peat pot, choosing plants that don’t need deep roots or adapt well to shallow root growth is best.
In this case, your options are many:
- Herbs are usually great for starting out in peat pots and come with the added benefit of being easy to transplant.
- Vegetables like tomatoes should be transplanted as soon as possible due to their long taproot, which will pull up any nutrient-filled soil on its way down. They’ll still last without proper drainage for some time if they just have one leaf poking through the top while staying moist from rain overhead.
- If you want flowers to start them now because even though seeds can take weeks before sprouting into shoots, once they do, they’re ready for transplanting
- You can also use peat pots to start seedlings.
Keep these tips in mind when planting your next plants so that you can get off to a good start!
Can you grow plants in just peat moss?
No, you can’t grow plants in just pear most as it is not a complete potting mix and needs at least one more ingredient, such as sand, perlite, or compost, before using it for plants.
What are the different types of peat pots?
There are a few different types of peat containers, pots, strips, and peat pellets. They all have their own use cases, which I will explain right now.
Some people prefer looser material that allows the plant root system to penetrate more deeply. In contrast, others like it tightly packed, not letting any moisture escape.
Peat pot is the most common type – these look like a small plastic container with drainage holes in the bottom, which you fill with potting mix and plant your plants into.
Some come with an insert, so removing those once roots start growing through them is easy! You can also buy biodegradable pots. The size ranges from small miniatures for seedlings up to large containers for trees and shrubs.
Peat strips are long strips of peat moss that are typically used for seedlings. They are the cheapest and most eco-friendly option for planting.
These pressed peat strips form little chambers that serve as rows in a seedling tray. However, you can use a razor blade or scissors to cut the chamber into sections. These cut sections may even separate from one another by hand.
You then plant the whole section with a pot attached which causes less transplant stress because the layer of peat within will eventually break down over time. However, they are designed to be lightweight and will only hold up long enough for the plants to get started. You’ll need to transplant these plants quickly before the peat layer starts breaking down.
Peat pellets are made up of many individual pieces, making them more expensive than strips but cheaper than plastic pots. When these pellets arrive, they’re small compressed discs.
These pellets do not use the wood pulp as the standard pots or strips. The biomass is covered with a fine mesh material, giving the pellet some shape.
Some kits come with peat pellets and a plastic tray with round indentations for the discs. The instructions for Jiffy peat pellets say to pour warm water over them until they have fully expanded before planting plants.
Once warm water hits the compacted pellets, the pellet starts to swell up, forming a cylinder of peat that is barely held in place by the surrounding bio-mesh. There’s usually a tiny indentation in the planting side, making it easy to drop a couple of seeds inside. It’s almost like using miniature fabric pots!
How to Plant in Peat Pots?
Peat pots are used by following the same process as most standard garden containers:
Regardless of whether you’re using seed pots, strips, or pellets, you will need to set them into a tray. The peat moss provides some warmth which helps the plants germinate quickly. Just make sure to avoid placing them in direct sunlight.
How long can seedlings stay in peat pots?
You can keep most vegetables and flower seedlings inside the starting seeds pot or container for at least two weeks. Still, after getting their first set of true leaves, you’ll need to transplant them into a larger container or raised bed.
how to transplant peat pots?
When transplanting plants from pots, loosen the pot base to make roots easier to break through.
Taking a razor and making shallow cuts around the bottom of a pot or through the pellet base is essential before transplanting. This makes it easier for growing roots to penetrate through and extend into the soil where it has been transplanted.
Take care not to damage roots while doing this. If they are damaged during transplanting, plants could suffer severe shock after planting!
Place newly transplanted plant deeper than its original depth now that there’s less root mass exposed – about as close as how deep you initially planted the plant.
Continue watering and fertilizing as usual, just like how you would wet your plants in a traditional pot garden or container gardening.
Peat pots are handy for planting tower gardens that have oddly shaped spaces. When wet, the peat pot becomes flexible and easy to set into place.
Do peat pots dissolve?
Yes, peat pots will dissolve over time and decompose into the soil. So make sure not to water excessively- which speeds up the process!
There’s no set time frame for when peat breaks down into compost. Many factors are involved:
- How big was each pot?
- What type of soils were used?
- How often did you water them (not too much)?
- How closely together were they planted etc.?
However, they do not last as long as disposable plastic containers do.
This means that eventually, roots will break through the bottom of a peat pot and loosen it from its place on top of the root ball. When this happens, you’ll need to make another set of fresh peat pots or use something else like biodegradable planting pellets instead.
Where to Buy Peat or Biodegradable Pots?
You can buy peat pots or biodegradable pots easily online. You can also get them at many local garden stores. Here are some recommendations:
1. Seed Starting kit
This seed starting kit is perfect for your home garden and includes everything you need to start growing plants. You get a seed tray, plant trays, peat trays, and humidity domes.
The kit comes with biodegradable pots, so they won’t adversely affect the environment.
Peat pots also help retain moisture since they are 100% organic peat moss. The potting soil stays moist longer than traditional containers such as plastic cups.
This Kit Includes:
- 40 – Biodegradable Peat Pots
- 4 – Biodegradable Peat Pots Trays x 10 cells per Tray – 40 Peat Pots Cells
- 3 – Planting Trays
- 3 – Transparent Humidity Dome
- 1 – Dibber
- 1 – Widger
- 40 – T-shape Markers
- 1 – Seeds Dispenser
- 1 – Garden Gloves Set – BONUS!!
2. Jiffy Peat Pellets
These Jiffy peat pellets are ideal for starting your seeds without any mess. All you have to do is add water, and the pellet will expand. Once the pellet has expanded, you can plant your seed.
The product comes with 50 pellets with a thin net holding them together. Once your plants are ready to be transplanted, all you have to do is transplant them directly into the ground or container. You will minimize transplant shock and root damage.
This pellet is 36mm and will expand (1.50in x 1.50in.)
3. Cosweet Peat Pots
This product is made of 100% sphagnum peat moss, and all you have to do is water from the top. With a round pot 4 inch diameter, it is suitable for large seeds, larger plants like tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, etc. Applicable to any large type of seed and ideal for herbs, veggies, and flowers.
No transplant shock, no root circulation, and no withered plants and flowers – it’s that simple! Just grow your seeds, and then plant them in your yard or garden without removing them from the pots.
The product includes:
- 50x organic pots
- 10 x Plant Markers
How do you make homemade peat pots?
If you want to make your own peat pots, you can use several materials. You may want to consider using:
- cutting up sections from sphagnum moss
- old coffee filters, toilet paper or newspaper strips
- cheesecloth and toilet tissue rolls
When using peat moss to make your own pot, it is best to mix the moss with some compost, soil, and sand. This mixture should be moistened before being placed in a pot shape.
After you have made your peat pots, they need to be set out in the sun so that they can dry. Once dried, these will start decomposing on their own or if left outside.
If you want to make a pot from all other materials, either newspaper strips, toilet paper, or coffee filters. Make sure to soak them in water and then place them in a pot shape.
After making some peat pots, there’s only one thing to do–get gardening! The best way to ensure success while using this type of container is to have drainage holes at its bottom and be sure not to water too heavily when seeds are first planted.
Peat pots are also an excellent option for starting seedlings because they provide a warm and humid environment perfect for root growth, making transplanting much easier later on.
If you’re looking for an eco-friendly alternative to plastic pots, peat pots are the perfect solution. They work great with different plants – from flowers and vegetables to those that need a little extra time in their pot before being transplanted into the ground or garden.
I hope you’ve found the information in this blog post helpful! If you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out.