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jiffy pots review

brown thumb confirmed! Jiffy Pot failure

I forumed and traded and hiked and collected and finally managed to gather together the seeds I needed for several native wildflowers and plants, and I was assured that Jiffy Pots are a really really easy way to start things. I should have known that I could screw that up too.

Followed the directions, got everything planted and looking good, and now I find that a seedling’s #1 enemy—MOLD—is taking over. THings began to show signs of mold within two-three days, in fact.

What did I do wrong and is there anything to do but start over?

Luckily I have extra seed left over and a second attempt is possible.

Comments (19)

maifleur01

Don’t feel too bad I can not start anything in Jiffy pots and if I am given a plant in a Jiffy pot the outside lace like material is still whole in a couple of years.

I have wondered if soaking in bleach/water solution would kill any fungus.

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billinpa

boiling water, before you plant, obviously. 🙂

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sergeantcuff

I tried starting seeds indoors for quite a few years without success – mold and damping off if I overwatered; death in a few hours if i didn’t water enough.

I bought these seed starting trays where the seedlings are watered from below. I mist the seeds until they sprout and then only keep the tray filled and the seedlings never have to be watered. I just turn the lights on and off. Kind idiot-proof. I know many many people who use regular plastic pots with great success, but not me. Those peat pots are the absolute worst things ever.

Here is a link for the ones I bought, they are part styrofoam, but still in perfect condition 8 years later.

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dirtgirl

to make it even more confusing, I called both a professional local garden center AND the 1-800 number on the box for more advice.
The garden center? More direct sunlight. Like, 6-8 hours of it. COmpletely opposite the advice from the toll free number (which sounded like a kid reading from a FAQ sheet and not an experienced person) which was, “too much light”

arrgh.
I also hate to sound ignorant, but what the hell, I’m ignorant. What exactly is damping off?

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sergeantcuff

I believe damping off is some kind of fungus that kills seedlings. Good air circulation is supposed to help prevent it.

When it happened to me, I didn’t see any mold or anything, but the seedlings were found fallen over dead, like they had rotted where the stem touched the dirt.

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dirtgirl

I decided to buy another set of cups and try once more, but this morning when I was opening a window near the original container, I glanced down. and there, all pathetic and alone, was a single sprout. Out of like, 60 attempts.I suppose waiting a few more days and watching will not hurt me, and if I go ahead and plant more I will simply double my chances of killing-er, growing more seedlings. And at this rate I won’t have to decide which extras out of each pellet to pinch off.
BTW, I had just removed the plastic dome a few days ago, thinking what the heck, can’t do any worse. Maybe this helped? Certainly runs counter to the manufacturer’s directions.

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sundrops

Please, don’t beat yourself up over this. Jiffy pots are not the best way to start seeds. Go to the seed starting forum and you can find lots of information. I have started thousands of seeds in the last 10 years. The first year I used jiffy pots. Never again. You need to get a soiless medium (you can buy it anywere) and use small pots. However, don’t be surprised at mold. Sometimes I get it on my stuff. It is not an automatic death sentence. I don’t get too tore up about it. Try and try again. Go over to the seed starting forum and just look around at some of the successes and failures of others. I would stay away from the jiffy pots. Good luck.

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dirtgirl

thanks for the reassurance, sundrop.
I am just so thankful that I do have extra reserves. so many people on the forums went to SUCH great lengths to send me the things I was looking for.
To you all. and you know who you are. you certainly went above and beyond and I owe it to you folks to get this right eventually.

I really have a bad gut feeling about the mold I’m experiencing though. It’s clearly attacking seeds and not just spreading over the soil itself.

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ericwi

I have had some success using peat moss for seed starting. I think the peat is slightly acidic and discourages mold. I used to use peat pots that can be planted directly into the soil, but it was too difficult to keep the seedlings moist, because these pots evaporate water continually from the sides. Now I use plastic pots exclusively, for seed starting.

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dirtgirl

I think I will try the jiffy pellets one more time, and not throw out the first tray just yet to see what might yet happen there.
I guess my burning question is:

Do you cover the tray with the clear dome immediately after planting or not, and light or no light?
these are the two conflicting bits of advice I have repeatedly gotten thus far.

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maifleur01

Cover or no cover I have had no luck with either with Jiffy pots. The light or no light depends on the seeds rather than the medium you are sowing in. I only recently found out that petunias need light to germinate and you need to plant with little or no growing medium on top.

I would once the plants emerge give them light. If the light is too far away it will cause the plants to be leggy and weak.

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dirtgirl

maybe I should just cough up some cash and buy some of my selections from a natives greenhouse.
Really wanted to keep it as local as possible but right now it’s a dead as possible.

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dirtgirl

and the latest developments? There are finally some seedlings popping up in several of the cups. trouble with this is, they all look exactly alike but are in different parts of the trays. Either I had some of the very tiniest seeds stuck to my fingers and contaminated other pots, or else these are weed seeds from the peat. that’s not really possible is it?

oh well, at least there is something growing.

I forumed and traded and hiked and collected and finally managed to gather together the seeds I needed for several native wildflowers and plants, and I was assured that Jiffy Pots are a really really easy way to start things. I should have known that I could screw that up too. Followed the directio…