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A Seed Starting, mini trial, inspired by Clumsy

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  • A Seed Starting, mini trial, inspired by Clumsy

    I've been impressed and inspired by Clumsy's seed starting and growing to give jiffy's another go. Something I thought I would never do as I just haven't got on with them and really haven't had good results in the past. But I've glimpsed how well seeds can do started in jiffys, so I'm thinking it's really me at fault.

    So in my 4 way mini trial, one each of,
    Jiffy (bio degradable netting, peat-based filling)
    Regular multi purpose compost and plastic pot (re-useable pot, I believe some peat content in the compost)
    Again multi purpose compost in a peat pot (pot biodegrades but peat not very eco to begin with, compost as above)
    Root Riot cube (these are natural and peat based)

    All watered or soaked depending on what was appropriate and sown with one Tomato Honeycomb F1 seed in each. They were started on the 16th of January and all placed inside a plastic bag to conserve moisture. They were placed on a tray in the house and under grow lights, lights are on for approx. 14 hours a day, no other added heating. I tried to keep sowing depth as even as I could, but this could give a slight variation, it's really too small a trail to tell. Plus I'm not sure how much if any feed reserve is in the Root Riot cube.

    Before filling, peat pot (top left and continuing clock wise) plastic pot, dry jiffy, Root Riot cube.

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    Filled, watered and sown Day 1
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    First up on day 5, the other 3 popped the next day.

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    Day 9, jiffy remains ahead as first true leaves can be seen growing.
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  • #2
    I’d be interested if possible in a very rough estimate of cost, given that one might start off several hundred seedlings of one kind or another over a year.
    I so far use just plastic pots which I roughly wash - perhaps not necessary but I can’t seem to let go of washing them in order to have them neatly stacked by size. And of course, that takes time, which is precious.

    Great trial. Will be interesting to see how ongoing growth goes.


    • #3
      For main sowings, I usually use plug trays filled with multi-purpose compost as the trays are often reusable and I find the young plants are easier and quicker to pot on. I do have some white polystyrene trays which are brilliant, I've reused them so many times but they are getting a bit frail now. If I could find similar I'd replace them, but sadly no one seems to stock them anymore. I do wonder though how much easier it might be to raise seedlings in jiffy pots and then plant out directly, particularly that the nets can now be sourced as biodegradable.

      I just had a quick look on Am..... and with delivery
      Peat 6cm pots per 96 are approx. £0.09 each
      Jiffy 7 pots per 100 range £0.085 to £0.12 each
      Root Riot cubes per 100 £0.20 each
      Plastic 6cm pots per 40 £0.17 each

      I didn't look for cheapest, just first ones up in a search so they are likely cheaper elsewhere plus buying in larger numbers might bring it down again. Plastic pots would be reusable.
      Multi-purpose compost I'd estimate at under a penny.


      • clumsy
        clumsy commented
        Editing a comment
        Wow this experiment is interesting. Okay I've used root riot for chilli's it was okay as long you keep them moist like putting them in a mini propagator to keep the warmth and humidity for seeds to germinate less mess than say compost and jiffy pellets. Jiffy pellets similar to root riot in experience. Compost in the house I get issue's with gnat flies drive you insane. I don't think you should compare the price it's difficult they all different ie jiffy pellets and root riot take less space, less root disturbance etc.