Peat pellets are a gardener’s best friend when it comes to getting a plant started! Seriously, though, they are extremely handy. A peat pellet is basically a disc of peat that is used to boost plant growth before it’s actually put into the ground.
Peat is a type of acidic soil that is excellent for plant growth, especially at the initially stages. It is an extremely good environment for a seed to germinate and start growing, perhaps even better than natural soil. For this reason, a lot of gardeners prefer to use them rather than planting seeds directly into the ground.
So How Does a Peat Pellet Work?
It’s actually really simple, and pretty brilliant!
You take some peat pellets and pour a few cups of water on them in a jar or bowl. Let them sit for a while until they expand from the water. This will make them nice and full and ready for germination!
Take your seed of choice and put it directly in the center of the peat pellet. Make sure it is nice and snug and has plenty of room to expand. You might want to use a pen or pencil to poke a hole in the pellet to make sure you get the seed deep enough!
In a few short days, the seed will take root in the pellet and start expanding itself even outside the pellet. It will even start forming leaves. This is the time you know to plant this in the ground.
Dig a hole reasonable large enough for the pellet to fit and deep enough for the new plant to take some solid roots. Place a little bit of fertilizer over top and water thoroughly again. Voila! You’ve just used your first pellet to jumpstart the growth of your plant!
Why Do Gardeners Use Peat Pellets?
That’s a good question. A big part of the reason why gardeners use these is because it saves a good bit of time. Peat is a much better material for a new plant to grow out of rather than soil or clay, so a little bit of peat to support the initial germination period of a plant is actually a great idea and much better than using the soil itself if it isn’t properly suited for germination.
Another great reason is the limitations of soil in certain areas. Depending on your location, you may or may not have the proper soil factors for healthy growth of a new plant. Once a plant is grown and absorbing sunlight, it might be just fine in your backyard, but the delicate process of growing out of a seed into a living tree is quite sensitive. If your soil conditions don’t allow for this to happen properly, a peat pellet might be exactly what you need to get your next plant started.
These pellets can also save you money versus buying fully grown plants. Once a plant has grown to maturation and is ready to be rooted in the ground, gardening stores are going to sell that to you with a nice little profit in store for them. Germinating yourself until a plant is ready for the rooting process saves you a nice chunk of change!
Should You Use Peat Pellets?
A fine question, and really not that difficult to answer. If you are planning on planting in the near future, these handy pellets are a great fit for new plants. The question is do you need them? Here’s some points to consider:
- Do you have good quality soil? If so, peat might be unnecessary. The soil needs to be acidic and high in nutrient value for the new plant to grow.
- Are you using any type of fertilizer or mulch? Again, nutrients and air flow are very important to a new plant. If you don’t have fertilizer, try a peat pellet instead.
- Are you living in an area with harsh, hot weather conditions? Peat might be the answer. Let the germination process take place in a controlled environment before moving a plant outside in the dry heat.
- Are you looking to plant but on a budget? This might save some money versus buying the fully ready to root plants from a gardener.