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Starting seedlings in Jiffy 7’s or similar products can be a little simpler than using Jiffy Mix, then transplanting into pots, and then into the ground. These pellets are made of compressed peat covered with netting to hold them together. The advantage to using Jiffy 7’s is you do not have to transplant the seedlings from one container to another. You plant the seeds, germinate them and then grow them on in the Jiffy 7. When the plants are large enough to plant out, you put them in the ground and the plants grow fine. These peat pellets are great for rooting cuttings of herbaceous plants like geraniums also.
1. Place the Jiffy 7’s in a clean or new waterproof container and add warm tap water. The wafer- like pellets will swell until they are about 1.5 inches high and a little darker in color.
2. To start seeds, make a small hole in the top of the pellet and place two or three seeds in the hole. Then cover the seeds with a little peat.
3. Then place the container in a plastic bag and seal the bag to prevent water from evaporating. You will not have to add water until the seedlings start and the pellets are uncovered. If you want faster more uniform germination, place the container on a heat mat . The bottom heat will speed the germination.
4. When the seedlings emerge from the pellets, they should be removed from the heat mat and the plastic bag should be removed. The seedlings should be placed in a cool sunny window to grow on for planting. If more than one seed germinates, its best to cut all but one off so there is not too much competition. More than one seedling per pellet can also cause a leggy plant.
5. Some fertilizer can be used in the water you use to moisten the pellets. Watering should only be done when the pellets are dry. Then water to soak them and wait until the pellets are dry.
6. If the plants start to grow too large, they can be planted into a larger container like a peat pot or plastic pot using potting soil. They can continue to grow in the container until they are ready to plant.
7. Some type of acclimating or hardening off should be done so transplant shock is minimized. It takes about 10 days to 2 weeks to accomplish this process. Put the containers outdoor when the weather is around 50 degrees F or above. Bring indoors if it is going to get too cold at night and then place it outside the next day.
8. Jiffy 7’s are very useful in starting vine crops such as melons and cucumbers. Follow the above instructions, planting 4 to 5 seeds per pellet. The only difference is you do not have to remove the extra seedlings before transplanting. For the regular Jiffy 7’s, you only need to sow them 3 to 4 weeks before transplanting them.