While shopping for seeds last week, I started browsing the growing equipment isle. I noticed that the Home Depot no longer carries the seed flats that I use, the ones with the plastic cell inserts. Seed starting pellets are all you can buy.
I’ve used these seed starting pellets in the past and didn’t like them. It’s been a few years, so I decided to try them again and compare them the my usual seed starting method.
|Seed starting pellets|
The first thing that jumped out at me right away was the cost. These pellets are definitely not economical compared to a large bag of seed starting dirt.
Obviously, these are for convenience or someone who doesn’t start a lot of seeds. I bought 72 pellets, which is the same number of plastic seed cells that fill the same tray.
Here are my thoughts…
|Seed starting pellets in the tray|
What I like:
- Fun to watch grow
- Easy start up (don’t have to fill cells with dirt)
- Only have to clean and disinfect the flat tray
- Less mess
- Not economical
- Mesh outside doesn’t decompose (I was still finding them several years later)
- Hole too small for large seeds
- Harder to tag if you have multiple types of seeds in one flat, since there’s nowhere to stick the plant marker
|Filling seed start cells with dirt|
What I like:
- Reusable, just add dirt
- Easy to mark small grouping of different types of seeds
What I don’t like:
- More prep work to clean and disinfect the cells and the trays
There are two main things that keep me from switching to using the pellets. One is cost, and the other is the mesh outside that won’t decompose.
The cost is the hardest for me to get past. I buy a big bag of dirt for my winter sowing containers and use the same dirt for my flats; buying pellets would be an added cost for me. As for the mesh outside of the pellets, I could peel those off right before planting, so that’s not a deal breaker.
|Sown seed flat trays|
What about you – do you love the convenience of the pellets, or are you a penny pincher like me? Did I miss any pros and cons?