The season of failure is the best time for sowing the seeds of success.Paramahansa Yogananda
I love Jiffy Pots. I hate Jiffy Pots.
I love them because they are so convenient! Literally, just add water, add your seed, and then plant the lot out when the seedling is ready.
Hate is perhaps a much too strong a word, so I dislike Jiffy Pots because they are a bit small, great for little seeds. But they’re not so good for a broad bean, or something that has a long germination time, as they tend to disintegrate.
Jiffy pots also dry out fast in my climate and the filling is just super-fine coir fibre, which on its own, isn’t an ideal seed raising mix.
I like to keep my seedlings in the greenhouse until they are quite well established. As my garden beds are in full sun, often with a strong wind, a just-fledged seedling can be dashed to dirt within a few days if I’m not very careful.
Jiffy’s get me to the two-leaf stage, but the seedlings seem to stall after that.
I have mucked around with all kinds of seed pots, from plastic bags, (I don’t use these anymore, too much plastic!) to paper coffee cups, to newspaper origami pots, (I don’t even get free community newspapers anymore!) paper rolled pots, and your typical recycled plastic pot from the garden centre.
Each option has its own benefits and shortfalls.
I have yet to find a seedling pot that really satisfies me and ticks all my boxes!
So when cleaning out my greenhouse a few weeks ago, I had an idea.
I had a huge roll of cellulose cleaning cloths, leftover from our home renovations a few years ago. The cloths sucked up water quickly and were quite resilient, I rung them out many times and they didn’t tear.
My homemade newspaper paper pots tend to dissolve fast if the seeds planted in them don’t germinate within a few weeks.
So I decided to make pots using the cloths.
They are super simple to make. Just cut the shapes you want, zip down the sides with a sewing machine, and you’re ready to go! Pot made.
It only took me about an hour or so to prepare more than 100 pots!
A quick look at the hardware store has a variety of cellulose cloths. Don’t use the cloths embedded with anti-bacterial agents to make your pots.
I have made longer pots for cuttings, and smaller ones for little seeds, medium ones for larger seeds like beans, or for seeds that have longer germination times.
I fill mine with my two-ingredient seed raising mix. It’s the best mix ever, economical and so easy to prepare, make sure to check it out!
The best part is, these pots can be stocked for a while before I need to use them. The mix can dry out, and be easily reconstituted as I need.
As my garden is deconstructed and reconstructed in the course of the coming year with our yard renovations, these little pots will come in so handy!
In the winter, when the pots need to be free-draining, I will keep them in
In summer, I will keep them in a kitty litter tray with water in the bottom. The water is wicked up the cloth pots via capillary action and keeps my pots moist, without getting soggy or waterlogged.
These pots should last much longer than my paper pots.
When it comes time to plant, I’ll soak them in worm-wee the day and evening before planting them directly into the soil. I love this because the roots are not
What do you think of my homemade jiffy pots? What is your favourite way to grow seedlings?
I would love to hear from you, please be sure to leave a comment below!