Rated 4.5 out of 5 by 2
Rated 4.0 out of 5.0 by Nancy Loved the convenience... used it for Lantana cuttings
My only complaint is that my Burpee Self-Watering Seed Starting 36XL Plant Seed Starting System is that the clear plastic lid wouldn't fit no matter how many people helped or how hard we tried.
I have a great Golden low-growing Lantana in my yard that I wanted to replicate. It's less leggy and a more prolific bloomer than others I've seen. Therefore, I watched a YouTube video on the subject. They suggested using Rooting Hormone. I purchased Bontone Rooting Powder for less than $6 at Home Depot along with this Kit for $19.95. As I trimmed 3' pieces from my Lantana, I immediately stuck them in 1/2" of the Rooting Powder, than gathered them and brought them inside until I planted them in the Kit.
I had already read the directions, and placed the self-watering mat and pellets in place and prepared the fertilizer water (packet comes in the Kit) in 1 gallon of warm water to hydrate the pellets. I then used a small spear to poke a hole in each pellet and stick in the Lantana stem after pulling off any low leaves as they showed in the video.
Initially, steam/condensation formed in the dome even though I could never get the dome on sealed. However, I'm hoping that it will work anyway. After a few hours the condensation dissipated. I'm keeping at eye on my 36 cuttings to see if they form any fungus. The right amount of water is crucial.
Hope it works!
June 30, 2015
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by Heather Overall the best!
I have these and the Jiffy 72 cell version.
1. Self watering is SO FAB. You don't have to water as often and you don't over water UNLESS you overfill them. Just don't fill them above the self-watering mat's flat surface or above, or your seedlings will get too wet and can get fungus & die. :(
2. Of the Jiffy & Burpee, the Burpee have the extra tray to support them and give division between pellets and mat. Cleaner, nicer.
3. I should take off points for this... but where the heck are refills for these?!!! The only ones I can find are online and are about the same as a new kit. I would take any brand but I can't find them. They are often referred to as 52mm peat pellets. These larger size pellets can handle plants that need more space, like tomatoes or peppers. Squash/cukes/melons took over the space real quick. Just be sure and put in several seeds and cut down the weakest of the ones in each pot so you have just one.
4. On the plus side.. if you can't find refills. You can take off the upper plastic peat pot holder and just put flat pots with holes or peat pots, cow pots, etc...anything with holes or porous and they will draw the water up.
5. I mixed my water with kelp based fertilizer and my seedlings were almost all growing in 2-3 days. For cool season crops, you don't need a heat mat, but warm season crops really respond to it and even need it. (Watermelon and Peppers were the ones most wanting heat).
6. The lid stays on during germination, but after most of the seeds are germinated, you should remove it to give them air. If you're holding out for a few more seeds, at least put the lid askew so air can get in. Sadly, I overfilled another self-watering kit and left the lid on/heat on too long and it got fungus.
7. Grow light. Ok. It's not cheap to do seedlings, but I put mine by a window AND use a grow light. Although one or the other should work.
NOTE: On your first fill...you will have to get more water than usual/refill quicker when you first fill it as the peat pellets get their first fill of water.
PICTURE SHOWS JIFFY 72 on left. BURPEE 36/XL in middle and a add-your-own-soil version on the right. I can squeeze them all under a 3' grow light and just move the light around as I need.
March 25, 2015