Author Topic: Jiffy plugs  (Read 1839 times)

Digeroo

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Jiffy plugs
« on: January 23, 2021, 21:20:52 »
I do like jiffy plugs.  I bought 100 but that does not seem to be that many.  They are expensive.  But I think they will make potting on much easier. 
What do people think? 
I cannot decide whether to splash out get 1000. They can come out of my petrol budget.  I am just not going anywhere.  Asda are delivering for £6 a month.  They are much cheaper pro rata and would probably last me a couple of  years.  I cannot decide.

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Jiffy plugs
« on: January 23, 2021, 21:20:52 »

JanG

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Re: Jiffy plugs
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2021, 07:10:15 »
I have no experience of using them and havenít felt a desire to.

But it seems to me that, at time like these, when youíre spending less money on certain other things, like enjoying yourself, it makes perfect sense to spend the money on something you like!

Vinlander

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Re: Jiffy plugs
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2021, 13:33:13 »
As a dyed in the wool skinflint I have been known to re-use jiffy's and I've even been known to re-fill them with something richer and more fibrous when the original compost loses its structure (dust when it's dry, claggy when it's wet).

OTOH it's probably easier to top up an old teabag with compost until it's the same dammn'd thing - after all, few teabags these days are less biodegradable than the jiffy's bag - it just hadn't occurred to me until I read this thread.

Cheers.
With a microholding you always get too much or bugger-all. (I'm fed up calling it an allotment garden - it just encourages the tidy-police).

The simple/complex split is more & more important: Simple fertilisers Poor, complex ones Good. Simple (old) poisons predictable, others (new) the opposite.

saddad

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Re: Jiffy plugs
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2021, 14:08:45 »
Sticking with the wool jokes... that seems a bit "shoddy" to me Vinlander

Vinlander

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Re: Jiffy plugs
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2021, 14:55:41 »
It felt a bit like that to me too...

Cheers.
With a microholding you always get too much or bugger-all. (I'm fed up calling it an allotment garden - it just encourages the tidy-police).

The simple/complex split is more & more important: Simple fertilisers Poor, complex ones Good. Simple (old) poisons predictable, others (new) the opposite.

Digeroo

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Re: Jiffy plugs
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2021, 19:34:14 »
I suppose I am a skin flint too.  Maybe that is what has been holding me back.  I was rather expecting the outside net of the jiffy ones to degrade are you saying they will not?  Do I then have to remove the net bag before I plant them?
I rather like the sound of using old tea bags, though I do not drink much tea.  But I do drink herb teas, and might drink more if I am going to reuse the bag. 

Tee Gee

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Re: Jiffy plugs
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2021, 22:22:09 »
I used jiffy plugs for the first time last year and had reasonable success but as you say it is an expensive way of propagating seeds.

As a result of a few plugs that didn't  work, I crushed them at the end of the season and saw what the plugs were formed with very fine Peat.

So this has set an idea in my mind  of making my own plugs.

I have sieved some Peat and I plan on pressing it firmly into plug trays and sowing my seed in a similar manner to the way I did in commercial plugs.

This is what I am hoping to achieve but instead of using compost I will try using neat Peat!



BarriedaleNick

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Re: Jiffy plugs
« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2021, 09:43:28 »
I have never used them as I suppose I am a skinflint too! 
I think we all tend to get a system that works for us and we stick with it to a certain extent.  I may have to modify what I do over here as the season starts now and it gets very hot..  I have hundreds of little square pots - I sow in trays, then prick out into the pots and then plant them out when it is warm enough.
I did buy "biodegradable" sacks a while back - a sort of diy jiffy bag.  The idea had promise but the bags were not biodegradable and I was digging them up two years  later so I never gave it another go..
Moved to Portugal - ain't going back!

Vinlander

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Re: Jiffy plugs
« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2021, 13:41:53 »
I suppose I am a skin flint too.  Maybe that is what has been holding me back.  I was rather expecting the outside net of the jiffy ones to degrade are you saying they will not?  Do I then have to remove the net bag before I plant them?
I rather like the sound of using old tea bags, though I do not drink much tea.  But I do drink herb teas, and might drink more if I am going to reuse the bag. 

I have refilled many jiffy meshes several times, but they were all from failed seedlings because getting one off a successful plant is impossible.

In most cases it will tear after its next use - but a handful survived long enough for the contents to lose structure long before the oldest one tore (probably because Tee Gee is right - it starts as very fine peat, ie. not much structure in the first place). I didn't get the impression it had degraded to tear, it's just flimsy even when it's new.

Taking the bag off before planting would damage the roots more than not using one in the first place. Leave it on and remove it at the end of the season.

I don't think I overlooked many used bags, because when you shake the compost off the dead plant it's right there in the middle of the root ball - getting them out is easy but never in one piece - so tricky I gave up ages ago - very few plants have nothing but fine roots -  failed seedlings and not much else.

I suppose this means they shouldn't be used on true perennials.

On the other hand there's more microplastic in a single wetwipe than in a score of Jiffys.

I have tried paper cylinders, but it's very difficult to find exactly the right amount of paper that holds the plug together until the seedling has a rootball, without risking a rootbound plant.

Loo-roll inners are the same, but worse - I was dismayed to find that any cardboard exposed by the weather will wick all the moisture out of everything inside.

Pots stapled from cotton offcuts would definitely degrade long after you've used them, while being more open than paper, but I'll be consulting my old Which? magazines to find out what teabags last only a season or so in the soil.

Cheers.                           

With a microholding you always get too much or bugger-all. (I'm fed up calling it an allotment garden - it just encourages the tidy-police).

The simple/complex split is more & more important: Simple fertilisers Poor, complex ones Good. Simple (old) poisons predictable, others (new) the opposite.

Nora42

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Re: Jiffy plugs
« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2021, 13:57:57 »
intereesting thread - i have in the past used Jiffy plugs they are so less messy for those without a greenhouse or potting shed.
 Last year i ordered small perrenials which were delivered in green plastic trays which close around the root ball and then have a space at the top for the plant. being an avid recyler i reused them a 40mm plug fits perfectly . each case holds six and when closed and stacked next to each other they are very easy to use. I had great sucess, I did run out of jiffys so I filled a few with potting compost and sowed a seed into this - worked just as well but  was messy as thetay opens flat and when you opened it to see if it has germinated the soil fell out .
the idea of using a tea bag casing is just genius and i wont be buying jiffy again i would rather buy some good quality seed compost.

so thank you Nora
Norf London

Paulines7

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Re: Jiffy plugs
« Reply #10 on: February 04, 2021, 03:36:09 »
I bought quite a few Jiffy Plugs about 8 years ago and reused them wherever possible.  However, I don't think they are as good as using a pot or small tray and then pricking the seedlings out. Sowing seeds in pots takes up far less room in the propagator than having Jiffy Plugs in small trays.  It's quicker too.  I have also found that the roots can sometimes be restricted in the Jiffy.   This year, I won't be using them at all. 

Digeroo

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Re: Jiffy plugs
« Reply #11 on: February 04, 2021, 16:45:29 »
I have decided to buy a compost blocker instead. The jiffy are very expensive and I am concerned that they net bags do not rot down.  However those I have used are doing well, and it will be easy pot them into individual pots, of larger plant trays.  I have kept some nice one which I bought plants in last year in Aldi.  I am hoping to have some good brassica plants, and none of the drooping type I had last year. 
The are made of very smooth plastic the the plants slide out very easily.   I am also going to give the tea bags a try.   I have also go some curry trays with I have put cardboard divides into.  These are all much cheaper than the Jiffy.  I simply put slots into the cardboard and they slot together.  I have one with 9 sections, but next one I am hoping to up that to 15 which will match the jiffy plugs in the same space.   

Tee Gee

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Re: Jiffy plugs
« Reply #12 on: February 04, 2021, 17:27:42 »
I have a number of this type of tray and I have cut them down to groups of 10cells.

I have packed these with sieved peat and placed a single seed in each cell and placed them on my hotbed.

Had a look at them this morning and two of the trays have germinated in 3 days!

I use an old dinner fork stuck down the side of the cell to extract the plug/s

Alternatively I stick a pencil through the drainage hole in the bottom of each cell and push the plug/s out.