Jiffy Mini-Greenhouse for starting seeds

Claremore, OK(Zone 6a)

I just started 72 plants in the Jiffy seed starter greenhouse. Seems to be working well, as many are up already, and it's not even been a week. Mostly lettuces, cabbages, and a couple kinds of tomatoes are up. Some of the others may take their time.

It's the one I got at Wal-Mart with the 72 little peat pellets (look like huge tablets) that swell up when watered the first time.

I had to poke some air holes in the plastic dome lid, as it was staying too damp and condensation was collecting.

I have it under a plain flourescent light held about 2 inches above it.

Has anyone else used these for starting seeds ? Did it work ok for you ?

Benton, KY(Zone 7a)

Take the lids off...their only purpose is to keep the soil and humidity regulated for germination....their purpose is finished. Your little plants need to learn how to live in the regular world. Even if all of your seeds are not up yet, take them off.

When you plant the peat pellets in a bigger container be sure to pull the netting off. It does not decompose very fast and sometimes strangles roots.

You lights sound just about right...be sure to raise it as your seedlings grow.

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

I've left the dome on for a while longer with tiny seedlings, but only after poking some holes for ventilation as you've done. I like not having to water as often that way. If you don't take the dome off when the seedlings are tiny though, sometimes you have to get them used to the real world a bit more gradually, taking the dome off for increasingly long periods over several days rather than just suddenly removing it.

Peat pellets... some people hate to deal with them, and others wouldn't garden without them... but if you follow Melody's advice about removing the netting, they should work out fine for you.

Good luck with your little sprouts!

Benton, KY(Zone 7a)

If you're hesitant about taking the lids all the way off, prop them open with a couple of pencils wedged in at the front. This will give more air circulation than the holes. The air needs to circulate for the best plant health. This keeps down fungal diseases.

Yeah, critter is right, some people swear by peat products....some people swear at them.....I happen to be one of the latter.

No. San Diego Co., CA(Zone 10b)

I had some of those pellet things once - kept finding them in the compost bin still intact!

Claremore, OK(Zone 6a)

I'm so glad you mentioned about the netting. I wouldn't have known they wouldn't decompose fast enough.

I had one other bad experience with the pellets, and decided to give it another try. This time, so far, so good.

My seedlings are almost tall enough to touch the dome, so I guess it is time to take it off. Thanks for the helpful advice. I surely don't want them to have fungal problems before I can even get them out to the garden.

Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

I would definitely take the dome off--I usually take it off as soon as the seedlings have their first true set of leaves, if you keep it on longer than that you're running a risk of fungal problems.

Belleville , IL(Zone 6b)

I also used the netting things once. Do they warn you about taking them off? If not it would halp. I only used them the one time and didn't like the results because of the netting.

Centennial, CO(Zone 5b)

you still need to spread out the roots after taking off the netting. Some people dunk the seedlings in a pan of water to unfurl the roots, then plant.

If you don't you will find that the plants never really expand their root systems much beyond the original diameter of the jiffie. I have seen the same thing happen with rootbound annuals from the plastic packs, so I don't think it is an exclusive problem with the peat pellets.

Belleville , IL(Zone 6b)

I bought some four inch pots of ornamental grass from a nursery here last year. When I got the containers home and emptied them to plant in the ground you could see the shape of the jiffy size pot they had grown up in and were root bound in the shape of. . So the nursery was just selling the plugs as larger plants. Sigh. I did spread the roots out and they did take off finally but I found that rather deceptive..

Gilmer, TX(Zone 8a)

Some of the seeds in the flats are up and some not, do I totally take the lid off , or do I wait till the biggest marijority is up

Frisco, TX

I am not happy with my Jiffy peat pellets and germinating flower seeds. I have had better luck with Burpee flats. Their planting medium is finer it seems. I will only buy Burpee in the future.


(bestest fairy)Tempe, MI(Zone 5b)

I used the peat pellets last year and the ones I left the netting on were annuals that I would have to remove in the fall when they died-It actually helped me to be able to get them up w/ the roots...all the perennials & such I took the netting off. LOVED the peat thing last year-saved my trays and am getting more pellets today for more annulals!!

Just my 2cents

Caneyville, KY(Zone 6b)

I started 20 trays of seeds, 12 with a potting mix and 8 with Jiffy pellets. I'm not seeing much difference in germination rate. If there are huge droplets of water on the top, I'll take it off for a few hours and wipe it dry. My reasoning is, if there is that much condensation, then my flats must be too wet. If there is just a mist, I leave them in place.

Gilmer, TX(Zone 8a)

My problem with them is my fault and not the product. I keep putting things with different germination rates in the same flat, so then the problem. Do I take the lid off when the first ones germinate or do you wait for them all.,, blah blah blah. I think I've learned the lesson, but still have flats that have half germ. half not., so I'll either kill the ones that are up with too much humidity or kill the others with not enough

Caneyville, KY(Zone 6b)

LorraineR, gotcha...LOL! I did the same thing. My inserts aren't separated into 6 or 9's. It's all one piece. Guess which one I planted multiple varieties in? Of course not the trays with the Jiffys...that would have been too easy. I know I could cut them apart, but I'm afraid I'll disrupt the babies.

Gilmer, TX(Zone 8a)

I know, I did cut some of mine apart and I'm sure I murdered them. Not many are coming up. Course I forget that it's just Feb. so some of them may just not be ready!!
It's so warm here, it feels like spring

Norfolk, VA(Zone 8a)

I swear by Jiffy cubes. It is very relaxing watering them, watching them grow, and sowing the seeds. Peppers can stay in the cubes before transplanting outdoors, Tomatoes I start in Jiffys and transplant them into larger Jiffy peat pots. Everybody here agrees to remove the netting, this is easily done, it tears off easily. Any seeds that do not germinate, I shove a French marigold seed in the cube. I have stored old used cubes on trays to plant pansies in the fall, only to have the seeds originally planted to germinate when the cubes were rewetted. Patience is needed I guess.

This message was edited Mar 4, 2010 10:30 PM

Thumbnail by Karldan
Houston, TX

This is my first attempt at using this product. I'm quite impressed at the simplicity of it. Leaving nothing to chance, I've already got my seeds the old fashioned way in the seed trays and they are doing very well. It will be interesting to see how the seeds in the 72 peat pellets perform in comparison.

I've read the board above and will take note of the tips. For the price though, $5.50 at Walmart I felt this was worth a go. So far I haven't been able to find replacements for these particular peat pellets, presumably Jiffy do these?

If I have any success, then next year I might try and bring on my tomatoes with the 36 sized ones which has much bigger pellets. I already have too many tomato seedlings already this year so no point in doing that. At first glance, I am impressed with the product and the price.

Lake, MI

This is my first year starting seeds. I got out my seed packs and used the 4 cell pks. which I pull apart to be able to take them out as each kind starts.
I have put all different kinds of seeds in a tray with the clear dome on a heating matt. When they sprout and have their first leaves I take them out and put them in another tray with the dome and leave the lid cracked a bit and let them acclamate a bit and then move them under my lights. I keep the others in the first tray untill they sprout and then they get moved to the second tray. It is working so far for me as far as starting them.

I am not doing as good with the peat pots but it coud be the grower:-)


Pueblo, CO(Zone 5b)

I have had trouble with peat pots not breaking down, too. I try to make sure that the netting around the pellets and the peat pots both have at least a split down one side. I take the top rim off the peat pot, too, so it won't wick water up above the soil level.

Fuquay Varina, NC

This is the my first year trying the peat pellets. I bought 3 of the 36 pellet houses. One flat has all tomatoes. One flat has mostly beans. One flat has all types of peppers. I know they advertised the 36 pack for tomotoes but I thought why not try it for the others in hopes that I would be able to directly plant in the garden since they were bigger. I have to say, every single pellet has sprouted and appears healthy. I removed the top after about half of the plants sprung in each flat since some of the plants have different germination rates. Did not seem to impact the non germinated plants much having the top off but I have them in a room in my house where the temp is a constant 75. I provided no light during germination. I now have them in front of the window getting sun 1/2 day. Will move to sun all day next week then outside on the deck. The flats were like 6 bucks at wal-mart and seed packs totaled about 10 bucks. So I got about 28 bucks in for what I spent 100 bucks for last year. I am now waiting to see how hearty the plants get which is probably the true test if I am doing things right, but so far so good.

Millersburg, OH

I just finished planting Foxy foxglove in my Jiffy greenhouse. This is my first time using it. Such tiny seeds! I probably put 6-10 seeds in each pot just because they are so little, it seemed silly putting only 2-3 in each pot. Wish me luck.

Brooksville, FL(Zone 9a)

wal mart carries the replacements pellet you just need to look around.

this year I'm also using wal marts set up except when I purchase my first group they were at the 6.00 price, and now I like the small discount as every little bit helps.

I have mine on heat mats and they build up a lot of moisture, but at soon as my plants are up to the top of the dome then they are removed and placed under lights. I continue to do this until all have germinated or if after a week there isn't anything then I replant using that pellet and plant with something else. It can get confusing at times as to what is really planted.... but I keep pretty good records...

I'm on my 8th set of tomatoes and other vegies... so far so good....

also, when the moisture does keep me from seeing the seedlings I either tap on it or if there is a lot I removed it and drain off the excess..

good luck with your seedlings.


Oshkosh, WI(Zone 4b)

I bought some of these and I'm trying different plants in them. The ornamental pepper seeds I planted took only 3 or 4 days to germinate and grow sprouts at least an inch high. It looks like the coleus may be the next to sprout, and maybe the bachelor buttons after that. I planted cactus seeds too, but I know those do take awhile to germinate. I'm hoping now that I can keep all these plants alive!


Sierra Foothills, CA(Zone 8a)

Janet...you mean the ones on heat are not under lights?

Pueblo, CO(Zone 5b)

I started several trays of the Peat Pellets, and several trays of the Egg-Carton-like peat pot flats with Jiffy mix in them. One flat of the pellets isn't sprouting - and I can't figure out why. My current theory is that I managed to get it too warm - I'm not blaming the peat pellets - but I think I like the Jiffy mix in pots a little better.

Brooksville, FL(Zone 9a)

Sorry Evelyn to be so long away....

Yes I first soak the pellet in the tray, then I plant the seeds keep cover on with no venting until seedling are touching the top, then I remove and put under lights, once I get the second set (true leaves) of leaves then I am transplanting to individual pots...

if they dry then I have a small watering can ( I love it cause it does a gentle shower flow) to keep them moist.

One thing of interest is even though I'm top watering and have a fan on and off on them, I've only seen 1 maybe 2 nats. hurray.

I think it has helped for me to let them dry pretty good between waterings.


Houston, TX

Probably nothing you don't do already, but I've been spraying them with one of the little sprays you get from Dollar General or similar, set to a very gentle spray. Well worth a couple of dollars. Sometimes what I do on my other plants is make it a fine jet which I spray on to my hand and it drips onto the plants like soft raindrops. :) I've also been experimenting with tepid water, which I know tomatoes like and figure that the Jiffy seed trays would like it too. So far so good, all of my pots are showing strong seedlings, some thinning was needed since the twos and threes I planted mostly all seemed to sprout.

This message was edited Apr 20, 2010 4:59 AM

Houston, TX

I've thought about the price of replacement peat pellets and it is just not cost effective since you can buy a brand new Jiffy Mini Greenhouse for about the same price. I think what I will do is save the greenhouses for future use, but remove the plastic trays inside and replace them with soil filled Jiffy Pots instead (pkt of 50 for under $2 at Lowes/Home Depot - which should be enough to fill two mini greenhouses), and half a bag of 8lb soil seems to do that many.

Brooksville, FL(Zone 9a)

Well, since I've been able to get plants outside for a few hours each day, this has really helped to eliminate the nats. I water outside and when they come in they are just damp.

I have also switched over to coir fiber for my new starter soil for seeds. No nats at all! Plus it makes for easier transplanting and the fiber falls away from the new seedling with no damage to the roots. LOVE IT.

I'm using the tray and dooms that I originally purchased from Walmart and filling with the coir fiber for new seedlings. I'm done with the pellets. They were ok, but I like the coir fiber better and with not having to worry about the nats is a wonderful plus.


Sierra Foothills, CA(Zone 8a)


I think I will be making the switch to coir as well, as for some of my W/S'ing adventures were not so successful. No problem with Jiffy Mix so far, but the pellets did not work out for me. I sowed some lupine, in them with the domes, outside on my 4-tiered shelf. I had to remove the seedings, once they were up as they were molded. Hopefully it was just the peat pellets, as I gave them a good soak, and they were probably too wet, so no way to reverse it. (I did not have to pre-soak the lupine...as they were soaking the whole time!!)

So far they look good in their uncovered cell packs. I did not wait until they had true leaves as I wanted to get them out of there in a hurry! It is 40 degrees out there now, and it is snowing. Oh, when will spring be here to stay?

Thumbnail by evelyn_inthegarden
Brooksville, FL(Zone 9a)


I don't know where Grizzly Flats is but it must be up high to still have snow......

you will love the coir


Sierra Foothills, CA(Zone 8a)

Janet ~ We are at 3500' in elevation....west of Lake Tahoe, southeast of Placerville. The largest city is about 1 hours away - Sacramento. This is in El Dorado County...a varied landscape of forest, meadows, hillsides and pasture land with farms and many vineyards now...people move up from the bay area (SF) and buy a lot of land and put horses and vineyards on them. this used to be a lot more rural, but still we are 20 mountain miles away from Placerville, the nearest city, which was a "town" when I moved here.

It snows every winter, though usually not this late in spring, and is hot all summer. If it rains usually for one day then it dries up, so we need the moisture. It has cleared up for now, but they are predicting another storm next week. After the storms go, it will be summer, most likely. Some years spring eludes us, but there is no telling what the weathermaker will bring.

Thumbnail by evelyn_inthegarden
Ruby Valley, NV

Hi! I've enjoyed reading your posts, and I have another question. My first time using trays, I planted a different kind of seed in each row, and except for the peppers (bell and jalapenos, not sure why) everything has sprouted. Planted about 2 weeks ago, seedlings look healthy, have removed top - now it's just a game of keeping them alive! I live at 6000 feet and can't plant outside until June 1. So, I have another month to keep these seedlings alive before transplanting outside. Suggestions? I can't leave them in these tiny trays for that long, can I? What should I do with them?

Brooksville, FL(Zone 9a)

You need to put them under lights.

walmart, homedepot, lowes all carry the 4' shop lights that takes two bulbs. These are what most folks use to continue on growing for strong plants until you can adjust them to outside.

Sams club also carries a metal rack that is perfect (IMHO) for growing seedlings on and there is a place to hang your lights for each shelf.

WOW 6000 feet, makes me take an extra breath just thinking of trying to breath at that height..... so do the trees still grow that high?

I went to Pikes Peak one time (that was enough) and the trees after a certain height quit growing....air too thin..

Good luck with your seedlings... The ones that didn't grow read the label they may take longer to germinate. Were your trays on heat mats? If not I would suggest move the others out and recover and make sure they are wet and wait them out a little longer. That is what I do when I accidentally mix wrong germination seeds in a tray.


Pueblo, CO(Zone 5b)

Denver, the Mile High City, is 5280 feet. Higher parts of the plains of Colorado are 6000 feet -still plenty of trees. Pikes Peak is14,000 plus feet. There is a new theory that it is NOT the lack of oxygen that stops trees from growing at high elevations, it is the lack of soil microbes.
I lived in Charleston, South Carolina, for a couple years. Elevations in that area are only 2 digits. When my Colorado relatives would come to visit, they would get off the plane, looked puzzled, and ask "Are you supposed to swallow the air whole, or do you chew it first?"

Sierra Foothills, CA(Zone 8a)

Janet ~ The rack that you got at Sam's Club, is it 4' wide? How tall is it? DH and I were looking at racks of shelves and lights at Lowe's the other day when we were down in Folsom for a Dr.'s appt.

I keep telling him shop lites, and we ended up with no racks, as there are some in the garage, but only 2 or 3' wide, which we use for storage, but I managed to clear off one. We bought a fluorescent fixture, but only 2' wide and it was not a shop light and required wiring, of which he already knew....I wonder if I am being sabotaged...oh, maybe he did not know in advance, but he does know how to install it, but I told him, I don't need them to be installed but to hang on chains so I can adjust them. The 2' wide shelves are really not sufficient for many plants, but I am using one anyway, since it is lit tho' "installed", so I had to use things to stack up and then put the flats on top of them and still not close enough to the lights.

Do you have a picture of it? If this is off topic, you can D-mail me, but others might benefit from looking at your setup..


Brooksville, FL(Zone 9a)

Here is the picture I just looked on line and to order it says 90.00 bucks now, but I know if you go in the store they are still in the 70+ price range.

The chains from the shop light ( I guess they are 5' long lights and they have a short chain on them, just get S hooks and you are set, oh forgot that you need to get the light bulbs.


Thumbnail by meadowyck
Pueblo, CO(Zone 5b)

I have had two plug in shop light for years. When I went to buy a third one for this year, I was a little disappointed. There are two diameters of 4 foot shop lights. The fatter ones use more electricity but put out a little more light than the skinny ones. I could only find a plug in fixture for the skinny ones - the fatter ones all needed to be wired in. I went ahead and bought the fixture for the skinny lights.

The top one is the new one - I put it on top to get more window light, & the plants have done as well as the other shelves. It does have the advantage of the pull chain switch, and a longer cord.

My shelves aren't as wide as the lights - if they were I could get two trays on a shelf instead of a tray and a half. I've been considering buying another set of shelves like the one I have and have the light span the two. Now I'm considering renewing my membership to Sam's club and using the shelves I have for books.

Thumbnail by pollengarden

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