Pros: results, ease of use, price, re-usable tray and dome
I had never tried to grow a plant from seed until last year. I probably wouldn't have tried at all, except I found several Jiffy Professional Greenhouse Kits on sale at a local store. Never one to pass up a good sale, I bought three. Ok, so I had over 200 rose seeds at home and had to do something with them.
What You Get
This Jiffy kit comes with an 11 inch X 22 inch plastic tray, 72 peat pellets and a plastic dome to cover the tray. The plastic dome helps keep the humidity up and condensation inside. A must for seeds to sprout.
To get started place the peat pellets in their individual indented slots in the tray. Add water to the tray and wait for it to be absorbed by the pellets. You may need to add water several times before all the pellets have fully expanded. After all the pellets are thoroughly soaked make an, approximately, 1/4 inch hole in the center and place a seed in it. Lightly cover the seed with the peat and place dome on the tray. Keep the tray in a warm area. (at least 70 fahrenheit) I added water only when I noticed there wasn't much condensation on the dome lid.
Now For The Good Stuff
I love the Jiffy Professional Greenhouse Kit. These made growing from seed easy enough that I had an approximately 75% success rate on 210 seeds.
In about a week the first tiny sprouts started showing...another 2 or 3 weeks most of those that were going to come up, had. It was exciting to see these plants start from a little odd shaped pod to leafy growing rose plants. Here's where I give you the hint I wish someone had given me...once a sprout has it's first set of leaves, remove it (pellet and all) from the greenhouse. I lost almost half of my seedlings to rot. The humidity harms the plants as much as it helps the seeds.
I love that the pellets are wrapped with a light netting to keep the soil from crumbling apart. It makes it easy to transfer to a pot. I did open the bottom of the netting when transplanting from the greenhouse to the pot, to make it easier for the fragile roots to grow.
I have over 100 rose and several companion plant (daisy, marigold, clematis and more) seeds to start this year... all will be planted in Jiffy Professional Greenhouse Kits. Another great aspect of this mini-greenhouse is it's reusable. Pellets can be bought separately to replace the ones used. Easy enough for someone new to seed starting and results a master gardener would be proud of...all for a very reasonable price.
I bought my Jiffy Professional Greenhouse Kits for $6.99 on sale...they can be found online for $13 to $14.
Updated 4-27-07: I found the 72 pellet Professional Greenhouse Kits at Wal-Mart for $5.96.
*If harvesting your own rose seeds: Keep them moist and refrigerated for approximately 3 months before planting.*