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Peat Pot Buyer’s Guide

Biodegrable peat pots and tray

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Peat pots are small pots made from compressed peat and wood fiber and sometimes fertilizer. Peat pots are used for starting seeds, usually with sterile soilless mixes. Peat pots are biodegtradable and can be planted directly into the garden when the seedling is ready, avoiding transpant shock as well as the work of repoting. Peat pots are especially suitable for bedding plants and vegetables that normally may be hard to transplant.

Standard peat pot sizes include 2 inches sqaure, 2¼ inches round or square, and 3 inches round or sqaure. Dwarf peat pots can be wider and less tapered than standard pots. So-called Long Tom pots are taller.

Many gardeners prefer peat pots because unlike plastic pots they are biodegrable. Peat pots are said to promote stronger and healthier root systems because they allow for the efficient uptake of water, nutrients, and oxygen, When it comes time to transplant seedlings into the garden, the plant and entire peat pot can be set in the ground, which reduces the risk of transplant shock. Becsuse peat pots are made from organic materials such as peat moss and wood pulp, plant roots naturally penetrate through the peat pot walls as the pots decompose.

Biodegradable peat pots
Biodegradable peat pots

Peat pot benefits

Peat pots offer environmental advantages. Unlike plastic pots, which contribute to landfill waste, peat pots are completely biodegradable. As the pots decompose, they enrich the soil with organic matter, enhancing soil fertility. This makes peat pots a sustainable choice for gardeners who prioritize eco-friendly practices. Additionally, using peat pots eliminates the need for plastic pot disposal, reducing the carbon footprint and minimizing environmental impact.

As the plants grow, the peat pots gradually decompose and blend seamlessly with the soil, eliminating the need for transplanting. This feature not only reduces the stress on the plants during transplanting but also promotes stronger root development. Additionally, peat pots allow for better aeration and drainage, preventing root rot and providing optimal growing conditions for your plants.

Peat pots regulate moisture levels effectively. Peat pots are designed to absorb and retain moisture, helping to prevent overwatering or underwatering. This is beneficial for plants that require consistent moisture levels, such as herbs, vegetables, and flowers. By maintaining an optimal environment for the plant’s roots, peat pots can enhance overall plant growth and productivity.

Peat pots are an excellent option for starting seeds indoors and transplanting them easily once they’ve matured.

Biodegradable peat pack
Biodegradable peat pack

Choosing the right peat pot

When it comes to sizes and shapes, peat pots are available in a wide range of options. From tiny seedling pots to larger ones for mature plants, there is a size to suit every type of plant. Some peat pots also come in innovative forms, such as rounds, squares, or strips, which are particularly convenient for commercial nurseries or those looking to maximize space utilization.

When choosing a peat pot, size matters. Choosing the right size peat pot is crucial for the development and overall health of your plants. Consider the type of plant you are growing. Different plants require different sizes of peat pots. Smaller plants like lettuce and herbs are best suited for smaller pots, typically around 2 inches in diameter. On the other hand, larger plants such as tomatoes or peppers will thrive better in larger pots, usually around 4 inches or more. Factor the growth habit and root system of the specific plants to select the right size.

Consider the length of time your plants will spend in the peat pots before being transplanted. If you plan on transplanting your seedlings into larger containers or directly into the ground relatively quickly, smaller pots may suffice. However, for plants that require a longer time to develop, it is advisable to start them in larger peat pots, giving them ample room for root growth.

Consider the environmental conditions in which the plants will be growing. If you live in a region with a shorter growing season, starting your plants in larger peat pots can be beneficial. The larger pots provide more room for root development, allowing the plants to mature faster and increase their chances of reaching their full growth potential.

Lettuce starting in biodegradable peat pots
Lettuce starting in biodegradable peat pots

Peat pot buying tips

Consider the following when purchasing peat pots:


Consider the material the pot is made of. Peat pots are typically made from a mixture of peat moss and other organic materials. It is important to ensure that the peat used in the pot is of high quality and sourced responsibly to promote sustainability. Look for certifications that indicate responsible sourcing practices.


Consider the pot’s durability. A well-made peat pot should be sturdy enough to hold the weight of the soil and plant without falling apart easily. The walls of the pot should be thick and firm, providing support to the growing plant. It is advisable to choose pots with reinforced edges as they are less likely to break or crumble.


Consider the width and depth of the peat pot. Peat pots come in various sizes and depths, and it is crucial to choose one that suits the specific needs of your plants. A pot that is too shallow may restrict root development, while a pot that is too deep can cause waterlogging and poor drainage. Opting for pots with adequate drainage holes at the bottom is recommended to prevent water accumulation.


Consider the pot’s drainage features. Adequate drainage is crucial for healthier root development, so opt for pots with ample drainage holes.

Growing space

Consider space constraints for raising plants in pot. If you have limited space for starting plants from seed or prefer to grow plants in smaller containers, opt for smaller-sized peat pots. This will allow you to maximize your limited space while still providing adequate room for the plants to grow. Peat pot buying tips


Consider the overall aesthetics of the peat pot. Quality peat pots should have a smooth exterior finish without any cracks or blemishes. The color of the pot should be uniform, indicating uniformity in composition and quality.


Peat pots with branding or labeling from trusted manufacturers or brands can provide additional reassurance about the product’s quality and reliability.


Peat pots are about the same price as the peat pellet, but you will need to fill peat pots with a growing medium, making them ultimately just a little more expensive.

Sowing seeds
Sowing seeds in a biodegradable peat tray

Planting a peat pot

  • Set the peat pot fully in the soil. Remove any small part of the pot that sticks above the soil level when setting the plants into the garden–otherwise it act as a wick, drawing water away from the plant’s roots and into the air.
  • Before planting score the sides of the peat pot with a sharp knife. This will allow roots to grow into the surrounding soil before the peat pot fulling decomposes.
  • Sow several seeds per pot and thin to one after germination.

Peat pots we like

GROWNEER 30 Packs 4 Inch Peat Pots Plant Starters for Seedling with 15 Pcs Plant Labels, Biodegradable Herb Seed Starter Pots Kits, Garden Germination Nursery Pot. About $13.

HOMENOTE Peat Pots, 60 Pcs 4 Inch Seed Starting Pots with Drainage Holes Round Nursery Pot, Plants Pots with Bonus 20 Plant Labels. About $17.

JOYSEUS 3.25″ Seed Starter Pots, Organic Planting Peat Pots for Garden Seedling, 30 Pcs 100% Eco-Friendly and Biodegradable for Seed Germination. About $8.

Back to the Roots Organic & Plantable Seed Starting Pots (24 CT). About $6.

Cosweet 50 Pcs Thick Peat Pots, 3.15″ Biodegradable Eco-Friendly Plant Seedling Starters Kit, Seed Germination Trays with 100 Plant Markers for Vegetable Tomato Saplings & Herb Seed Germination. About $13.

Ferry Morse Jiffy-Pots Organic Seed Starting 5″ Biodegradable Peat Pots, 6 Count, 4-Pack. About $27.

Plantation Products Jp508 Round Peat Pot, 5-Inch, 6-Pack (2). About $20.

GROWNEER 120 Cells Peat Pots Seed Starter Trays, 12 Packs Biodegradable Seedling Pots Germination Trays, Organic Plant Starter Kit with 15 Pcs Plant Labels. About $12.

YESIACE 126 Packs Square Peat Pots, 3.15 Inch Seed Starting Pots with Drainage Holes Square Nursery Pot,Biodegradable Eco-Friendly Plant Seed Starter Peat Pots Germination Seedling Trays. About $18.

Written by Stephen Albert

Stephen Albert is a horticulturist, master gardener, and certified nurseryman who has taught at the University of California for more than 25 years. He holds graduate degrees from the University of California and the University of Iowa. His books include Vegetable Garden Grower’s Guide, Vegetable Garden Almanac & Planner, Tomato Grower’s Answer Book, and Kitchen Garden Grower’s Guide. His Vegetable Garden Grower’s Masterclass is available online. has more than 10 million visitors each year.

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