We discussed earlier a couple things about pelleted seeds in tip #85. We’re going to review when you might want to use pelleted seeds and go over some more tips and info to help you decide if it is right for you.
Seed pellets come in a variety of sizes, with the exact sizes generally dependent on the size of the seed. Sizes are based on 1/64 of an inch, so a size 10 would be 10/64″ of an inch. Coatings are typically made with clay and other inert materials that are permeable to oxygen and that absorb water quickly. This allows them to split quickly upon hydration, keep moisture right at the seed, and allow the seed to grow unencumbered by the pellet.
Pelleted seeds are great for mechanical seeders due to their uniform size and shape. This makes seeding faster and easier, while also reducing the change of seeds getting stuck. It also reduces the need for thinning, which can take a lot of time if growing in a large enough bed.
Another often under looked part of pelleted seeds is that the coatings can be a vehicle for seed treatment, such as organic fungicides. This can minimize the chance of insects or rodents eating your seeds after planting and before germination. While we don’t use pelleted seeds and treated pelleted seeds in our gardens, they can be a valuable time saving device.
Cover Image by Dwight Sipler, used under its Creative Commons license.