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how long can seedlings stay in peat pellets

Think of them like a sponge. every bit of moisture in the soil will be wicked into them.

Thanks to all for any advice.
I am starting from seed the first time this year and am using primarily peat pellets as my growing medium. Germination is great, growth is great. My leeks looked like they might be outgrowing the pellets (I could see roots coming out the bottoms), so I decided to put the peat pellets in small peat pots (on top of a small mound of Jiffy mix, then filled in with the sam). Most of my leeks then wilted over and died. I’m thinking their roots were lacking water in their new situation. I usually bottom water and sprinkle a bit on top for good measure. My questions are:

Peat pots will suck the moisture out of the soil quicker than you can bat an eye. throw those away.
I don’t know what happened to your leeks, but I do start a lot of seeds in peat pellets and then pot up to 4″ plastic pots before transplanting outside. I haven’t had any problem with plants dying doing this. Sometimes I get busy and don’t pot them up very quickly, but the seedlings will continue to grow with their roots coming out the sides of the pellets if they are in trays. They do grow into other pellets, but I hate to say this, I just rip them apart (ow!) and plant them and they are always fine. IME, there is no such thing as transplant shock. I grow all sorts of plants – herbs, flowers, perennial, veggies – but I have never grown leeks. Maybe there is something about them that didn’t like the peat.
2. Is there a better way to move peat pellets to a larger interim container before planting out?
Any type of plastic cup that you can poke holes into (make sure you have some holes on the bottom of the sides, too) will work. and when you pot up, switch to a good potting soil/peat mixture. not just peat.
1. Did I need to move my leeks to bigger pots, or would they have been fine in the peat pellets for a good while longer?

I used to use the peat pots but they were hard to get, so I switched to plastic and like it better because I can reuse them year after year. I bought a whole bunch from either Fedco or Peaceful Valley couple years ago.

I am starting from seed the first time this year and am using primarily peat pellets as my growing medium. Germination is great, growth is great. My leeks looked like they might be outgrowing the pellets (I could see roots coming out the bottoms), so I decided to put the peat pellets in small peat p…