Starting weed seeds in cowpots & soil

Cowpot experience or info?

I have tried these in the veggie garden with poor results. They were very hard to keep moist as seedlings before planting, and there was still a lot of the pot left at harvest. The roots were certainly restricted.

Stank J.P.

They suck, do not use them. My experience was similar to Stoney Johnson – the pots do NOT break down like they claim which restricts root growth.


Yeah, someone gave me some and I ended up crumbling them into the compost pile after a basil plant got burned and crowded in one. Gimmicky crap.

New member

CowPots are not Gimmicky crap.

CowPots are not Gimmicky crap.

We’ve been in the horticulture business for over 50 years and CowPots have been proven in university studies to be a better pot for seed starting.

Are you guys sure you weren’t using another bio pot? CowPots are the only bio pot that actually degrades, where fiber pots can take up to 3 years to degrade. Within 3 weeks of being planted, based on the level of microrganisms in your soil, the pot has already started to break down (see lettuce below).

It is virtually impossible for roots to be “crowded” in a CowPot. The roots emerge when the pot walls are wet, and air prune when the pot is dry, enabling root shoots to branch off the main root that emerged.

Check out the photos below, click on them to make them bigger – These are plants grown in CowPots. You can see on the sixcell that even the tiniest roots can emerge through the porous walls of a CowPot.

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You guys need to give CowPots another chance.

Properly manage your water, and be sure you are actually using CowPots and not some other bio pot.

Tips for Planting Seedlings in Peat Pots, Jiffy Pots, Cowpots

Biodegradable pots—such as Jiffy Pots, other peat pots, Cowpots and pots made from newspaper—offer an easy way to grow plants from seed and transplant seedlings into the garden. Because these pots break down naturally over time, the seedlings can be planted pot and all in the ground. Jiffy Pots, Cowpots and the like are especially great options for plants that do not like having their roots disturbed, such as nasturtiums and cucumbers.

There are two tricks to remember when transplanting seedlings in biodegradable pots:

1. Gently tear off the top half inch of the pot. If you leave this part of the peat pot or Cowpot on, it could wick water away from the soil surface and limit the amount of water that reaches the plant’s roots.

2. Gently tear off the bottom of the pot, too, unless roots have already fully penetrated it. Removing the bottom of the peat pot, Cowpot or newspaper pot will make it easier for the seedling to take root and access nutrients and water from the ground.

In summary, when planting biodegradable pots with their seedlings in the ground, tear off the top and the bottom. It’s easiest to do this if you soak the pot in water first.

Read about other options of containers for starting seeds.
Learn all about starting plants from seed in the downloadable recorded slideshow It Starts With a Seed.

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Shop for special seed mixes from Renee’s Garden. Many can be direct sown into the garden after the last frost.

Learn about starting from seed and caring for seedlings with the illustrated Smart Gardening Techniques: Seeds download or The Joy of Seeds, a compilation of seed- and seedling-related Horticulture articles.