In the C. elegans germline, maintenance of undifferentiated stem cells depends on the PUF family RNA-binding proteins FBF-1 and FBF-2. FBF-1 and FBF-2 are 89% identical and are required redundantly to silence the expression of mRNAs that promote meiosis. Here we show that, despite their extensive sequence similarity, FBF-1 and FBF-2 have different effects on target mRNAs. FBF-1 promotes the degradation and/or transport of meiotic mRNAs out of the stem cell region, whereas FBF-2 prevents translation. FBF-2 activity depends on the P granule component PGL-1. PGL-1 is required to localize FBF-2 to perinuclear P granules and for efficient binding of FBF-2 to its mRNA targets. We conclude that multiple regulatory mechanisms converge on meiotic RNAs to ensure silencing in germline stem cells. Our findings also support the view that P granules facilitate mRNA silencing by providing an environment in which translational repressors can encounter their mRNA targets immediately upon exit from the nucleus.