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Can I start seeds indoors in soil/Mel's mix rather than Verm. ?

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Can I start seeds indoors in soil/Mel's mix rather than Verm. ?

Post  greenmama on Sun 4 Mar 2012 - 7:44

I need to start some seeds indoors today. Actually, I'm a week behind on some. So I really need to get going!

I'm new to all this, and have never planted indoor seedlings, only done direct outdoor seeds.

I was surprised and caught off guard when I read in the book that I should start my seeds in a cup of verm., in a tray of water. I don't have any little containers that I can poke holes in, and not enough saucers I can spare either. I could go out and spend some more money to buy more things, but I'm wondering if I can skip starting in verm. and start straight away in little seed pots with some Mel's mix in them? I have a bunch of the peat/compostable type that you can put the whole thing in the ground. It's less overwhelming to me that way too. But I want to do whatever will produce good results.

Thanks!
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Re: Can I start seeds indoors in soil/Mel's mix rather than Verm. ?

Post  sfg4uKim on Sun 4 Mar 2012 - 7:59

I start in Mel's Mix now and NOT vermiculite. It's just that you can start more seeds in a shallow cup of vermiculite and move them into four-packs of Mel's Mix which take up more room.

I've actually ended up accidentally damaging seedlings transferring them from verm. to MM.

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Re: Can I start seeds indoors in soil/Mel's mix rather than Verm. ?

Post  camprn on Sun 4 Mar 2012 - 8:01

I start my seeds in a starter mix similar to Mel's mix.

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Re: Can I start seeds indoors in soil/Mel's mix rather than Verm. ?

Post  Ha-v-v on Sun 4 Mar 2012 - 8:03

I started every this year in peat pots, or plastic trays with many cells. I do have some things trying to start in verm, but thats because I have some extra things. I am using generic red solo cups for some things etc. It is just what I have. I dont usually have plastic milk cartons but when I get them I save them to plant in as well. They are 2 qts.

Most of all they do grow in peat pots with MM. MM has everything you would need for a seedling. It will be the simplest I think to start. A good blend of compost and you can grow anything I think. Smile
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Re: Can I start seeds indoors in soil/Mel's mix rather than Verm. ?

Post  greenmama on Sun 4 Mar 2012 - 8:06

Whew! Thank goodness! Thanks a bunch for the replies!
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Re: Can I start seeds indoors in soil/Mel's mix rather than Verm. ?

Post  jkahn2eb on Sun 4 Mar 2012 - 8:51

They will grow fine in MM. It's just all about not wasting seedlings if you start them in vermiculite.
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that was my question, too

Post  gweiher on Sun 11 Mar 2012 - 15:43

oh good! i was just wondering this myself...wondering why one wouldn't just start w/ MM? thanks for asking already!
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Re: Can I start seeds indoors in soil/Mel's mix rather than Verm. ?

Post  plantoid on Sun 11 Mar 2012 - 16:49

I found to our cost that growing the seeds in MM on the window cill gives out tiny black flies that bite me & mine during the night ( most likely coming from out of the the composted manures )

In vermiculite this does not happen .

I also had problems with getting suitable sized pots / containers to just grow six or so seeds.

In the end I used some old used vending machine plastic drinking cups with a couple of holes melted in the base using a hot barbie skewer . You could use aerosol can caps and melt a couple of tiny holes in the bases .

I've only been half to three quarter filling the cups with ground up vermiculite ( used the kitchen blender on a slightly damp jug full to make it small enough ) and slipping a bit of clingfilm over the tops , once the seeds are placed in the dry vermiculite & after the initial soak in room temp rain water for a hour or so on a filled tray , I take the cups out of the water and stand them on the sink drainer for four hours to let any excess water to run off , then I put them to sit on a bit more clingfilm that goes up the side of the cup so as to prevent any leakage of water .

Once you see germination has taken place & micro yellowish things appear , remove the top film to let the seedlings get a pair of green leaves & some air ...I doubt you'll need to re-water as the neat vermiculite is a darn good water retainer .

Initially I didn't allow them to drain off long enough and things got a bit too damp for some seeds that went mouldy . Such seeds don't get any cling film on the top for three days as this allows a bit of evaporation .

It's a cinch geting the seedlings out . Remove the films and gently roll the cup in your hands to loosen the contents and slip it out on a clean surface where you intend to either grow or pot them on . use a seed lanel to gently ease the seedlings out the now collapsed heap of damp vermiculite& slip it into a prepared hole then lightly directly water each seedling in with tepid rain water.

26 /2 I planted five peas per cup and by the ( 7 days ) time the peas were 1/2 inch high they had developed three inch long roots . I planted them out in the sfg's a week or more ago after a couple of days hardening off in the glass house .Today they are about 1 & 1/4 inches high

I've done same with all sorts of brassicas & a load of flowers for six hanging baskets .. they all got planted out direct in their growing positions yesterday & watered in but the hanging baskets are in the glasshouse till the last frost date.

Every plant will get another greenhouse temp warmed rain water drink tomorrow evening unless it rains .
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Re: Can I start seeds indoors in soil/Mel's mix rather than Verm. ?

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