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Best potting/seed starting soil?

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Re: Best potting/seed starting soil?

Post  NHGardener on 1/26/2013, 6:45 pm

I never even heard of coir before you mentioned it. I take it that's coconut hull? I'll have to look into that.

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Re: Best potting/seed starting soil?

Post  camprn on 1/26/2013, 6:48 pm

@cindre2000 wrote:On a completely unrelated note. The 3 reasons I like coir better than peat moss is that it does not shed water like peat, it is sustainably produced, and it is pH neutral.

Isaac

Coir is a reasonable alternative to the 'peat moss' in the growing mix. The sphagnum peat moss we use here in the US in from sustainable sources in northern US and in Canada. It is slightly acidic at around pH 4.5 and it doesn't require nearly as much water for processing as the coir. Nor does it require shipping on the high seas. Wink

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Re: Best potting/seed starting soil?

Post  cindre2000 on 1/26/2013, 6:48 pm

Yep, coconut hull ground baked and compressed (just add water). I stocked up on compressed bricks of it some time ago when I realized the benifits. Also, I forgot, another perk is it does not break down as quickly as peat does....

Isaac

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Re: Best potting/seed starting soil?

Post  cindre2000 on 1/26/2013, 6:50 pm

@camprn wrote:Nor does it require shipping on the high seas. Wink

But the seas be calling to me. Arg!!!! A pirates life for me!

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Re: Best potting/seed starting soil?

Post  NHGardener on 1/26/2013, 6:55 pm

Oh. Coir is an offshore product?

I don't know how you all learned all this. I must have missed class that day. Good for you, and thanks for the info.

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Re: Best potting/seed starting soil?

Post  floyd1440 on 1/26/2013, 7:00 pm

My kids got me a bag of Johhny's 512 mix for X-Mas and I got the block maker last year and am looking forward to mixing and making my first blocks for starting seeds, which should be less than a month away, and hopefully this is a good mix..


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Re: Best potting/seed starting soil?

Post  NHGardener on 1/26/2013, 7:05 pm

Actually floyd, that's a good idea too. I nixed that one because shipping was too expensive, but while I was at the garden center today for the farmer's market, I saw that they will order anything you want from Johnnys and it gets delivered to them and you don't have to pay shipping charges. I might just add some Johnny's mix in my experiment because I do have the soil block makers.

I had on my mind to order the Agribon (?) that way, but you just made me think I should order the soil block mix too.

I am slowly going broke... What a Face

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Re: Best potting/seed starting soil?

Post  camprn on 1/26/2013, 7:11 pm

@NHGardener wrote:

I am slowly going broke... What a Face
LOL, that's the hazard. 'tis not always easy to set and live with in a budget.... just remember... it's all a process, not an event...I try to pace myself Wink

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Re: Best potting/seed starting soil?

Post  floyd1440 on 1/26/2013, 7:12 pm

@NHGardener wrote:Actually floyd, that's a good idea too. I nixed that one because shipping was too expensive, but while I was at the garden center today for the farmer's market, I saw that they will order anything you want from Johnnys and it gets delivered to them and you don't have to pay shipping charges. I might just add some Johnny's mix in my experiment because I do have the soil block makers.

I had on my mind to order the Agribon (?) that way, but you just made me think I should order the soil block mix too.

I am slowly going broke... What a Face

OK....what is Agribon????? Am glad the kids got me the 512 soil as the shipping is steep..expecially the further west you live for stuff shipped from Johnny's.

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Re: Best potting/seed starting soil?

Post  quiltbea on 1/26/2013, 7:16 pm

Agribon is also known as Remay. Its light weight row cover to repel bugs (lets air and sunshine and rain thru) with different weights up to heavy row cover to prevent frost damage.
I use it and love it. Also keeps birds off my strawberries so I get to eat them.

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Re: Best potting/seed starting soil?

Post  CindiLou on 1/26/2013, 7:26 pm

@NHGardener wrote:
I am slowly going broke... What a Face

I laugh every time someone asks me what I SAVE on my garden! rofl Well, I SAVE peace of mind because I know how it was grown. I SAVE on the gym because I get my outside exercise each day. I save my grandkids from having to learn all this on their own. I SAVE my marriage because I am much calmer when I get to be outside in my garden. Money? Nope..don't save a penny because there is always new toys to get. rofl

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Re: Best potting/seed starting soil?

Post  NHGardener on 1/26/2013, 7:50 pm

CindiLou, there's a poster in there somewhere. That was great.

quiltbea, I learned about Agribon from your posts, and glad of it. This year I dare the bugs to eat my squash and cucumber seedlings, or the chickens to peck out the sunflower seeds. Touche.

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Re: Best potting/seed starting soil?

Post  jdwheeler42 on 1/26/2013, 11:41 pm

@NHGardener wrote:I think I read where it's good to bake potting soil at 180F for maybe half an hour, to kill off the viruses before you use it.

Back when I used a dry, sifted soil mix for starting seeds, I would mix it with boiling water in a metal bowl until I had something the consistency of wet cement and then let it cool. It definitely did stink but I could set it somewhere it didn't matter. I never had any problems with disease.

Now I usually just use the compressed peat pellets or Mel's Mix.

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Re: Best potting/seed starting soil?

Post  walshevak on 1/27/2013, 12:12 pm

When I was living in Japan I found good potting soil was nearly impossible to find. The local stuff was the consistancy of coffee grounds, packaged in small bags and very expensive. When I found some at the AAFES, I bought all I could. The next year none was available and as I was tilling up my pots, I found it was loaded with grubs. Thinking to be clever, I dumped a pot into a microwave safe container and popped it in. Fortunately I was watching carefully, as it caught on fire. LESSON LEARNED

Kay

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Re: Best potting/seed starting soil?

Post  NHGardener on 1/27/2013, 12:25 pm

Mmmm... blackened grubs... delicious. Wink

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Re: Best potting/seed starting soil?

Post  quiltbea on 1/27/2013, 1:00 pm

Good point jdwheeler, about boiling water......I pour boiling water on weeds that try to invade the gravel path alonside my flower bed. Works every time.

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Re: Best potting/seed starting soil?

Post  jjpell27 on 2/15/2013, 4:57 pm

Boiling water is great at killing weeds! Though be careful it will send the earth worms right out of the ground; it's too hot for them! So use it sparingly and target it as much as possible.

My dad's mom use to bake soil in the kitchen oven, apparently it does realllllyy stink but didn't do any lasting damage. Not sure if it was gas or electric but this was also over 30 years ago...

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Re: Best potting/seed starting soil?

Post  pipefish on 2/21/2013, 10:13 pm

Would approximately 50% peat moss, 50% vermiculite and a small amount of worm castings (1-0-0) make an OK seedling mix (potting mix) before I transplant outdoors into MM? I have a bag of store-bought soil (with things added, but it is very dense and this talk of soil-borne diseases is freaking me out!).

I'm worried about not having any nutrients with just peat moss and vermiculite. Is it worth adding the worm castings at all? or should I bank on giving some nutrients 3-4 weeks down the road if I'm not yet in the MM?

Thanks,

Dan

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Re: Best potting/seed starting soil?

Post  camprn on 2/22/2013, 6:20 am

Dan both peat and vermiculite have no nutrition for your little plants. Adding worm castings will give a bit of nutrition. If the seedlings remain in the little pots or cells and are not growing well, you could use some liquid plant food. I sometimes will use a weak miracle-gro like solution.

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Re: Best potting/seed starting soil?

Post  pipefish on 2/25/2013, 7:47 pm

I'm waiting for my sprouts to mature in vermiculite at the moment and want to share my potting mix recipe before I transplant them (I'm so nervous I'm going to do them more harm than good in my mix)...

4 cups sphagnum peat moss
4 cups vermiculite
1 cup worm castings (1-0-0)
1 cup Fafard's "perfect planting soil" (says sterilized on bag)
1/2 cup dehydrated poultry manure (4-2-2)

I have already mixed it up and it has stayed very light (no significant change in texture from it just being peat moss and vermiculite)

Any thoughts before I (...the seeds) take the plunge? Thanks,
Dan

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Re: Best potting/seed starting soil?

Post  floyd1440 on 2/25/2013, 8:24 pm

Dan

Sounds good but I would give it a try to see how it works I use the block makers and actually used miracle grow potting soil last fall to see how it worked and did fine. So just fuss around to see what works for you

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Re: Best potting/seed starting soil?

Post  littlejo on 2/25/2013, 9:08 pm

Hi Dan, just a question. The worm castings and poultry manure, where did you get the numbers? Is this bagged, purchased? I haven't got my worm castings(from my own worms) tested, but, I truly believe mine must be a higher number.
I started mine in MM that I put in a zippy bag, in micro for 3 min,(it was real hot) then potted my babies, after starting in just vermiculite. I've been watering with weak worm tea and my tomato plants were started too soon. They are growing leaps and bounds. They love the worm tea!
Jo

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Re: Best potting/seed starting soil?

Post  pipefish on 2/25/2013, 9:31 pm

Hi Jo,

The numbers come from the bags: "Wiggle Worm: Soil Builder" is the product for the castings and "Organic Traditions: Garden Manure" is the poultry based fertilizer.

Great to hear your tomatoes are flying up! Worms sound like a great investment.

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When are you transferring from just vermiculite?

Post  treefrog62 on 3/7/2013, 2:02 pm

Okay, this is my first time I am starting seeds in vermiculite (and SFG'ing). Previously I had just started seeds in potting soil, or seed starting soil (pre-packaged stuff).

In the ANSFG and ANSFG Answer book, Mel says he transfers seedlings from vermiculite directly into Mel's Mix, when they still just have the two seed leaves. I have done this for a few of my seedlings, and I am worried. Is this going to be too much nutrients for them?

I put the Mel's Mix in half toilet paper rolls. The seedlings in the vermiculite are getting very tall, but are extremely skinny (is that what is referred to as "leggy"?). I was concerned about waiting till they grew true leaves to transfer them, since they looked like they needed more support/nutrients/something.

Any recommendations?

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Re: Best potting/seed starting soil?

Post  RoOsTeR on 3/7/2013, 5:26 pm

Most folks have their own way of sowing their seeds and the medium they use. Me, I plant mine directly in Mel's Mix. YMMV Cool

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