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Skip vermiculite seed sprouting and go straight to Mel's Mix?

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Re: Skip vermiculite seed sprouting and go straight to Mel's Mix?

Post  sanderson on 2/10/2014, 1:51 pm

Thanks, folks.  I thought about this after I posted.  I think it will be great for seedlings.  And I will use a little less volume for my final bed.  In the fall when I refresh the box, I will mix in a little more of the big stuff along withthe compost.  At least it is only a 2 x 2 box.

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Re: Skip vermiculite seed sprouting and go straight to Mel's Mix?

Post  boffer on 2/10/2014, 4:03 pm

OK, ya'll have convinced me to try something new just for the heck of it.  I was scheduled to start some seeds today, so I turned it into an experiment.

I've been satisfactorily starting seeds in 3¼ inch pots full of MM for a couple years.  That's what I'm starting with; the Sharpie is my dibble to create a 1 inch deep hole to fill with vermiculite.



3 broccoli, 3 cauliflower, 3 celery started in MM like always.
Then 3 of each planted in vermiculite in the MM.


The tray is now on a heat mat.

Here are the  same broc and cauli seeds that I planted a week ago  into MM.  

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Re: Skip vermiculite seed sprouting and go straight to Mel's Mix?

Post  H_TX_2 on 2/10/2014, 4:26 pm

@boffer wrote:OK, ya'll have convinced me to try something new just for the heck of it.  I was scheduled to start some seeds today, so I turned it into an experiment.

I've been satisfactorily starting seeds in 3¼ inch pots full of MM for a couple years.  That's what I'm starting with; the Sharpie is my dibble to create a 1 inch deep hole to fill with vermiculite.



3 broccoli, 3 cauliflower, 3 celery started in MM like always.
Then 3 of each planted in vermiculite in the MM.


The tray is now on a heat mat.

Here are the  same broc and cauli seeds that I planted a week ago  into MM.  

I am interested to see how the different methods turn out. My single planting without vermiculite was an after thought because I had one extra pot and just enough seed starting mix. The difference could be due to just about anything. Maybe I was ready to be done and didn't quite take the same care I did with the seeds I planted in the vermiculite. Maybe I was not paying as much attention and buried it deeper than the others. I only noticed a difference afterward and I don't recall the specifics of planting the seeds because I wasn't doing it to compare the difference.

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Re: Skip vermiculite seed sprouting and go straight to Mel's Mix?

Post  boffer on 2/10/2014, 4:34 pm

@H_TX_2 wrote:...My single planting without vermiculite was an after thought because I had one extra pot and just enough seed starting mix...

I've had the same after thoughts at times.  I complete a garden task, and only then do I think, 'Hey, this could've been a fun experiment if I had thought about it before I started'!    

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Re: Skip vermiculite seed sprouting and go straight to Mel's Mix?

Post  sanderson on 2/10/2014, 7:29 pm

Boffer, the SFG "canary."  If Bof says it works,   then we can all safely try it.

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Re: Skip vermiculite seed sprouting and go straight to Mel's Mix?

Post  SFGHQSTAFF on 2/11/2014, 5:16 pm

See, this is what I love about you guys. I am glad that you follow the book, but remember, the book only came to because of lots of experimentation. We always encourage you guys to keep experimenting. Test new methods, compare with what works and see if you improve it. This method is the best we have been able to come up with at the moment, but that does not mean that there can't be new improvements. I love vermiculite, but it is a finite substance and not sustainable in the long term. I would to see everyone here try new ways to see who can come up with a system that is just as efficient (or even more so) and do it with more sustainable (and cheaper) materials! Keep up the good work guys

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Re: Skip vermiculite seed sprouting and go straight to Mel's Mix?

Post  boffer on 2/11/2014, 10:02 pm

@sanderson wrote:Boffer, the SFG "canary."...

I like SFG, but not this much... :



 rofl

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Re: Skip vermiculite seed sprouting and go straight to Mel's Mix?

Post  FamilyGardening on 2/12/2014, 12:16 am

Boffer the Canary LOL did you use fresh MM or some from your garden?

let me see if I understand, one set you used only MM to start the seeds in and the other set you used MM + made a hole in the middle of the MM and added vermiculite in that hole to plant in?

so far in our trials if we use MM from the garden, then we tend to bring in some critters with it  Razz the family ruled on this one...no more stepping on slugs

for spring our seed starting is in the house under lights...so we usually buy some organic potting mix for seed starting indoors....if we had bagged MM sold locally we would use it instead or if we are going to build new beds and need MM then we would use the left overs....other wise its not affordable for us to buy and make fresh MM for seed starting.....plus we have no where to mix it up in....its easier to buy it in bags for smaller amounts.....

 Very Happy  look forward to the experiments from everyone!!  Very Happy 

happy gardening
rose...who is off to re-read this thread as she still doesn't understand the need for the extra vermiculite

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Re: Skip vermiculite seed sprouting and go straight to Mel's Mix?

Post  H_TX_2 on 2/12/2014, 10:12 am

Again I have to say I can't be certain about this because I was not looking for this all along like it was an experiment.

I looks like the one pot that only has seed starting mix has a thicker stem on the seedling. The other seedlings have been up for several days more than this one seedling so that could have something to do with it. The very first seed to sprout is very tall and very skinny. Maybe forcing the seedling to push through the dirt actually takes a little longer but gives you a stronger stem once the seedling it finally out. You don't get something for nothing and for every action there is a reaction.

Boffer, when you are doing this try to see if there is any difference in the stems from each batch after the sprout.

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Re: Skip vermiculite seed sprouting and go straight to Mel's Mix?

Post  boffer on 2/17/2014, 9:58 pm

Update: 1 week

The broc seeds in vermiculite sprouted before the seeds in MM.

The cauli seeds in MM sprouted before the seeds in vermiculite.
  Cauli didn't sprout in one vermiculite pot.

The celery seeds are still sleeping.  I should have used something else.

Today there are minimal differences.





I haven't planted directly in vermiculite before.  I found that planting the small seeds into vermiculite was more difficult than into MM because I couldn't see them as well.  I ended up putting way too many seeds into the vermiculite.  These pics were taken after I thinned them.

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Re: Skip vermiculite seed sprouting and go straight to Mel's Mix?

Post  jimmy cee on 2/17/2014, 10:02 pm

I made my own MM, it looks so good I am going all the way, from seed to beds.
I know my compost is about the best there is.
After reading ingredients of potting soils and such, thats what I decided.

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Re: Skip vermiculite seed sprouting and go straight to Mel's Mix?

Post  plantoid on 2/18/2014, 5:34 pm

@boffer wrote:Update:  1 week

The broc seeds in vermiculite sprouted before the seeds in MM.

The cauli seeds in MM sprouted before the seeds in vermiculite.
  Cauli didn't sprout in one vermiculite pot.

The celery seeds are still sleeping.  I should have used something else.

Today there are minimal differences.





I haven't planted directly in vermiculite before.  I found that planting the small seeds into vermiculite was more difficult than into MM because I couldn't see them as well.  I ended up putting way too many seeds into the vermiculite.  These pics were taken after I thinned them.
  The celery seeds in vermiculite..

They  can take 21 or more days to germinate and a few more to let you know they are there.
 Cover the container with a sheet of clean white paper so they get a defused light and the humidity is held constant .. What temperature are you trying to germinate them at ??

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Re: Skip vermiculite seed sprouting and go straight to Mel's Mix?

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