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no more potting soil for me

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no more potting soil for me

Post  jimmy cee on 3/12/2014, 10:08 am

When I went to start my seeds this year I was going to buy potting soil..
NOOOOOOO
I decided to accept the fact that M.M. was the only way to go since I had incredible results with plants last year.
Very happy I did, I not only saved a few dollars using material I had on hand (vermiculite, peat, and my own compost) I gained lots of confidence in my efforts.
I feed these plants a 10% solution of fish emulsion twice a week. (also did this last year)
See for your self, below images show my labors this past month.
Now I need to get these into the ground to make room for more plants...

My set up with lights..just plain daylight lamps, a crock pot for lasting moisture...enclosed completely at night.

I keep about 1/2 inch of water on bottom

These are itching to go out and grow in my garden, will plant them in cold frame soon
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Re: no more potting soil for me

Post  llama momma on 3/12/2014, 10:27 am

Very Nice Jimmy! Looks like you have well over 60 plants so far.  My nursery would sell transplants for $1.59 each last time I looked.  My math says you've got well over 100 dollars worth of transplants and priceless satisfaction of growing them yourself.
 
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Re: no more potting soil for me

Post  Goosegirl on 3/12/2014, 7:26 pm

Lookin' good Jimmy!

  

GG
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Re: no more potting soil for me

Post  GWN on 3/12/2014, 7:37 pm

At first glance I thought that was a fridge...great system you have got set up there.  Now...... just bring on the spring.... 
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I must be technologically challenged!

Post  melatops on 3/12/2014, 11:02 pm

I cannot see your pics, what am I doing wrong?......Please help
Thank you,
Esther
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Re: no more potting soil for me

Post  landarch on 3/12/2014, 11:17 pm

Jimmy, nice set up...what are the seedlings...eggplant?  cole crops?
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Re: no more potting soil for me

Post  Marc Iverson on 3/12/2014, 11:31 pm

Nice system you've got going there.
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Re: no more potting soil for me

Post  gwennifer on 3/13/2014, 3:24 am

@melatops wrote:I cannot see your pics, what am I doing wrong?......Please help
Thank you,
Esther
Hmmmm... the pictures are included in the very first post on this thread. Do you see a little broken picture link or just nothing at all?
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Re: no more potting soil for me

Post  jimmy cee on 3/13/2014, 7:59 am

@landarch wrote:Jimmy, nice set up...what are the seedlings...eggplant?  cole crops?

Broccoli, kohlrabi, swiss chard, romaine,  and some herbs.
I was thinking I'd have them planted by now, however my beds are still frozen.
I need the space for warmer plants along with flowers for wife.
My experiment with flowers last year was such a success wife wants me to do hers this year for porch and flower garden..
I may try these in my cold frame, however it's still frozen also.
March 13th....amazing.....
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M.M.?

Post  LilGreenNewbie on 3/13/2014, 11:13 am

Wow those look really good! I like the crock pot idea. But I am new to gardening and this forum... what is M.M.? Sounds like you are talking about compost maybe.???

 Embarassed
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MM

Post  landarch on 3/13/2014, 12:22 pm

M.M - Mels Mix
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Re: no more potting soil for me

Post  CapeCoddess on 3/13/2014, 12:59 pm

Everything looks awesome, Jimmy!  I'm right with ya on the need to plant out but can't due to weather.  This winter is weird.  I won't even put mine out under their windows yet due to the hi wind potential...like today.

CC

PS I'm the laziest...I start mine in used MM right out of the SFG.
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Re: no more potting soil for me

Post  sanderson on 3/13/2014, 2:07 pm

Lil Green, Do you have a copy of the book All New Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew? You may have already answered this question elsewhere, but the book is so important to SFG.
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Re: no more potting soil for me

Post  jimmy cee on 3/22/2014, 9:51 pm

1-1/2 week later..all Mel's Mix

kohlrabi

romaine

assorted herbs
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Re: no more potting soil for me

Post  plantoid on 3/22/2014, 10:01 pm

@LilGreenNewbie wrote:Wow those look really good! I like the crock pot idea. But I am new to gardening and this forum... what is M.M.? Sounds like you are talking about compost maybe.???

 Embarassed

Welcome to the  site ,
My straplines contain the info of the book we use .

In the  meantime perhaps you'd best go to the home page and click on the yellow(  ish ) bobbles on the left of the page .

If you spend a few hours reading the posts and themes you'll get a clearer picture of what we do .

It's amazing what you'll pick up for your square foot gardening.
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Re: no more potting soil for me

Post  cpl100 on 6/3/2014, 9:26 am

Jimmy, you started the seeds directly into the yogurt cups in MM, right?  I was just researching here on the forum as to how I should start some seeds and your post popped up in the search.  I was trying to decide whether or not to buy some organic potting mix or to mix something up myself---but I didn't know whether I needed some special mix for seeds.  This will be for flowers.
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Re: no more potting soil for me

Post  walshevak on 6/3/2014, 11:17 am

I keep a bucket or rubbermaid bin of peat and vermiculite blend  and some bins of the compost blend in the garage.  You never know when you may want to start a few seeds.  Laughing   And the compost blend is added to my homemade compost to rejuvenate the squares after harvest.

Kay

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Re: no more potting soil for me

Post  cpl100 on 6/3/2014, 12:39 pm

@walshevak wrote:I keep a bucket or rubbermaid bin of peat and vermiculite blend  and some bins of the compost blend in the garage.  You never know when you may want to start a few seeds.  Laughing   And the compost blend is added to my homemade compost to rejuvenate the squares after harvest.

Kay
Kay, would you mind sharing what you use to start seeds?  Mix it all up like regular MM or some different combination?  Thanks much!
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Re: no more potting soil for me

Post  walshevak on 6/3/2014, 3:36 pm

Two cups of my peat, vermiculite blend and 1 cup of the 5 compost blend.  I tend to not use my homemade for seed starting because I would have to go outside to the other side of the house to get it and it is generally cold in Feb when I'm starting seeds.  Very Happy 

Year before last I bought some fine vermiculite to use for sprouting seeds.  Didn't like my success rate.  I still have some and if the seeds are very fine, I'll put a tiny pinch of seeds on top of the MM and sprinkle the vermiculite lightly over them to hold in place. Then cups into water holding trays, put on the heat mat and water from the bottom.

Seems to work best for me.  I was given a peat puck setup and I used it, but I didn't like the fact the plants needed to be up-potted to get nutrients once the seed ran out.  That's why I like to start in MM in yogurt or juice cups from the get go.  I may have to up-pot to a bigger cup of MM if planting is delayed, but everything stays in MM from day one.  And I couldn't see going to the extra expense of buying pucks when I already keep some MM fixings on hand.

Kay

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Re: no more potting soil for me

Post  grownsunshine on 6/3/2014, 6:09 pm




I planted seeds in a 72 space seed tray using MM. After the seeds sprouted and the plants grew a bit, I transferred them to cups also with MM. For me, MM seems to be fine at all stages of growth starting from seed. This also kinda shows 6 inches of MM is fine for most plants, except those that people mentioned in other threads. I had zukes in cups starting flowers and cukes with many flowers. About 2 weeks from the day I took these pictures I finally got around to building my new box so I could transfer some of my plants from the cups. 

I'm thinking of doing what Kay suggested, that is plant seeds in bigger cups so I don't have to up-pot but just once when I transfer the plants to my boxes. I'd just put the cups in trays and water from the bottom. I'm just worried that the soil may not stay moist.

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Re: no more potting soil for me

Post  cpl100 on 6/3/2014, 7:16 pm

Thanks!
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Re: no more potting soil for me

Post  Marc Iverson on 6/3/2014, 9:09 pm

One nice thing I've found when planting seeds or transplants in MM that is kept reasonably moist is that when transplanting, if the soil in the pot does not come out all at once, it nevertheless appears that the roots quite often do. That is, even fine, delicate roots pop out of MM without getting torn off, like they sometimes do with other types of soil. I think that recommends it especially to people who like to transplant plants that it's usually advised you direct-seed, like cucumbers.
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Re: no more potting soil for me

Post  jimmy cee on 6/4/2014, 8:57 am

@cpl100 wrote:Jimmy, you started the seeds directly into the yogurt cups in MM, right?  I was just researching here on the forum as to how I should start some seeds and your post popped up in the search.  I was trying to decide whether or not to buy some organic potting mix or to mix something up myself---but I didn't know whether I needed some special mix for seeds.  This will be for flowers.
Yes, I start everything in my yogurt cups now. I've found them to be extremely easy to maintain, and they cost nothing.
I use nothing but my Mel's Mix for starting my seeds, after reading what the purchased items contain I feel very comfy with my stuff.
Please understand this is my opinion and I  am only in my second season of SFG.
My wife only uses potting soil for her flowers, however she is enjoying my success and on occasion asking for some M.M.
Photo's below are of my nasturtium adventures, it's proved to me beyond a shadow of a doubt what can be done with M.M.

last years nasturtium

The following is all this years, flowers are just starting to come out



These are marigolds also started in M.M. I had one last year, the roots took over the entire container.

These are black eyed susans. I haven't planted yet
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Re: no more potting soil for me

Post  cpl100 on 6/4/2014, 9:11 am

Beautiful flowers!
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Re: no more potting soil for me

Post  mazzy on 6/4/2014, 9:32 am

All of you are inspirational.  Other than beets and peas and bush beans, I've been using store bought 6 packs.  The store bought plants are expensive and makes me feel like I'm cheating.  Since this is my first season using SFG, and since I got a late start, I won't beat myself up too much.  But I'm going to begin setting up for starting from seed.  Your advice that MM is a good starting mix helps to settle that matter.  Next I've got to figure out where to keep them when the weather is cold.  Gardening is a lifetime of learning.

Mazzy
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Re: no more potting soil for me

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