Mix recommendations for potting up seedlings?

ferretbee(5b)February 12, 2010

I have some pepper and tomato seedlings that are due for potting up into 18oz cups. I started them in Ferry Morse organic seed starter mix, but not certain what to use for the next step. I picked up some ingredients today, but still haven't found any good partially composted pine bark for 5:1:1 mix.

Here's what I have on hand:

- Bale of compressed Sphagnum Peat

- Big bag of Vermiculite

- Small bag of Pearlite

- Small quantity of Reptibark (which was really expensive)

- Miracle Grow Potting Mix

- Lowes Sta-Green Potting Mix

- Bag of Gran-i-Grit

- Bag of Pulverized garden lime

I was thinking of trying 7:2:1 peat (wet), vermiculite, perlite which should be similar to Pro Mix BX (recipe courtesy of EngineeredGarden), but I'm open to suggestions.

These are being grown under shop light inside at regular room temps. I haven't figured out a good way to give the tomatoes cold treatment yet.

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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

I'm sure the Lowe's mix varies by region, so there is no way to guess at what it's like, insofar as water retention/drainage/aeration is concerned. I would probably go with the MG soil mixed 3-4 parts MG and 1 part perlite. The soil will already be water-retentive, so skip the vermiculite. If you're confident the Lowe's soil is something you can use, treat it similarly.


    Bookmark   February 12, 2010 at 8:24AM
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engineeredgarden(7, nw Alabama)

ferretbee - I had that recipe wrong (for swc's). Should have been 6 parts peat, 3 parts perlite, and 1 part vermiculite. I'm planning on potting up with 3 parts peat, and 1 part perlite.


    Bookmark   February 12, 2010 at 9:12AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Last year, I sprouted my pepper seeds in a mix very similar to the Gritty Mix. Then, I moved them into a mix with more bark - closer to the 5-1-1 - in Styrofoam cups. Good drainage is key. I always top-watered, and never allowed my containers to sit in a tray of water for more than a few minutes after watering.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2010 at 10:12AM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

I like what Josh said.


    Bookmark   February 12, 2010 at 12:01PM
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I wound up making a mix that was about 4 parts partially composted pine bark mulch (I screened some mulch from Lowes and tried to pick out any sapwood), 1 part MG potting mix, and 2 parts pearlite. It seems to drain well, and I'm going about 3 days between watering.

Some of the seedlings on 2-10:

Today, Rutgers in front, Early Girl in back:

Polish Dwarf:

Mini Bell Pepper (top left), Red Beauty (top right), Yummy Mini Bell (front 4):

Are these plants on track, or are they lagging? These germinated between 01-22 and 01-30. I have them under 4 ft fluorescent shop lights with warm and cool bulbs. I keep them very close to the bulbs (1 inch).

I left some pepper seedlings in their starters until yesterday, and they haven't grown much at all.

I haven't been able to find good pine bark yet. I picked up some 'Dr Earth Potting Soil' the other day. Main ingredients are pine bark fines, forest humus, peat moss, pearlite and a bunch of organic fertilizers. I potted up some pepper seedlings in 3 parts Dr Earth and 2 parts pearlite to try it out.

Thanks for everyone's advice.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2010 at 6:10PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Looking good, Ferret! Thanks for the update pics!

Doesn't seem like they're lagging for zone 5...


    Bookmark   March 2, 2010 at 9:34PM
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