Starting Soil?Potting Soil?

connecticutbugMarch 15, 2011

Can use some guidance on starting and potting soil. I went to walmart and picked up a small bag of Miracle Grow Starting Soil and plan to use that to get my plants started.

I'm starting indoors on a heat mat, then under T8 fluorescent bulbs until they go outside.

If I decide to transfer the seedlings from the pod tray to coffee cups should I be using Potting Soil at that stage? Any recommendations?

Another question, do you guys use the starting soil right out of the bag, or do you sterilize it and bake it? I'm hoping to avoid this step if possible.

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I have never baked or done anything to sterilize my potting soil before using it for my own purposes, and I have never had any real problems. I think for the most part it is sterile when you get it. In college I remember using steam to sterilize soil that we were reusing in the greenhouse rose beds...but that was because it was used:) I know that a lot of people do use special seed starting soil mix, but I always just use Pro-Mix potting soil. I;m sure some folks will tell you to use seed starting mix, and others will say it doesn't really matter (like me!), but what it comes down to is what you personally prefer. Why not try a little experiment and start some in the finer mix and others in regular mix...and see if it makes a difference to you! I just find it easier to use one kind, and I buy the huge 3.8cu ft bails.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2011 at 8:47AM
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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

You do not say what plants you are growing. For vegetables I would not bother with seed starting mixes at all. Some of the slow to germinate ornamentals I think can justify the extra expense. Al

    Bookmark   March 16, 2011 at 9:39AM
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luvahydrangea(Albany, NY 5)

This year I used seed starting mix and potting soil. I couldn't tell the difference. The seeds in the potting soil (peppers) actually germinated sooner than the ones in the seed starting mix. I probably won't be buying seed starting mix next year. Seems like a waste to me.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2011 at 4:50PM
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Thanks for the replies. I am planning on starting all sorts of garden vegetables like tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, zucchini, and many others.

Seed starting mix is expensive so i'll plan to try seed starting mix and a potting soil. Potting soil is much cheaper so if it works just as good why not :)

    Bookmark   March 17, 2011 at 6:51PM
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I normally used potting soil for the seeds I started outdoors but last year I got a bag of MG that seemed more like mulch than potting soil. There were sticks and pieces of bark mulch. None of my basil grew in it so I'm afraid to use it again. I was told at HD that I could use it and mix it with some peat I have and add something else, maybe perlite, I don't remember. Does anyone have an idea? I hate for it to go to waste and I have the peat left over from planting a tree anyway.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2011 at 6:22AM
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I use PRO-MIX with Fungicide. They germinate very well over a heating mat under fluorescent lights. My problem is they die after they are over 1 inch tall. From reading after they germinate i should remove them from the heating mat. Is this what you all do?
I grow trees from cuttings and I leave the cutting on the heating mat until the they develop good roots. May be the seedlings are different.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2011 at 10:09PM
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Doesn't realty matter too much on easy to start plants.
I would caution on the use of the word potting "SOIL" What you want is potting "Mix". The stores sell both. I have gone back to store potting mix for starting seeds and for re-potting them.
If you have the seeds covered, get the cover off as soon as they pop up and give them air.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2011 at 1:55PM
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Does anyone have an idea if pigweed seeds would need seed starting mix or if potting soil is okay?
Soil is 77-87 percent aged pined bark, sand, and perlite

    Bookmark   February 2, 2015 at 1:52AM
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