Germinating and growing in same pot?

lisa_z5ny(z5 NY)April 1, 2014

Hi, total newbie here to starting seeds indoors!

Can you germinate and grow seedlings in the same medium/container? Can I start my seeds in commercial seed starter mix of some sort in yogurt cups and then just grow them in it until they are ready to transplant outside?

If not- when I transplant them as seedlings when they have their first few true leaves or whatever, what do i transplant them *into,* and does that need to be sterile too? Regular potting soil? Is that sterilized? I have big bags of vermiculite, peat and compost left from last year's garden (square foot garden)- can I mix my own potting soil from those components for the little seedlings to be transplanted into indoors, or do I need something sterile?

Thanks much!!

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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Lots of complex questions in your post Lisa. Lots of details to supply to answer all of them and most are discussed here in detail in the forum FAQs and in other posts.

But basically,

Can you germinate and grow seedlings in the same medium/container?

No, for many reasons. One the main ones is that many seedlings require at least 1 transplanting to trigger the development of feeder roots.

Can I start my seeds in commercial seed starter mix of some sort in yogurt cups and then just grow them in it until they are ready to transplant outside?

Probably not. Depends on the seedling of course and the mix you use. All plants have different growing rates. So would need to know exactly what plants we are talking about. Seed started mix is only for that - starting the seeds. Then they need to be transplanted into a growing mix and yes it is a sterile potting mix too. Never use any kind of potting "soil" in a container.

Can you mix your own? Yes, there are many recipes for doing so. But compost isn't sterile and usually causes both pest and disease problems when used on young seedlings.

Your best bet for success until you gain some experience is to buy a bag of one of the commercial-made soilless potting mixes that are already sterile and pH balanced and will drain well and use it for both seed starting and for growing in once the plants are transplanted.. There are many, many brands available.

Hope this gets you started.

Dave

Here is a link that might be useful: Growing from Seed FAQs

    Bookmark   April 1, 2014 at 1:15PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

Sometimes people's thinking process on things amazes me. A few of the responses in the following thread fall into that category, but, there's also some good info, so here's a link to a related thread from this same forum: Is sterilized soil necessary?

    Bookmark   April 1, 2014 at 5:23PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

"One the main (reasons to transplant seedlings) is that many seedlings require at least 1 transplanting to trigger the development of feeder roots."

Seedlings will develop feeder roots either way (and possibly even more, by volume, if not transplanted), but transplantation produced a more branched root system, which is beneficial when the plants are replanted / planted out. Instead of a few longer roots, you get multiple shorter/more-branched roots.

A few other important reasons to transplant seedlings are related to space and effort. By staring multiple seeds in one container, required space is minimized, at least until the seedlings have to be potted up. If your germination rate is 60%, 40% of the required growing area per seed is wasted, and if the growing area per seed is large (as it would be if the seeds were in individual pots or spaced for larger plants) the wasted space would be large. Related to that, your effort to plant each plant in it's own pot is not wasted with less than 100% germination rates.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2014 at 5:42PM
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thewallawallaian89(7a)

I germinate and grow in the same pot. Until i am ready to transplant. I have never EVER used sterilized soil...which to me makes NO sense, because there are all sorts of icky things any way. I used jiffy-pots last year... they arent worth it! Ive been digging them out of my beds all day long... >.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2014 at 9:31PM
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