potting mixes with slow release fertilizer

clc70(8 Wa.)December 8, 2011

I just read an article in Fine Gardening (seed starting myths) that says potting mixes with slow release fertilizer in it can be harmful to seeds. I just checked my potting mix and sure enough it has fertilizer in it. Has anyone ever had a problem with slow release fertilizers in their mix or is everyone careful about purchasing potting mixes without it for winter sowing?

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I prefer to buy it without then fertilize when I see sprouts or when I transplant out.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2011 at 9:55PM
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littleonefb(zone 5, MA)

The article you read was no doubt talking about starting seeds indoors and under lights.

Wintersowing is a different method of starting seeds and the info you read has nothing to do with this method of sowing seeds.

I've been using miracle grow potting mix every winter for 8 years now, this will be year 9 for me and I wouldn't use anything but Miracle grow. My success rate has been 100% to near 100% germination and planting out all of those containers every year.

Others use pro mix, farfed and some others that are compressed bails of soilless mixes to start seeds with.

I wouldn't worry about any type of fertilizer in your potting mix. the only thing I might be concerned with is using any potting mix that has anything in it to help retain moisture.

That can create havoc with the water content in the potting mixes. If you have too much rain in the spring it will hold far more water in it than you want and that is a problem.
I've personally seen the results of using the moisture control in the potting mix and the results where "liquid soup" for potting mix in the containers from far too much water, no germination in the containers and just a huge mess.


    Bookmark   December 8, 2011 at 11:44PM
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