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Soil very compact

Posted by lilpetunia MA (My Page) on
Sun, Mar 24, 13 at 8:20

I have been growing things from seed for a long time, but without much knowledge. I just stuck stuff in the little cells and let them grow on the kitchen table in whatever sun came through the window. Naturally most got leggy and fell over. This is the first year I'm growing under fluorescent lights, so I actually have a chance! But it seems I've already messed up. I went to the Christmas Tree Shop to buy the trays of cells to grow the seedlings in and all they had were peat pot ones, so I bought them, not knowing how many issues they can cause. All of my seeds are planted in them so I'll have to make do.

Anyway, the issue I'm having right now is that in one of my trays the soil is very hard and compact and I'm afraid it's preventing anything from growing. It's been a little less than a week since I planted the seeds in them, so I might be jumping the gun getting worried, but I wanted to hear some opinions. Will seedlings be able to push through really compact dirt? If I water them again (I have not watered since I put the seeds in because this particular tray was over watered) will that soften the soil? Is there anything else I can do to loosen it up? I took a toothpick and loosened some of the cells, but only the ones I know have very large seeds. I don't want to do that to the tomatoes or anything like that because I'll probably hit the seed. My other two trays are fine, I wet the soil differently in them (wet the dirt before adding it to the cells instead of after), and some seedlings are already coming up (as of this morning). But the "bad" tray has almost all of the vegetables, so we want that one to do well more so than the other trays. Any advice would be much appreciated!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Soil very compact

Hopefully you aren't using actual dirt (soil) but bought some soil-less potting mix for starting seeds instead? If so which brand of mix are you using?

Soil compacts far too much and drains poorly to use for seed starting.

Dave


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