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Soil Recipes

Posted by sandhill_farms 10 NV (My Page) on
Fri, Jul 30, 10 at 21:46

I will be starting a lot of seedlings of various vegetables, Peppers and Herbs from now on, (our growing season is (10) months plus). I don't wish to buy soil for my cell packs, opting instead to make my own. For those of you who make your own soil what are you using? I know I will not be using peat moss or anything with the Miracle Grow label. Nothing personal to those of you who use their products, it's just my personal choice.

I look forward to seeing what others use. Thanks!


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Soil Recipes

For seed starting I use half and half peat and vermiculite. This works well for seeds starting in 3 weeks or less. For slower seeds I prefer a a mix without the peat and less subject to shrinking or becoming hydrophobic. Al

RE: Soil Recipes

I have very good luck (100% germination) using the seed starting mix from Gardener's Supply. I'm sure you could make something similar for less money, but I don't mess with success. I do think it's helpful to use a sterilized mix vs. one with compost. Also, I use bird gravel/chicken grit to cover the seeds (vs. more starting mix) and it has eliminated damp off for me.

RE: Soil Recipes

100 percent germination? That's unbelievable. It means that if you sow 50 tomato seeds from a package, 50 of them germinate. I take it you have kept records of how many and what type of seeds you sowed, when you sowed them, when they germinated and, of course, how many did?


RE: Soil Recipes

Wouldn't we all like to save money by making our own soil. Well you can experament and try but you won't get the mix you desire. If you use garden soil you will get a lot of nasties along with the good. Fine for the garden but not so good starting seeds indoors.

Which leaves you with buying the components to make your soil. By the way I agree with you about pure peat and Miracle grow. All Miracle Grow products are on my do not buy list.

In my 30+ years of gardening I have used lots of products and even tried making my own soil. I had some success with some products and some abysmal failures, but nothing like the success I get with Pro Mix BX. I buy it by the 3.8 Cubic Feet compacted bale for $27 and that will usually do me for a whole season. I grow a lot of plants--well over 1000. It will keep indefinitely if you keep it dry. What I have left over or if I have to buy a new bale I keep in a garbage can I use just for Pro Mix.

RE: Soil Recipes

I do get that kind of germination (knock on wood). The hardest part for me is culling the extra sprouts - because I'm too paranoid to believe I get that kind of germination, so I always plant 3 per cell. I'm pretty much convinced that the year I decide to do one per cell, I'll have no germination and no plants.

RE: Soil Recipes

I get as close to 100% germination as you can get, too. I don't direct sow into cells, though, but use two or three germination flats that I heat with cables. Once the 100 to 200 seedlings (per flat) have germinated, I pull the plug on the heating cables and get ready to transplant the babies into cell packs, usually 48s.

No wasted seed, no empty cells, no doubles and triples. Just fat and happy seedlings. ;-)

You should ALL expect to get high germination rates.

I know that I've recommended the Fafard professional potting mixes in here before. I still like 'em better than ProMix. Has anyone used their organic mixes? If so, how did you like the texture?

RE: Soil Recipes


I've heard this before on this site and I just want to know why someone would pinch out 2 plants to leave one. It seems to me a big waste of seeds. With some seeds you only get about a dozen seeds per package. Much better to do like rhizo1 and I do. Sow in flats and transplant into individual containers.

RE: Soil Recipes

Interesting topic. I'm fairly new at this and I'd like to make a soil that encourages growth for woody plants such as pine, spruce and fir seedlings. Zone 5 here.

I have lots of different things in the garage to work with, such as turface, pine bark, granite, silica sand, haydite, peat, sand (several grades),etc.

Any thoughts on a good soil mix for first year conifer seedlings?


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