Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Seed Starting

I started 12 flats last Thursday. By Sunday, some of them had sprouted. I have broccoli, cabbage, onions and herbs going. A few tomatoes too but I think it's a bit early for them as I tend to wait until May to plant tomatoes and peppers.

What I noticed was a huge difference in the soil-less mixes. On the left is Bacto and on the right is the Miracle Grow Seed starting mix which appears to be just peat moss with vermiculite/perlite in it. Both of these flats are broccoli. As is recommended, I wet the mixes then put it in the flats. I put in seeds and covered with plastic. The Bacto held moisture while the peat moss didn't. I've had to spray the peat moss daily. I've even watered the holding tray hoping that the bottom wicking would help, but I don't see any improvement. It is a little early to tell, but I'm not convinced that the peat moss mix will do anything as it just doesn't retain moisture.

So, I'm going to re-use the peat moss and mix up a batch of Paul's recipe. This peat moss mix was something I had left over from last fall. It was a small bag that has a price of $6 on it. However, the large bags of peat moss are just $9 ~ that's about 3 cubic feet! Yowza! I'm glad I only bought that one small bag.

I found the Bacto at Valley Feed & Seed. They swear it's the best. The 50 pound bag filled 8 trays and I've got enough left to do at least 5 more.

For the basil and onions, I just sowed a tray with seeds. I'll transplant them into bigger pots later.
I've got these all on a 6' table in a south facing window. It's been pretty good so far, but I will either hang lights over them (to keep them from getting too leggy) or move them out to the cold frame when they're bigger. Since it's mostly cold weather stuff, I think it'll do okay outside.


ChristyACB said...

I found exactly the same result with the Miracle Gro Seed Starting Mix. So I switched to the Miracle Grow Moisture Control formula, which is not really for seed starting at all, and I've had GREAT results. I think you're right, it just doesn't hold enough water and the little seeds die out.

Patrice Farmer said...

I can't wait to get started on my garden but its too early here yet.

fullfreezer said...

It's still too early for me as well. But about 2 or 3 more weeks and I can start my broccoli. I can't wait!!

Janelle said...

looks terrific.

Shiloh Prairie Farm said...

Looks like you are off to a good start. I am glad to know about the seed starter stuff!

P~ said...

Best of luck to you with it. I'll be whipping up a batch when I get home from the vacation I'm on to get my seeds started as well.