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Hello fellow gardeners!

 

What kind of seed starting mix do you use?

 

Also, I'd like to find a substitute for peat moss. I've read good things about coconut coir but wonder if anyone has experience using it to start seeds.

 

thanks so much,

Jenni

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Replies to This Discussion

A friend of mine got her Master's Degree in Soil and she actually said that she starts her seeds in compost! I would imagine you'd have to be careful that the compost doesn't stay too wet and was surprised to hear that the seedlings didn't burn from too much nutrients, but I guess if you have well-made compost you can do it. And she's started a lot of seedlings!

It depends on what I'm planting. I use Orchid Soil mix (not bark) for peppers, tomatoes, tomatillos, and eggplants. I find that those, esp. peppers do NOT like mixes with peat in them. Orchid mix generally doesn't include peat. For other stuff, if I need a large amount I simply by a large bag of Rose planting mix.

 

If you want to go the way of pellets, like those Jiffy pellets, Peaceful Valley Farm Supply now offers pellets made of coconut coir. I just bought some, but I haven't tried them yet.

You'll find coir to be a good substitute for  Peat Moss. I used Peat Moss in my nursery for 50 years & find it very satifactory for  seed germination. It has some acidic value to protect seeds from certian fungus. To plant seeds try placing a layer of coir on the bottom of the flat  then covering the seed with Perlite sifted thru a tea strainer to cover the seed. The perlite seems to help with damp off problem.  This keeps the the moisture from setting around the stem.

You can use Coco coir to start seeds.  I would use a 20-30 percent mix of perlite with it to prevent moisture issues.  Use a light strength multi purpose fertilizer (1/4 strength) to condition the coir and perlite mix.  Neptunes fish and kelp is an excellent seed start promoter.  Beware of Coir when it comes to any advanced vegetative growth as you will need to supplement Calcium and Magnesium to offset coirs affinity to bind those nutrients up.

Not all coir is created equal.  I like Botanicare Cocogro.  It has been washed clean of excess salts and not loaded back with syntetic chelated Ca and Mg (to my knowledge, I have confirmed the low salt content personally).  The real cheap coir is not worth its weight in sand.  It will be loaded with salts and can severly stunt growth especially with seedlings.  One brick of Cocogro is around 15 bucks from your local Hydro/ Organics supplier.  They can special order it if need be.  If they try to sell you another option, confirm that it is a "premium" coir and has been washed free of salts from processing.

 

Coir also rocks for a full blown container grow, just keep in mind the supplemental Cal Mag that it needs.

 

Good Luck

BG

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