Which should I use, seed starting mix or potting soil ?

Discussion in 'Seed Starting / Propagation' started by margie12u, Feb 6, 2010.

  1. margie12u

    margie12u In Flower

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    This may be a crazy question but what do you all use to plant your seeds in, I usually just use potting soil, But I thought I would try and use that Jiffy Starter mix and maybe it would give them a better start,Is it suppose to feel like it's dry all the time? I watered the heck out of it and they are just as dry as can be, Like I said Iv'e never used it but it seems odd to me, Do you all think it's better than potting soil, I don't know. My flower seeds done ok in potting soil last year but you know how it is want to try something different, If you all think it's ok I will use the rest of it,

    Thank you all Margie :stew2:
     



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  2. eileen

    eileen Resident Taxonomist Staff Member Moderator Plants Contributor

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    I've never used the jiffy starter mix Margie so I'm not sure if it's meant to feel as though it's dry all the time. I do know that quite a few people have tried it though with poor germination results. I use a mulitpurpose compost (peat free) to plant all my seedlings in and they seem to thrive in it.
     
  3. cajunbelle

    cajunbelle Daylily Diva

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    I have used both.

    Seed starting mix:
    You have to soak it first in water, then squeeze as much of the water out as you can. Remember, the mix has no nutrients at all. When the seedlings get their first set of true leaves start watering them with half strength Miracle Grow or any other water soluble fertilizer.

    Potting soil:
    You don't have to soak it. If you use potting soil with fertilizer in it you don't have to supplement with water soluble fertilizer. The only thing is if the potting soil has large pieces of bark or other matter you may have to sift it first, especially for small seeds.

    I prefer potting soil such as Miracle Grow or Expert. And I always sift mine to get the large pieces out. You can put the large pieces in your flower beds so it doesn't go to waste, or throw it on the compost pile. Hope this helps.
     
  4. kate

    kate In Flower

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    Simple answer..Jiffy pots.

    You put in your one/two seeds and leave. When its big enough, warm enough plant out..no disturbed roots.

    Like this image.



    [​IMG]
    ( photo / image / picture from kate's Garden )

    On inspection this morning the roots have now made an appearance.

    Great way to grow your flowers and veg.
     
  5. daisybeans

    daisybeans Hardy Maple

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    Very good question Margie. I appreciated everyone's answers too.
     
  6. bunkie

    bunkie Young Pine

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    i also just use potting soil.

    as for not disturbing the roots during transplants, homemade paper pots are good and homemade soil blockers are excellent. toilet paper or paper towel rolls are good too, but they tend to mold. one should dip them for a quick minute in a solution of a bit of bleach in a bucket of water, let them dry, then plant.

    here's a way to make the large paper pots for such seeds as corn, cut the length down and you have smaller pots for other seeds that don't need that much room....

    "Paper pots 1 1/4" - 1 1/2" = 12 to a milk jug bottom. I use a cardboard tube from paper towels for the form to roll the newspaper around. Tear the news paper in 7 1/4" inch strips that will go at least twice around the form (2 and 1/2 times is actually better). Measure up 6" from the end of the tube and draw a line around it at this point. Wrap your newsprint around the tube, Fold the excess under to form the bottom of the pot. Slip off the pot, fill with dirt and you have a nice deep pot 6" deep that will stay good for at least 3 weeks. Then when you are ready to plant out, you plant the corn, pot and all. Tear off the top inch or so and bury the paper pot completely."

    the soil blocker is a tool that you use to make blocks of soil. i bought one many many years ago and still use it to this day. some make small soil blocks, and when the plants get large, they repot them in larger soil blocks. i just have the one small size and the plants go from there directly into the soil.this is a great way to not disturb the plant roots at all, if any.

    i got mine at johnny's, but since then, i have found an entire site on them...

    http://thesoilblocker.blogspot.com/

    they are really spendy, but really so worth it for starting cucumbers, squash, the large seeded veggies....and toms and peppers and such, also.
     
  7. Sjoerd

    Sjoerd Strong Ash

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    Generally speaking, I use seeding soil for flowers and I use other soil types (such as potting soil) for veggies.