Starting media advice

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by Pouncer, Nov 18, 2006.

  1. Pouncer

    Pouncer Well-Known Member

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    Alaska
    I will be starting quite a few veggies this coming spring (live way north) inside, in a room I have wired for lights.

    I typically use Pro-Mix, or Sunshine Mix (basically sterilized peat?) as that's what I can buy by the large bale locally. I really want to get these off to a great start and while the medium is *okay* I am sure there are better products to use-or, is there something to add to it? There is NO topsoil (dirt) available here as it's all frozen. So pre bagged stuff is all I can get. We do have some garden centers and a WalMart tho.

    I thought about starting the seeds themselves in vermiculite (if I can find the right grind) and then transplanting to ProMix?

    Any tips or hints for me?
     
  2. Marcia in MT

    Marcia in MT Well-Known Member Supporter

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    northcentral Montana
    We start all our stuff in Sunshine #5 and it all does very, very well. The medium is sterile, and has the right water retention and aeration properties for starting seeds. As far as I know, it only comes in big bales, though. Try asking at a greenhouse supply company (look in phone books).
     

  3. skruzich

    skruzich Well-Known Member

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    Uhmm
    A most excellent mix. This is primarily what commercial growers use.

    Cornell foliage plant mix:
    ½ bushel sphagnum peat moss
    ¼ bushel vermiculite, No. 2
    ¼ bushel perlite (medium fine)
    8 tbsp. ground dolomitic lime
    2 tbsp. superphosphate (20% powdered)
    3 tbsp. 10-10-10 fertilizer
    1 tbsp. iron sulfate
    1 tbsp. potassium nitrate

    This foliage plant mix is well-suited for ferns, Begonia, Cissus, Coleus, Ficus, Maranta, Pelargonium, Pilea and Sansevieria.

    Cornell epiphytic mix:
    1/3 bushel Douglas fir bark (finely ground)
    1/3 bushel sphagnum peat moss (shredded)
    1/3 bushel perlite (medium fine)
    8 tbsp. ground dolomitic lime
    6 tbsp. superphosphate (20% powdered)
    3 tbsp. 10-10-10 fertilizer
    1 tbsp. iron sulfate
    1 tbsp. potassium nitrate

    This plant mix is suitable for bromeliads, cacti, Crassula, Dieffenbachia, Episcia, Gloxinia, Hoya, Monstera, Philodendron and Peperomia.
     
  4. Pouncer

    Pouncer Well-Known Member

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    Thanks you guys. My only other local alternative is something called "Redi Earth" which is a mix of peat moss and vermiculite, very fine. $28 a bag tho *gulp* ProMix is pushing $40 a bale too. Ouch.
     
  5. anniew

    anniew keep it simple and honest Supporter

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    I've started all my seeds for years in Pro-Mix BX. Last year I got some Sunshine mix (the one that is OMRI approved for organic growers) and was not as pleased with it. Both brands have more than one formula so it's best to know which one you are using as some are better suited for some things while others are better for other uses.
    Ann