Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Seedlings - Slowly But Surely....

I experimented with my seed starting mix this year. I hate the soil-less seed starting mix. I don't care what anyone says, but I think seeds need dirt. The potting soil I bought was a bit clumpy, so I mixed it with seed starting mix until it reached a softer consistency. It definitely seems that seeds sprout a bit slower in this mix, but hopefully I won't have to repot as often because there are needed nutrients in their soil.

That being said, I've seen basil, broccoli, tomato, thyme, oregano, and zinnia sprouts. The zinnia's are moving quickly, and the basil and broccoli aren't far behind. Tomatoes seem to be taking their time, but every variety other than Blondkopfchen has sprouted at least one seedling.

I tried to take some pictures, but I still haven't mastered the use of my husband's fancy camera. I came upstairs to import the photos and they were all too dark. Oh well.


  1. I hate the new seed starting mixes, too. I buy potting mix and add a bit of vermiculite to it. It always contains some type of fertilizer, so I've stopped using even the half strength fish emulsion on my seedlings. I'm a bit afraid of potting soil, having had a lot of seedlings die from damping off when using it. Odd, they like the dirt when I plant seeds in the garden, but die if I use the dirt in the bag! If you do find some seedlings damping off, I've found using chamomile tea to water them does help. Daphne sprinkles cinnamon on her soil.

  2. I've noticed that my cells are holding water much longer than they did with potting mix. What does dampening off look like? I can tell when my seedlings are doing poor, but this is only my third year gardening so I mostly just know when something is good or bad, not when specific conditions are occurring.

  3. Damping off is when a seemingly healthy little seedling looks as though you snipped it off at the soil line. Usually the tiny leaves will still look green, but the stem just rots through. It can be caused by organisms (fungi) in soil, or from keeping your seedlings too wet. Look at photos here:

  4. When in doubt, use the 'green' setting on the camera. You were in program mode because I was experimenting with time lapes and aperture settings. Hope to take some time lapse pictures of stuff growing, curious how fast my hops shoot during a hot day.