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New to growing your own tomatoes? This is the forum to learn the successful techniques used by seasoned tomato growers. Questions are welcome, too.

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Old April 12, 2006   #1
GreenThumbGal_07
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Default Now I know better

I know how I'm going to start my seeds next year.

Planting about a dozen or so seeds in a paper cup in loose potting mix (I used Black Gold potting soil) produces seedlings with nice strong root systems which apparently recover pretty rapidly after having been gently separated and "potted up" into separate cups.

Compare that with seedlings grown in Jiffy-7 peat pellets. Whether they are several seedlings which have to be separated, or are a "singleton" (single seed germinated per pellet), they aren't as tall or vigorous when repotted as the seedlings grown in potting mix in a paper cup.

The "paper cup" seeds were from varieties I grew and saved myself (2004 and 2005 saved seeds) but I can still REALLY see the difference.

Jiffy-7 pellets are good in a pinch, but when I hand them out to other people, I say, you can use these, but use the soil and cup method if you can.

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Old April 12, 2006   #2
carolyn137
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GTG,

About the only comment I wish to make is that if that Black Gold potting soil really does contain soil, I wouldn't use it to sow seeds.

The reason is that any mix that has real soil also has a much higher probablility of having any combo of the three fungal genera/species that cause damping off, while artificial mixes that are soilless have none to far fewer.

So my vote for a seed starting mix would be something like Jiffy Mix or Pro Mix or Metro Mix or Fafard.
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Old April 12, 2006   #3
montanamato
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Black Gold makes a soiless starting medium also... I ordered a few bags early on as we don't have access to much more than miracle gro potting soil. It was fine and not much different than Jiffy mix potting soil.
West of the Mississippi it is tough to find good starting mixes, and I really hate to pay shipping...but then I hate to shop the mega chains too.

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Old April 13, 2006   #4
timcunningham
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GTG,

I agree with your observations, my time growing from seed, i used the Jiffy Pellets. They just didn't do well. I couldn't get moisture right with them.

Now I sow seed into a large plastic Solo cup, with some holes punched into the bottom. Has worked very well the last couple years.
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Old May 23, 2006   #5
feldon30
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I purchased a 10 qt bag of Scott's Potting Soil for Seed Starting. Aside from the various politics regarding Scotts/MG, is this a decent soilless mix? Am I going to have problems with it?

"This product is formulated from 80-90% horticultural grade spagnum peat, perlite, fertilizer (0.0-0.01-0.0), and a wetting agent."

Everything on the back seems to jibe with everything I've read on GW forums about seed starting.
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Old May 23, 2006   #6
Suze
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Quote:
Originally Posted by feldon27
"This product is formulated from 80-90% horticultural grade spagnum peat, perlite, fertilizer (0.0-0.01-0.0), and a wetting agent."
Sounds fine.
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Old May 24, 2006   #7
geoguy_TN
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Quote:
Originally Posted by feldon27
I purchased a 10 qt bag of Scott's Potting Soil for Seed Starting. Aside from the various politics regarding Scotts/MG, is this a decent soilless mix? Am I going to have problems with it?
I have used this product for the last two years and have had success with it. I will say that the mix appeared to have changed a little from last year to this year, but both worked fine. No problems.
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Old May 24, 2006   #8
Delora
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Quote:
Originally Posted by feldon27
I purchased a 10 qt bag of Scott's Potting Soil for Seed Starting. Aside from the various politics regarding Scotts/MG, is this a decent soilless mix? Am I going to have problems with it?

"This product is formulated from 80-90% horticultural grade spagnum peat, perlite, fertilizer (0.0-0.01-0.0), and a wetting agent."

Everything on the back seems to jibe with everything I've read on GW forums about seed starting.
I've had better luck with the Scott's mix than the one from Schultz. I found the Scotts to be very light and finely milled with virtually no sticks. I personally think it's a good product.

-Delora
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Old May 24, 2006   #9
JBinKC
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"I purchased a 10 qt bag of Scott's Potting Soil for Seed Starting"

I used it this year and had wonderful success with it, used the MG Potting Mix once I transplanted up, I'm quite pleased with the results.

As I continue to grow I will try other things as well, but I think this will be my standard until I learn more. But always interested in trying new things that will expand my growing results )
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Old May 25, 2006   #10
feldon30
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I'm so anxious to try new varieties and get my garden beds sorted out. Anyone want pounds of Celebrity and Roma tomatoes?

2006 Garden Gallery

"A" for effort on my first try, but there will lots of rearranging and digging this fall! My secondary goal this year was to get lots of beans. I've gotten maybe 20 beans total out of 6 plants!! Gardening is supposed to be fun and I think I am taking this all in stride, but it is kind of depressing when you really think about the results I've been getting. Common sense would have told me that the tomatoes would shade out the beans altogether. The beans are getting maybe 3 hours of direct sun a day. Now I am going to plant from shortest to tallest left-to-right.

My bumper crop this spring will be watermelons and canteloupes. They have the right soil, the right amount of sunlight, and plenty of room to play.
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Old May 25, 2006   #11
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feldon

I enjoyed looking at your garden pics. I laughed at the ones where you were scooping fertilizer with the horse looking on in the background.

Beware wearing sandals when gathering horse poop.
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Old May 26, 2006   #12
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I didn't quite plan ahead for that trip. No shoes, no gloves, no saddle. And somehow I got flip-flopped (no pun intended) on brown vs. green. I guess for a compost pile, I should have grabbed a bunch of straw and hay and gone easy on the manure.
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