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Old August 9, 2017   #1
murihikukid
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Default Starting from Seed using sphagnum moss? I cannot win....??

Hi..Its now nearly time to get seeds growing so I went to my garden centre to buy
sphagnum moss....I was asked "what do you want that for?" (to plant my seeds) ...Thats no good its probably diseased...who told you to use sphagnum moss"........(Mr.Google via Corniel University) "do not read everything that those Americans tell you"

I presume one can take precautions when using sphagnum moss....Surely it can be treated ....

I would welcome any ideas on how best to do it or an alternative....

Thankyou Mk
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Old August 9, 2017   #2
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Get any decent potting mix, really. In Europe that would mean at least 80% sphagnum moss usually, but maybe Australians don't like the moss too much, maybe it's too expensive to import, I see most of them seem to be coco coir and compost based.
I personally think the moss is superior to coir, but maybe I just don't have enough experience with it.
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Old August 9, 2017   #3
Worth1
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Well show them this link then.
New Zealand has both it and the peat and plenty of it.

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=...lK0Aa61kAZ-tJA
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Old August 9, 2017   #4
brownrexx
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I use only soilless seed starting mix. I don't know anything about using sphagnum but the soilless mix is sterile and lighter weight than regular potting mix and works well for me.
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Old August 9, 2017   #5
oakley
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What DID they recommend.?

They must have a soilless mix they recommend for seed starting I would think.

You can make your own. Should be able to find what you need or alternatives.
Lots of recipes that work. Just want it clean. Heat treat in your oven if concerned.

Bagged seed starting mix usually contains 50% Peat (sphagnum) Moss.
An alternative is Coir.

Much cheaper to mix your own.
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Old August 9, 2017   #6
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I thought peat was the main ingredient in potting mix across the universe.

Maybe said advice was a blunder from down under? You can't really say something like that and not have something to back it up with, imo. Maybe the local peat is different (per article above), I mean are all peats created the same? IDK

In regards to the statement don't believe everything you read:

"Those that read are misinformed, those that do not read are uninformed"

I use a soilless mix too though, although I have used a boatload of potting mix previously as seed starter, the "expense" for a seed starter mix is not really relevant due to how many seeds I sow. This year I got a brick that you squirt down and it grows. Still got some.
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Old August 9, 2017   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by My Foot Smells View Post
I thought peat was the main ingredient in potting mix across the universe.

Maybe said advice was a blunder from down under? You can't really say something like that and not have something to back it up with, imo. Maybe the local peat is different (per article above), I mean are all peats created the same? IDK

In regards to the statement don't believe everything you read:

"Those that read are misinformed, those that do not read are uninformed"

I use a soilless mix too though, although I have used a boatload of potting mix previously as seed starter, the "expense" for a seed starter mix is not really relevant due to how many seeds I sow. This year I got a brick that you squirt down and it grows. Still got some.
I am not for sure what the original poster was referring to.
Peat moss or peat is a product of a bog.
Acidic and is a preservative.
Takes years to develop.
Sphagnum moss is like now and grows in trees and so forth.
'The old cars and trucks used to use it as a filling in the seats.
Somewhere along the road the two got confused and mixed up with each other.
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Old August 9, 2017   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Worth1 View Post
I am not for sure what the original poster was referring to.
Peat moss or peat is a product of a bog.
Acidic and is a preservative.
Takes years to develop.
Sphagnum moss is like now and grows in trees and so forth.
'The old cars and trucks used to use it as a filling in the seats.
Somewhere along the road the two got confused and mixed up with each other.
I always get confused, but usually the "peat moss" we get here is bagged and labeled under the sphagnum peat moss in a compressed square inside a plastic wrapper. I've never seen a bog, per se' (maybe I have and didn't know it?). I've been in some swamps down here that were "boggy" looking (where bigfoot likes to hang).

I guess I thought the two were somewhat interchangeable, technically speaking; but not something I'm tooo familiar with. Below are different excerpts from a "wiki" type internet query. Still confusing to me.

---------


Sphagnum is a genus of approximately 380 accepted species of mosses, commonly known as peat moss. Accumulations of Sphagnum can store water, since both living and dead plants can hold large quantities of water inside their cells; plants may hold 16–26 times as much water as their dry weight, depending on the species.
----------

Peat Moss – Technically called Sphagnum Peat Moss. This is the stuff you see most often in bags at the nursery, sold as a soil amendment. It is comprised of decaying material harvested from bogs. It is the dead material underneath the living part of the plant (we'll talk about that in a second).

----------


40,000 acres of sphagnum are currently being harvested in Canada, with 90% of the product destined for gardens in the U.S. In the U.K., where peat moss is burned as fuel, as well, nearly 94% of the lowland bogs have been altered or completely destroyed due to harvesting.

----------


Sphagnum moss, generally the species cristatum and subnitens, is harvested while still growing and is dried out to be used in nurseries and horticulture as a plant growing medium. The practice of harvesting peat moss should not be confused with the harvesting of moss peat.

Last edited by My Foot Smells; August 9, 2017 at 04:05 PM.
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Old August 9, 2017   #9
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They pull thousands of years old logs from these old peat bogs in New Zealand and are sold for premium prices.
Worth.
https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=...02395488211672
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Old August 9, 2017   #10
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This link is easy to understand...

https://garden.org/ideas/view/drdawg...-vs-Peat-Moss/

"... Sphagnum moss grows in abundance in parts of Canada, Peru, New Zealand, Ireland, and Scotland. It grows all over the world, but these areas are where most of our commercially available moss comes from. ..."

"...Sphagnum moss is a living plant when harvested, but when we purchase it, it has been thoroughly dried. Basically, there are two forms of the sphagnum moss when sold commercially, long-fibered moss and milled moss. They are the same moss, but the long-fibered is left in its natural form and the milled is moss that has been finely chopped. ..."

"...Peat moss, often labeled "Sphagnum Peat Moss," is quite different, though. It begins its life as sphagnum moss. Over time the sphagnum moss dies and is over-grown by new sphagnum moss. This is repeated over and over, and after hundreds or even thousands of years these many layers of dead sphagnum moss form a bog. This layer of dead, compacted moss is now called peat moss...."

_I have a small bag of the long fibrous Sphagnum moss. Much more expensive and I'm
not sure it would be a good seed starting item. Or who would recommend it.

I've walked on a moss bog island. Amazing, like walking on a big giant natural latex
mattress. No springs, just a big wet sponge.
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Old August 9, 2017   #11
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Soil-less mixes are peat moss based. Peat moss is not considered soil. Peat moss with some fine perlite added makes a wonderful seed starting mix. One ought to add some lime to buffer the PH and also some nutrients as peat moss has none.
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Old August 10, 2017   #12
murihikukid
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Thanks Everybody ....There appears to be little credibility here with different answers from all three garden centres down here... my main concern was getting a bag of a mix that is sterile ...I do not want my seeds growing in disease?? Tomorrow I will grab my bike , a magnifying glass and my camera and go and see what I can find in the centres....I am going to try some seeds on a damp paper towel, roll it up and put it in a Lock-type bag on a pet heating mat and when a root appears put it in Sphagnum moss with Perlite ,Vermiculite in self watering propagating cells ??......Now I see the recipe on a University post but it puzzles me cause the main ingredients are listed by part and the rest IE Calcium etc by volume which does not make sense to me ...Maybe somebody could clarify this for me....
BTW...My main seeds I am trying are from a Hybrid so I will just have to take what turns up??... The first plants from the growers are about 3 weeks away so that will be a back up for me...I have seeds for Myra's Not From black Tula with a potato leaf and I am desparate to get these growing cause I believe these may be something special...

Oakley has mentioned heat treatment and I wonder if I should do this with anything I get.....I saw put in a flat tray then in a 180 degree oven??? I wonder for how long.....

Yes Worth1...I think you are referring to kauri logs ..much sort after in the top of the north island ...I am in the deep south and I know there is peat down here somewhere so I will try to find out where it is....
I have bought soil raising mix from nurseries ...One in particular looked like it was made of crushed glass...Seeds did grow but only about 50% of them in it..
Thanks Mk
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Old August 10, 2017   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by murihikukid View Post
Seeds did grow but only about 50% of them in it..
Not sure what that means. Did 50% die or?
Sterile mix is overrated. It's not going to be sterile probably, and it's not necessary to be sterile. It should be reasonably light and not have fungus gnats (quite common).
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Old August 10, 2017   #14
murihikukid
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Hi..Thank goodness we do not have fungus gnats here...So here is a small story that hopefully is relevant..Its nearly midnight and while my tea was cooking I was out in my greenhouse pulling out the last seasons crop from the washing machine drums which I use as Pots prior to my disinfecting everything.....Now let me explain 6 of my Tasty Tom plants last season were purchased from a garden centre for $22.50 (but this was later refunded ..lucky me)...Apparantly these plants were "specially" ordered by somebody from a Growing Company but he then rescinded on the order....and so they ended up in a local garden centre and then into my greenhouse where they were transplanted and looked after along with about other 12 plants that I had grown from seed....and had also been transplanted into washing machine drums........

The Tasty Toms thrived and produced buckets of fruit ...while my plants hardly produced anything.......and I presume I know the reason....I am always interested in what I find under the soil....and this is what I have now found..
The Tasty Toms have a huge extensive root system while mine have not..its basicly unbelievable the difference...This did not surprise me as I knew this was my weak point of growing....It certainly raises a question in my mind ...Can I buy 2 or 3 of these "special" Tasty Toms this year if available and simply use cuttings off them for the rest of the Tasty Toms I want to grow..I already know that the laterals produce special plants also.....
I have been building a Growth Chamber that I hoped would help me with my hardening off of my seeds but my friend an electrician who is building the temperature control unit has suddenly been very busy and I do not know when he will have it ready ...This unit will sit outside the chamber where the plants will be and they will be connected by pipes/tubes....and control everything temperature wise electronicly .... there will be a controled lighting system inside the chamber as well for the seedlings....but unfortunately it looks like it will not be ready in time for me.....
I could with some effort put my seeds through a hardening off period myself ....Temperature wise would not be a problem as its round 10 degrees here at the best of times at this time of the year so I could easily keep the temperature up to that....This would help me til the temperature control unit is finished....Then there is mycorrhizae???I used it last season but did it work...?? To be honest I do not know but my intentions are to use it again.....unless I can establish what is being used by the Growing Company on their Plants..

Now I have now found out that I have a neighbour (not far away) who is from the UK and he has had 20 years in the business in the UK......He is soon shifting to the North island but hopefully I can get some secrets from him before he goes..;....
I am months ahead of where I was 12 months ago which should help me and once I get some peat moss I could be set for a bumper crop ??
Thanks Mk

By the way ...Tasty Toms v Campari....as I understand Campari is available in the USA.....I am sure they are brother and sister...I thought Tasty Tom was a touch more probably acidic to Campari and a friend also thought that in a taste test but They are so close to being Identical...and I grew a Campari which initially got some bleach spray but once out in my Greenhouse turned into a beautiful plant loaded with fruit....

Last edited by murihikukid; August 10, 2017 at 09:05 AM.
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Old August 11, 2017   #15
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If their roots were so well developed maybe they were grafted, in which case cuttings won't help you.
You should try to improve the roots of all your plants. So poor roots as you make it sound isn't normal and you should improve your soil. Either your pH is way off, or some drastic phosphorous deficiency, or just way too compacted.
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