|Seed Sprouting Mix
a nursery for your baby Seedlings.
old Garden Soil will sprout most seeds,
and produce vegetables as healthful and nutritious
as the most expensive Seed Sprouting Mix.
But that's where the similarity ends.
two Flat Inserts shown above were sown on the same day. The
one on the
left shows Tomato Seedlings in a good Seed Sprouting Mix. The one on the
right has Castor Bean Seeds(which did not
yet) sown in
Compost. It is overflowing with various Weed Seedlings. Their ambitious roots
will invade every particle of soil.
purpose of Soil is to support the Seedling (so it doesn't fall over),
and to supply moisture, nutrients, and oxygen to the Rootlets.
big difference seen in the photo above is that Weeds have
taken over. You could cut or pull the Weed Seedlings, but it is very
difficult to distinguish them from desirable seedlings.
BIG unseen difference is that the Mix is sterile. It is naturally free of
Weed Seeds, Insects and their Eggs, and Bacteria. Or it has
treated to kill these nuisances. Bacteria
produce Diseases like "Damping-Off" which often attacks emerging Seedlings at
soil level, as though they had been pinched by an Ant.
You can sterilize garden
soil in a disposable aluminum roaster made for Turkeys. But
be aware that creeping,
crawling, flying critters may escape into your kitchen, and the earthy
aroma may not appeal to you and your human guests.
The easy and not-so-expensive commercial Mix is the way to go. Mixes often contain no soil, but are composed of
Peat Moss, Perlite, Vermiculite, and maybe Expanded
Clay, Sand, Sawdust, Nutrients, or Compost.
A good mix will
absorb half its volume in liquid. That means that a quart of Mix will
absorb a pint of liquid, which equates to less frequent waterings. It
is usually dry when you buy it, so it is best to moisten it before
filling Flats or Inserts.
Moisten only as much as you plan to use.
you happen to get Seed Sprouting Mix too wet,
pouring it onto a window screen will
allow it to drain quickly.
You can speed up Seed Sprouting,
by applying Bottom Heat.
a photo to go to our UNIQUE Catalog