Growing from Seed-PBS TOW

Jane McGary
Mon, 18 Nov 2002 16:57:10 PST
>First off how many of you have a special potting mix to start 
>seeds with? Do you use the same mix you use for planting bulbs? If not 
>please describe your seed starting mix. Do you use the same mix for 
>everything or vary it depending on what you are starting?

I use the same mix for almost every kind of seed, unless I know the seed is
extremely difficult and is an alpine, in which case I may use straight
pumice (sieved so the large chunks and fines are removed). It consists of 3
parts ground horticultural pumice, 3 parts unwashed sharp coarse sand, and
1 part milled peat. I topdress the pots with granite grit.

>How many people plant seeds directly in the ground (like Gary Buckley) or 
>in a pot with parent bulbs and how many start seeds in a new pot? 
Always in a new pot.

>Do you 
>add fertilizer to the mix? 
No, but after the seedlings have some height I apply a weak liquid fertilizer.

>Do some of you start seeds under lights? 
No, either on my covered deck or in a glassed-in room.

>Do you 
>protect from the rain or leave the pots out exposed to the elements? 
I do not leave them exposed to the rain, there is too much here. The
humidity in winter is quite high, but in summer quite low.

>Do you 
>control the temperatures or let nature decide? 
If I believe a species is not very cold-hardy, I keep the pot in the plant
room, which is frost-free, but otherwise I do not control temperatures. If
there is a cold snap, however, with temperatures below about 25 degrees F
(-5 C) I bring all the seedlings into the frost-free room for the duration.
I do not like to leave them in there all the time because they become
etiolated in the low light conditions we have in winter, even with glass
above and on the south.

Have you found that rain 
>water, distilled water, or tap water is best?
I only have well water, which is not treated in any way. If it snows, I
sometimes pile snow on the ungerminated pots, which may be an old wives' tale.

>What size and kind of pots does everyone use?
3-1/2 inch or 6 inch depending on how much seed I have.

Jane McGary
Northwestern Oregon

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