Growing medium

Kipp McMichael
Tue, 10 Jul 2012 21:13:07 PDT

   I don't think a bucket-full of gritty earth from whatever place David chooses to dig it would be a particularly good seedling mix - but perhaps he would have good luck. A proper seed mixture, however, will likely be superior in most every way for the task of starting South African bulb seeds.
   I have success in a wide variety of Amaryllids & Hyacinthaceae species with a mix of 1 part of a peaty blend called "SuperSoil", 2 parts pumice, 1 part coarse sand, and 1 part pulverized granite. I top dress, dependent on seed/seedling size, with various sands/grits/gravels. I don't want to imply that I think my mixture is superior to other suggestions. It's just what I use and what has worked quite well for the 70+ species I've started over the last 3 years. A similar mixture has supported more mature bulbs for 5+ years.
   Success with a given mix is also determined by how often you water, where you sit the seed pots in terms of sun and wind exposure etc. As long as you pay attention to the plants, you can likely grow them in almost any mixture - even a random bucket of wherever local soil catches your eye.

> In your case, David, the best possible mix would be local gritty soil from you area, previously sterilized with boiling water. 
> After all., we are all mixing different ingredients trying to recreate your well drained local soils for our South African seeds and bulbs.

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