potting mixes

John Wickham jwickham@sbcglobal.net
Sun, 27 May 2012 13:14:44 PDT
I'm always fascinated to learn about different potting mixes. This year I tested a different approach and seemed to have relatively good results. I sowed a wide variety of seeds in 4" pots. The bottom 3/4 of the pot was filled with a fast draining potting soil with organic material, which I then topped with a soil-less mix of 3 parts perlite and 1 part coir. I then topped the seeds with horticultural sand. I had great germination within certain genera and the seedlings seemed to grow out well. I didn't dig them out, though, to check size. 

I have always left seed-grown bulbs in their flats or pots for two or three years, but I've been concerned that seeds that germinated the first year wouldn't have nutrients that might be helpful in growing out. In fact, they remain fairly small when kept in a soil-less mix for an extended period of time. Fertilizing is probably necessary...but I'm really bad at remembering to get to that.  I'm hoping this approach grows good-sized bulbs more quickly.

--- On Sun, 5/27/12, C.J. Teevan <gardenstreet184@yahoo.com> wrote:

From: C.J. Teevan <gardenstreet184@yahoo.com>
Subject: Re: [pbs] re potting mixes
To: "Pacific Bulb Society" <pbs@lists.ibiblio.org>
Date: Sunday, May 27, 2012, 11:49 AM

Can I learn the names of these A and B mixes?  Any theory why the results varied?

 From: Ina <klazina@orcon.net.nz>
To: Pacific Bulb Society <pbs@lists.ibiblio.org> 
Sent: Sunday, May 27, 2012 2:08 AM
Subject: [pbs] re potting mixes
A few months ago in March, I decided to try out 2 brand name potting 
mixes.  Half of a lot of seedlings were planted in mix A, the rest in 
mix B.

Soon it was obvious the ones in mix B were growing faster, developing a 
second leaf when the first lot was not doing so.  Mix B seedlings were 
sturdier too.

Today I planted them out in the garden.  And was amazed at how big the 
tiny bulbs had grown in mix B, compared with the ones in mix A.

And tonight we have a nice lot of rain to give them a good start.

I wonder why I never thought of doing that before....

Ina Crossley
Auckland New Zealand  Zone 10

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