Starting another batch of seedlings

As you may know. I’ve been having a lot of problems starting all my plants from seeds this year. But I haven’t given up entirely, because I’m not a quitter. So it’s back to the drawing board, for a new plan.

For this new batch of seedlings, I’m basically going to try and do the opposite of what I was doing before. So with that here goes Round 4, or at least the forth go around that I can remember.

For the soil, I’m going to use my own mix, instead of a store bought blend. I looked over a couple of different recipes on the internet, some from universities (Iowa State Extension, UC Davis and Cornell University) others from amateurs. And I synthesized my own blend, to deal with the problems that I’ve had with poor drainage. So here is the recipe that I made up:

1 Liter – Compost Cow Manure .5-.5-.5 (I had a couple of bags sitting on a pallet for a year in my backyard. So the manure was more decomposed then when I originally bought it so that is a big plus.)
1 Liter – Builders Sand (The kind of sand they sell in the cement section of the hardware store. More then likely it will have some small stones blended with the sand, which is fine. Since it will help with drainage.)
2 Liters – Peat Moss (the kind from the square compressed bale)
1.5 tsp Powdered Lime (to counter act the acidity of the peat moss)
1.5 tsp – SoilMoist (I pre-soaked it with about 500 ml of water, to prevent heaving)

When I mixed all the ingredients, the compost and sand had enough moisture on there own that I didn’t need to add any more water to the mix. The batch recipe above is enough to full up one whole tray of seedling flats, which happened to be a nice coincidence. So the little bit of soil that was let over, which was about a cups worth. I just spread around the hops plants. When mixing this up, designate a junky plastic storage container for this task. As an FYI, if you own any Ziploc brand containers, the medium square model is 32 oz., which is just under a liter.

Since I added some SoilMoist to the mix, I should be good on not having to water the seedling for a while. Or at least for as long as possible, which for me should be at least a week to 10 days. This time I also didn’t pre-soak any of the seeds before planting, just to try something different. I’ve read some stuff on the net, about people having seed rot problems, from pre-soaking okra seeds. I seem to have had the same problem as other, hence the no seed soak this time around.

Like I said, I’m trying to do everything different from the last couple of times. Lets hope for some better results.

Here what was planted this time, on Sunday May 3rd:
9-cell block:
H5 – Oregano
H7 – Rosemary
V4 – Sweet Pepper California Wonder
V6 – Cucumber Marketmore 76
V8 – Burpee’s Heirlooms Pea Mammoth Melting Sugar
V9 – Garden Bean Kitchen King
V12 – Okra Clemson Spineless
V13 – Garden Bean Brittle Wax

8-cell block:
F1 – Oriental Poppy Brilliant Red
F3 – Bachelor’s Buttons Blue Boy
F7 – Zinnia Purple Prince
F10 – Alyssum Royal Carpet
F11 – Coreopsis Early Sunrise

4-cell block:
F6 – Zinnia Candy Cane Red on White
F9 – Ipomopsis Hummingbird Mix of seedlings

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