Soil mix for seedlings

The how to's, cultivation details of various plants, propagation methods etc Everything you need to know for successful gardening.

Moderator: Izhar

Muhammad Arif Khan
Donor
Donor
Posts: 4316
Joined: April 14th, 2011, 1:01 pm

Re: Soil mix for seedlings

Post by Muhammad Arif Khan » March 7th, 2014, 10:34 am

I found that 70% Peat + 30% perlite gave the best result.

S.Ahmed
Posts: 179
Joined: September 7th, 2013, 8:09 am
Country: Pakistan
City: Karachi
Gardening Interests: Amateur gardener,Fragrant plants,Flowering Plants,Vegetables,Coconuts

Re: Soil mix for seedlings

Post by S.Ahmed » March 7th, 2014, 11:44 am

Peat & Perlite . Both must be bought from agri store/garden shop,whereas I get bhaalu matti/garden soil and well rotted manure delivered at my doorstep at good rates. Compared to Peat,perlite & coco coir they are readily available.

Izhar
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 4258
Joined: April 11th, 2011, 9:38 am
Country: Pakistan
City: Karachi
Gardening Interests: Fragrant plants, shade gardening, bulbous plants, annuals
Location: Karachi, Sindh

Re: Soil mix for seedlings

Post by Izhar » March 7th, 2014, 3:52 pm

Muhammad Arif Khan wrote:I found that 70% Peat + 30% perlite gave the best result.
Sir how much peat cost you? it is Rs.7000 for 300 liter here in Karachi

S.Ahmed
Posts: 179
Joined: September 7th, 2013, 8:09 am
Country: Pakistan
City: Karachi
Gardening Interests: Amateur gardener,Fragrant plants,Flowering Plants,Vegetables,Coconuts

Re: Soil mix for seedlings

Post by S.Ahmed » March 7th, 2014, 5:13 pm

How much perlite cost?

Farhan Ahmed
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 3799
Joined: February 5th, 2012, 9:38 pm
Country: Pakistan
City: Risalpur/Karachi
Gardening Interests: Annuals,Herbaceous Perennials, Landscaping,Cottage Garden
Location: Risalpur,KPK

Re: Soil mix for seedlings

Post by Farhan Ahmed » March 7th, 2014, 5:58 pm

2/3 liter bag for around Rs.750(weight not more than 1 Kg)

I think we are getting confused here, perlite is volcanic glass (white granules), their only purpose is water retention only as they can absorb water many times their weight. They virtually have no role as germination media as such(yes seeds can be germinated in items such as tissues as well but story not finishes at germination).

30% perlite in starting would mean actually more than 60-70% as once watered as it will swell up.

As a beginner, the most common mistake gardeners do is to over water sowing mix. This fall i tried perlite less than hand full in a pot and it use to soak so much and swell. I would not recommend it atleast for beginners such as me :-)

Izhar
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 4258
Joined: April 11th, 2011, 9:38 am
Country: Pakistan
City: Karachi
Gardening Interests: Fragrant plants, shade gardening, bulbous plants, annuals
Location: Karachi, Sindh

Re: Soil mix for seedlings

Post by Izhar » March 7th, 2014, 6:08 pm

The mix i have prepared needs light water daily... it is a good draining mix so there is no problem of over watering in it...

Farhan Ahmed
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 3799
Joined: February 5th, 2012, 9:38 pm
Country: Pakistan
City: Risalpur/Karachi
Gardening Interests: Annuals,Herbaceous Perennials, Landscaping,Cottage Garden
Location: Risalpur,KPK

Re: Soil mix for seedlings

Post by Farhan Ahmed » March 7th, 2014, 6:16 pm

Exactly Izhar, i second. For newbies media should be forgiving. Perlite is for experts who know how much water, and they can resent watering as they know that down below media is moist. For beginners they are always trying to keep the top soil moist, a common mistake that i also do. So your free draining media will cater for mistake.

There is very rare chance that seedlings will dry out(at least for beginners), or if at all they do, we can change the exposure to eastern one

S.Ahmed
Posts: 179
Joined: September 7th, 2013, 8:09 am
Country: Pakistan
City: Karachi
Gardening Interests: Amateur gardener,Fragrant plants,Flowering Plants,Vegetables,Coconuts

Re: Soil mix for seedlings

Post by S.Ahmed » March 7th, 2014, 9:53 pm

What was the result of this experiment,did nurserywala's media worked or not?
Lesson from Nursery Man!
Initially i use to sow seeds in garden soil and mostly in situ. Results were good for hardier seeds whereas delicate F-1 seeds mostly failed. Subsequently i shifted to potting mixes of various composition. Again results were mixed, Seed germination was mostly good but seedlings suffered later on.

This time i went all out for various branded compost and stuff like peat moss, perlite, coco coir etc. Again results are mixed. With careful sowing depths,pre-sowing treatments such as refrigeration and pulverized disease free media.... Seed germination is mostly okay but seedlings gets stuck soon after developing true leaves. What i have concluded after studying soil conditions in such failed pots is that compost based media is difficult to water. A little too much water, seedlings gets displaced and pots remain soggy, whereas watering with misting or shower, only top inch gets wet and down below its too dry.

In a fix what to do, for my last attempt with seeds which failed due to above mentioned reasons i decided to get a lesson from a nursery men. What do they do, considering their germination is very good and seedlings are quick to grow. Afterall its their living.

Account of their Media.
As i visited a nearby nursery today(an ordinary local nursery), i was briefed that their media is 1 part bhal, 1 part sand and 1 part leaf mold(prepared in nursery). To me media appeared very uniform. Compost appeared less or completely dissolved into the soil as well as the sand. It was neither clayee nor sandy. More like true bhal.

Second important thing that they told was they do not cover the bottom hole with anything what so ever for seed starting. I was still covering the pots with newspaper.

Thirdly, against my practice, media was checked for large unwanted particles but not to greater extend. Then the media was filled into the pot and harshly beaten down down firstly with hand and then with something solid (stone/wood frame), so as it creates sort of hard solid ball. Leveled from top and then again pressed level and very very firm.

I always tried that my media should be very fine and soft, but their practice is completely against what i have been doing. They say that firming the soil so much ensures that seeds do not get dislodged from the top into further depth.

Now pots being ready, seeds are placed onto the surface and then sifted leaf mold/coco coir is used to cover the seeds if required.

Above scheme appears logical to me. Hard pressed media will ensure that weeds stay down if any, seeds will remain at the surface just below the fine film of compost, no burning of seeds due very hot media etc.

Lastly i got a dozen pots ready by him, as pots were mine he was not willing to charge anything for soil alone. I have a very strong feeling that this media might just work for me as it always does for them though it is totally opposite to what i have been doing.

If this works of which i am quite hopeful, i will and advice other also, that rather than making one's own seed sowing media why not purchase such ready pots from nurseries at a very low cost, saving on stuff like vermiculite, perlite and compost :-). Things such nursery men haven't even heard of yet they always succeed :P

will share results
viewtopic.php?f=72&t=2110&start=210#p29614

Farhan Ahmed
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 3799
Joined: February 5th, 2012, 9:38 pm
Country: Pakistan
City: Risalpur/Karachi
Gardening Interests: Annuals,Herbaceous Perennials, Landscaping,Cottage Garden
Location: Risalpur,KPK

Re: Soil mix for seedlings

Post by Farhan Ahmed » March 7th, 2014, 10:08 pm

Failure.

Muhammad Arif Khan
Donor
Donor
Posts: 4316
Joined: April 14th, 2011, 1:01 pm

Re: Soil mix for seedlings

Post by Muhammad Arif Khan » March 8th, 2014, 11:20 am

Izhar wrote:
Muhammad Arif Khan wrote:I found that 70% Peat + 30% perlite gave the best result.
Sir how much peat cost you? it is Rs.7000 for 300 liter here in Karachi
I purchased one big bag of each, three years ago. I use it for expensive seeds only,it will last me for another three years,for my own local seeds I use a mix of fine river sand,leaf mold as base and on top a layer of composted leaves.

Post Reply

Return to “Knowledge Hub”