Muhammad Arif Khan wrote:I found that 70% Peat + 30% perlite gave the best result.
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
will share results
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
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