[Market-farming] tomato seedlings--soilless mix or potting soil?

Deb Taft growbd at aol.com
Wed Mar 31 15:14:32 EDT 2010






I'm a heretic too, Alex!  I think sterile media make for weak plants.  I don't have any science to back it up, just observation.


Deb
Sleepy Hollow NY
where we're just finishing the wettest March on record





-----Original Message-----
From: waldenfarm <waldenfarm at bellsouth.net>
To: Market Farming <market-farming at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Wed, Mar 31, 2010 1:48 pm
Subject: Re: [Market-farming] tomato seedlings--soilless mix or potting soil?


I've been starting plants in a mix of good soil from my beds and my own 
finished compost since 1991. I mix it 50/50 because I have sandy soil that 
doesn't hold water. I know this is heresy, but it works. I've had no 
disease, I've had strong, healthy plants that transplant well.

I know everyone says to use a sterile mix or you'll get diseased plants, but 
it just ain't so. I had a student in Organic Farming class whose son applied 
the info from class for his science project. He planted tomatoes in sterile 
starting mix, some in potting with compost and some in garden soil/compost 
mix. He then induced "damping off" in the greenhouse by lowering temps, 
cutting are movement and over watering. The result- 100% death in potting 
mix, 50% death in pot/comp., a few plants lost in soil/compost.

Another trick for faster more complete germination. Cover seeds with fine 
compost. The humic acids will stimulate faster, better germination. Try your 
own experiment with it.

If you MUST use potting soil, add about 15% worm castings. Research has 
shown that the plants grow better with these in mix.

Happy Planting!

Alex McGregor
Walden Farm
"When you don't hear the bats coming, that's when the bats are coming!"
-Anonymous

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Richard Robinson" <rrobinson at nasw.org>
To: "'Market Farming'" <market-farming at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Wednesday, March 31, 2010 1:31 PM
Subject: [Market-farming] tomato seedlings--soilless mix or potting soil?


> The Johnny's catalog recommends starting tomato seedlings in soilless mix 
> with soluble fertilizer, versus potting soil. Can anyone who's tried both 
> methods speak to the advantages of either?
>
> --
> Richard Robinson
> http://www.nasw.org/users/rrobinson/
>
> _______________________________________________
> Market-farming mailing list
> Market-farming at lists.ibiblio.org
> http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/market-farming
> 

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