[Market-farming] Organic fertilizer in seed starting medium?

Mike Rock mikerock at mhtc.net
Fri Apr 8 23:07:57 EDT 2016


Thank you Bill,
What about Elliot Coleman's soil block mix?  It worked for blocks but 
how about just starter media?

On 4/8/2016 8:05 PM, Shoemaker, William H wrote:
> Sorry about the previous post with nothing in it. Hit the wrong key 
> with my left finger.
>
> Marlin, one of the things I was taught as an undergrad in horticulture 
> is that most seeds have all the nutrition they need to develop into an 
> established seedling. That means a plant with leaves that are fully 
> engaged in photosynthesis, probably the 4-leaf stage. So if you have a 
> good growing medium that has very little nutrition in it, say 75% peat 
> moss + 15% vermiculite + 10% rice hulls, your healthy seeds should 
> produce healthy seedlings. That said, some good fertility applied 
> before they reach this stage will be taken up and used when they reach 
> this stage, and will help the seedlings continue to grow well into 
> healthy, mature transplants. A compost tea applied at the two-leaf 
> stage should be planty (sorry, I like puns). So I wouldn't invest too 
> much in fertility in the growing media itself, unless it is compost 
> you use as part of your growing medium. I do like that approach 
> because compost slowly releases nutrients in a steady stream, creating 
> a sustainable flow of whole nutrition to your young plants. It also 
> establishes a microbe biome in the medium which goes to the field with 
> your plants.
>
> So I came to believe that what I learned as an undergrad was true. 
> Fresh seeds are powerhouses designed to get the seedling into an 
> established state without outside support. But once developed into a 
> real seedling, they need, and benefit from that support.
>
> Isn't Spring wonderful?!!
>
> Bill
>
> *William H. Shoemaker *
>
> /Retired fruit and vegetable horticulturist/
>
> /University of Illinois/
>
> wshoemak at illinois.edu <mailto:wshoemak at illinois.edu>
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
>



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