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GREBJACK's Photo GREBJACK Posts: 3,755
3/10/12 6:30 P

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I'm feeling like I don't treat my seeds very well, 'cause I just start them in the compost-rich dirt from my garden. If I let something go to seed in the section I'm digging soil from, I microwave it to kill the seeds, but other than that, it's just free dirt for me.

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KSROMAN's Photo KSROMAN SparkPoints: (446)
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2/26/12 2:52 P

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It is a myth that vermiculite has asbestos in it.

Decades ago ONE part of ONE mine in Montana where they were also mining mica (vermiculite is ground & heated mica) had asbestos in it, but NOT in the section where the mica was being mined.

This comes up in the media and gardening sites periodically and a applaud you for being cautious. The "good" thing about this scare, ALL vermiculite in the US is tested to make sure it is asbestos free.

When I make my growing medium I DO wear a dust mask because I don't want small particles of ANYTHING getting into my lungs. We always mist the vermiculite & peat to knock as much dust down as possible as both of these produce very fine particles.

I have seen women looking at jewelry ads with a misty eye and one hand resting on the heart, and I only know what they're feeling because that's how I read the seed catalogs in January.

Barbara Kingsolver - Animal, Vegetable, Miracle


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GARBLEDEEGOOK Posts: 609
2/26/12 1:01 P

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When buying vermiculite, you can check with the manuf to see if it's asbestos free. Not all verm has it.

WATERFELON's Photo WATERFELON SparkPoints: (18,441)
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2/26/12 12:40 P

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I don't use vermiculite at all. It is very bad for people to handle unless it's already in a mix-very bad for the lungs to breath the dust, so I just stay away from it as a raw product. For starting seeds, I just use a cheap potting soil mixed with sand. My seedlings are only going to be in the starter mix for a short time before getting potted up or into the ground, so I buy the cheapest potting soil I can get and mix it with regular sand (which I rinse really well to get salt out if it's ocean sand.

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SHARJOPAUL's Photo SHARJOPAUL Posts: 31,371
2/26/12 12:25 P

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MICHTOTMAN
Compost tea is an excellent way to feed seedlings!
You can transplant them to larger containers after they get their first true leaves. The little seed leaves that most seedlings start off with do not count.

GARBLEDEEGOOK Posts: 609
2/26/12 11:14 A

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Ksroman, even SFG talks about starting exclusively in vermiculite some things; it was nearly a disaster for me after I moved the little guys. I see you skip that step and go straight in the mix. I should probably do that. It's a fluffy mix; anything grows in that stuff :) Thanks for the reminder.

Edited by: GARBLEDEEGOOK at: 2/26/2012 (11:15)
MICHTOTMAN's Photo MICHTOTMAN Posts: 815
2/26/12 10:45 A

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WOW! I wish I had asked this question BEFORE I had planted the seeds emoticon . I'm still wondering about the little guys I've got now, though. Two leaves and looking good but when to move???

I wonder if I used some compost tea in the water that I soak them in if that might help get some nutrients to the little guys...


The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.

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KSROMAN's Photo KSROMAN SparkPoints: (446)
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2/26/12 10:36 A

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I get FABULOUS compost from a place in Aberdeen, MD called Veteran Compost (www.veterancompost.com). I get a mix of their kitchen scrap/manure compost and add some of their vermicompost.

When I went to mix & bag some the other day (I never thought I'd be saying that in FEBRUARY!) there were a bunch of worms in it. My customers LOVE the bonus of worms in their "soil-less mix".

I have seen women looking at jewelry ads with a misty eye and one hand resting on the heart, and I only know what they're feeling because that's how I read the seed catalogs in January.

Barbara Kingsolver - Animal, Vegetable, Miracle


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TRAVELNISTA's Photo TRAVELNISTA SparkPoints: (182,914)
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2/26/12 9:56 A

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emoticon



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SHARJOPAUL's Photo SHARJOPAUL Posts: 31,371
2/26/12 7:49 A

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Sounds like a good mix. If you do worm composting, you could use that.

KSROMAN's Photo KSROMAN SparkPoints: (446)
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2/26/12 2:01 A

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I start my seeds in the same things I use as my growing medium - 1/3 coarse vermiculite, 1/3 peat moss and 1/3 blended compost. This is all soaked VERY well before seeding so it's easy to keep moist.

I have seen women looking at jewelry ads with a misty eye and one hand resting on the heart, and I only know what they're feeling because that's how I read the seed catalogs in January.

Barbara Kingsolver - Animal, Vegetable, Miracle


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JOEPHINE's Photo JOEPHINE Posts: 1,368
2/25/12 11:35 P

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I use a mixture of vermiculite peat moss and potting soil. I have never had a problem with my plants growing.

Charlotte


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GARBLEDEEGOOK Posts: 609
2/25/12 10:42 P

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I have had the same problem until I started using mixes of potting soil and vermiculite and sometimes sand to start seedlings depending on what I start.

SHIRE33's Photo SHIRE33 Posts: 956
2/25/12 10:32 P

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I'll be interested to read the responses. I use vermiculite IN my potting mix, but have never used it exclusively.




“The greatest fine art of the future will be the making of a comfortable living on a small piece of land...” - Abraham Lincoln

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Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections, but instantly set about remedying them--every day begin the task anew."
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MICHTOTMAN's Photo MICHTOTMAN Posts: 815
2/25/12 10:03 P

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Hi all! I have been starting my own seedlings for years... sometimes in vermiculite, sometimes in organic starting soil. I know that vermiculite is the preferred method BUT I have had hit or miss success with this. One of my sources recommended that the seedlings be moved from the vermiculite into potting soil when 4 leaves form. Two years ago I did this but it seemed as though the leaves would never form. Their growth became stunted and I finally succumbed and moved them to the soil without the 4 leaves. At this point they perked up but their growth was slowed enough that those plants never really produced for me.

I have decided this year to give vermiculite one more shot (potting soil dries out so quickly that it's a gamble too...) but I don't want to repeat my problems from 2 years ago.

For those of your that use this method, how long do you leave your seedlings in vermiculite before moving them to soil?

The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.

NELSON MANDELA


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