Principles of seed sowing

Discussion in 'General Gardening Discussion' started by PeterS, Jan 23, 2012.

  1. SamTheOldGoat

    SamTheOldGoat Gardener

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    This thread is super helpful. I've been mixing perlite with my MPC for my seedlings recently and the germination seems to be good. Is this a practice that others follow or am I simply just wasting perlite?
     
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    • PeterS

      PeterS Total Gardener

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      Hi Sam - I suspect that a lot of people don't do it - because they don't know about it. However I think that it is good practice as seeds need good drainage as they require oxygen around their roots. You can use perlite or sharp sand (from a builders merchant). I have generally used sharp sand because perlite in small bags is quite expensive. But more recently I have bought it in 100 litre bags for about £16, which was much cheaper.

      I have been using 2/3 multipurpose compost and 1/3 sharp sand for a long time. Then a while back I read a entire book about experiments on seed germination written by an American University department, and I was pleased to see that for all their experiments they used the same mixture.
       
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        Last edited: Mar 30, 2015
      • HarryS

        HarryS Eternally Optimistic Gardener

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        Sam as Peter said perlite is a bit expensive in the small bags I buy . So as a rule of thumb I use a perlite + seed compost mix for what I consider trickier seeds . For all the rest I mix some sharp sand into the mix.
        I'll also use perlite + MPC in my baskets , but in my containers MPC + sharp sand.
         
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        • longk

          longk Total Gardener

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          If I do I use bean bag filling - much cheaper! Mostly I use it when it is a seedling with tiny roots or one that I know dislikes root disturbance. A light mix is a godsend in those instances come pricking out time.
           
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          • SamTheOldGoat

            SamTheOldGoat Gardener

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            Thanks for that both. Really glad to hear it's correct!

            Like you say I noticed 10l in Homebase was £7! I bought 100l on Amazon for about £17 I think and that's a LOT of perlite :)
             
          • PeterS

            PeterS Total Gardener

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            Brilliant - why hadn't I thought of that.
            No its not. :snork: Little plants get bigger, and when you have a number of plants in 35 and 50 litre pots - you can get through a lot of stuff.
             
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            • longk

              longk Total Gardener

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              I hadn't until I was offered some for free. But 283 litres is £19.99 from Argos so it is good value for what I use it for.

              I was given about 500 litres of insulation Vermiculate too. It is a bit larger but good for potting up plants with.
               
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              • HarryS

                HarryS Eternally Optimistic Gardener

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                • SamTheOldGoat

                  SamTheOldGoat Gardener

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                  That still sounds expensive per litre Harry when compared to buying in bulk!
                   
                • HarryS

                  HarryS Eternally Optimistic Gardener

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                  Not really Sam a bag will last me the season , and I really don't want to store 100litres of the stuff.
                  I suppose 100 litres is expensive if you compare it to the 1000 litre bags . etc etc
                   
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                  • pete

                    pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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                    Anyone tried cat litter?
                     
                  • longk

                    longk Total Gardener

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                    Not me but @sal73 has.
                     
                  • SamTheOldGoat

                    SamTheOldGoat Gardener

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                    Yup. Very true. I've got an industrial size bag in my greenhouse larger than my composts!!!
                     
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                    • pete

                      pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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                      Used or un Used :snork:
                       
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                      • longk

                        longk Total Gardener

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                        You'll have to ask him yourself although he is probably still celebrating Sundays results!
                         
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