So, I am beginning my first real gardening season since moving to Central Texas. I do a whole lot of annual veggie gardening, though I am also planting fruit trees
, berry bushes, etc.
For my veggie/herb/flower garden, I've quickly learned that it's going to work a lot better for me to start most seeds in pots, or toilet-paper rolls, and then transplant out into the garden. Mainly this has to do with having to keep a whole lot less soil surface moist for good germination, but also for being able to mulch
and control weeds and have my actual wanted plants be larger, be exactly where I want them, and be and easier to identify and not just mixed in with the weeds that sprout at the same time. So that is my plan going forward, with the exception of beans, the gourd family, corn, and maybe a few more I'm not thinking of, which I'll still direct-seed.
Anyway, I've tried quite a few different things for starting seeds over the years; various "organic" commercial potting mixes and homemade mixes, mainly based on homemade or purchased compost
I needed to start some seeds a few weeks ago, and saw "Organic Pro-Mix" at my local
Walmsart, so I grabbed a bag of it. I had never used it before, because it is mainly peat and I know harvesting peat is not too good for the planet. But oh wow, I have never had such good germination or such healthy little seedlings. The ingredients say it is 90-95% peat moss, with perlite, coconut coir (though can't be much, with how much is peat moss), ground limestone (to adjust ph), and mycorrhizae fungi
Does anyone have an amazing seed-starting mix that has little or no peat moss? I am willing to buy coco coir if that will help me make a good mix. I am strongly considering starting a worm farm, and I think
that would be a good addition as well.
Also, I am curious; the seedlings I started in Pro-Mix are so big and healthy, but reading the ingredients, there doesn't seem to be any real "food" in there for them. Does the peat have nutrients that the seedlings can access, maybe with the help of the included mycorrhizae? I'm just wondering if I should
make them a liquid plant food tea to feed
them a bit as they grow, if I keep them in their pots for a few more weeks. Right now the most mature only have one set of true leaves, so maybe they are still living off of the nutrients contained in the seeds.