Aida Alene wrote:I would like to avoid peat moss completely as it is not a renewable resource. Wondering if sterilized soil really makes a difference? What about loss of beneficial microbes and fungi during the sterilization process? Anyone ever tried starting seeds indoors using just regular organic potting soil?
I was considering coffee grounds as a medium in potting soil but wasn't sure the acidity effect on the seeds?
Dale Hodgins wrote:Spent coffee grounds are quite inert in the beginning. Although they have nutrient value, it takes some time for the woody texture to break down. No weed seed could survive being roasted, ground up and having hot water poured on it. It doesn't bind really well, so perhaps something could be done about that, but it is otherwise a suitable medium.
Aida Alene wrote:I don't just want to reduce the use of peat but rather eliminate it, I'm also worried about the sustainability of vermiculite. It bothers me to think about using resources shipped from far away that had to use energy to make or extract. Perhaps I'll try just using soil and see how the seeds do this year
Lorne Martin wrote:A good natural seed starting medium is earthworm castings. Best source to secure larger amounts would be to find a local fishing bait company that breeds worms. A 30 to 50% mix with fine sand will prevent clumping.
Angelika Maier wrote:RedHawk, usual sharp sand? That is an idea and cheap. I strike all my cuttings in pure sand and use the sand many times (insofar it is eco). Did it really work for you?
I used to use usual potting mix I buy at the landscaper per trailerload and sieve it. There's some pine bark in it sand and I think cow manure.
I tried to do the hotframe once and it dis not heat up.