Trying a new medium mix

Bushland, TX(Zone 6a)

Mixing equal parts peat moss,sand and used coffee grounds,hoping that it might keep more moist,having to water less.Some clematis seeds Tanguita Aztek says need sun to germinate,so I'm not even covering with plastic,this is in the greenhouse and not outside,anyone have a good medium they use with less watering?

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

I don't think there are many mixes that stay wet more than 2 or 3 days besides saturated clay , and most know the problems with that ,
Sometimes humus will hold water longer , only it is difficult to saturate if it ever gets to dry ,

Lake Stevens, WA(Zone 8a)

I never found one that really works, but I did find an alternative that helps a lot at keeping a seed flat moist-Years ago I got a seed starting kit from Gardener's Supply, they still sell something like it called the GrowEase System. The planting cell tray sits on a capillary matting that goes down into a water reservoir, it sucks up water and it goes up into the potting soil without staying too soggy. I think some people make their own with flannel or felt or something, but the kit worked fine and I still use it sometimes twenty years later.

Fort Worth, TX

Neat idea.

Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

An old towel works too.

Tropicman, interested in how peat moss and coffee grounds work being they are both so acid.

Bushland, TX(Zone 6a)

Well here's what I've learned so far,the mix is hard to re wet after going dry,if kept moist seems to work well,but that means watering everyday,I was using a potting soil mix too,and it seems to stay more moist than my mix,and it seems the lemon grass seeds germinate better as well,will update again when I have more to tell.

Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

Spraying a dry soil surface with a spray bottle first usually makes hard to wet mixes easier to water.

Bushland, TX(Zone 6a)

I use to always water from the bottom,but was having to much problems with rot,so I went back to watering from the top again,I have a small watering wand,used from insect sprayers,on a old shampooer hose,works great,can even mist plants as well.I have a 55 gallon drum filled with well water,inside the greenhouse,so the water is room temperature,the hose is hooked up to water utility pump,works great,and when its time to fertilize,I mix water soluble fertilizer to the water and feed my plants.

Fort Worth, TX

some of these commercial soil mixes have to have the whole pot dunked to moisten if allowed to dry out.

I use Top Notch Premium Potting Mix when I can get it. I don't have to add anything to it. It moistens well, holds moisture well, and is easy for delicate seedlings to push through

Bushland, TX(Zone 6a)

Where do you get it at?

Fort Worth, TX

my local feed store. and I haven't seen it at any big box stores.

Bushland, TX(Zone 6a)

Thanks

CREZIERES, France(Zone 8a)

Be careful, coffee grounds are very acidic.

Bushland, TX(Zone 6a)

Grounds are not acidic; the acid in coffee is water-soluble so the acid is mostly in the coffee. Coffee grounds are close to pH neutral (between 6.5 - 6.8 pH). Coffee grounds improve soil tilth or structure. Coffee grounds are an excellent nitrogen source for composting.
Coffee Grounds and Composting - Oregon State University Extension
extension.oregonstate.edu/lane/sites/default/files/documents/cffee07.pdf

Fort Worth, TX

I put coffee grounds under my rhododendron and azaleas

CREZIERES, France(Zone 8a)

I asserted them as acidic as not too lošng ago I looked for ways of making my soil less alkaline and several sites said that adding coffee grounds was the best method!!

Bushland, TX(Zone 6a)

Same here,always thought it was acidic as well,as was looking to help my roses along with amendments to soil,when then I kept running into Universities saying it was not acidic.

CREZIERES, France(Zone 8a)

It could, perhaps, become acidic with fermentation. Hence not acidic in the lab, but more so in the ground...

Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

Coffee is acidic. The grounds are not. Grounds used in any quantity in the garden are supposed to be washed. I'd be concerned they might not get washed enough for seedling mix or contsiners. How's the experiment going, Tropicman?

Bushland, TX(Zone 6a)

Didn't go well at all,would not recommend it to anyone,I just could not keep the mixture from drying out and packing tight,think I'll just stick back to seed mixture.Never had good luck with the paper towel method when trying to transplant into potting soil.

Fort Worth, TX

I use oak leaves and compost my tea (opening and discarding the teabags)

Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

Gypsi, coffee grounds under azaleas and rhodendendrons or oak and tea leaves in the garden is not the same as a seedling mix. Tropicman is looking for a water retentive seedling mix.

Tropicman, great that you experimented. I would think that ground coffee beans would not be absorbant and thus not promote moisture retention in seedlings. So good for drainage.

Fort Worth, TX

Sorry. I use a good quality potting soil for seeding, or I regret it

Bushland, TX(Zone 6a)

Guess good seedling mix from sunshine nurseries was the best I used when I was in Wichita Ks,haven't seen it around here,might have to try on linemight even try some coconut moir.

CREZIERES, France(Zone 8a)

The best way to prevent drying out IMHO is to cover the surface with about Ż inch grit.This stops the capillary action of the compost before it is exposed to the heat of the sun. Also, grit allows light to penetrate for seed that need light to germinate.

Bushland, TX(Zone 6a)

Grit can you explain what it is or consists of? My mother was from the south,and we ate grits with our breakfast.

CREZIERES, France(Zone 8a)

Grit is gravel used in a horticultural context.
Sorry British English.

Bushland, TX(Zone 6a)

Thanks

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