Question about weeds.

Shenandoah Valley, VA(Zone 6b)

In a container filled with garden soil / yard dirt, won't any weed seeds germinate along with my planting? How do you manage this? I am remarkably bad at identifying seedlings. Well, correctly, anyway.

Cincinnati, OH(Zone 6a)

You could sterilize the soil before planting. But garden soil is not recommended for containers as it doesn't drain well enough. Potting mix is recommended and, and, at least when you open the bag, it is sterile.

Karen

Shenandoah Valley, VA(Zone 6b)

Okay, thank you. I thought the soil's sterility wasn't an issue due to the freezing/thawing when you put the container out (though it would be nice to have no weeds). I forgot about the drainage.

St. Peter's, PE(Zone 6a)

Zeppy,
You will get weed seeds even in the best potting soil. I will say that Miracle gro is the best potting soil for fewer weeds and the soil doesn't turn rock hard. My best advice is to checkout the seed site I list below. It is a fantastic site and should help you with identifying most seedlings.


theseedsite.co.uk/seedlings.html

Hope this helps

Michelle

Peoria, IL

I think if you have well draining garden soil you can use it. I used to live in an area that had great soil. I would sterilize it by baking it in the oven or microwaving it. I mix the sterilized soil with compost and I mix my seeds with sand. Then I sprinkle the sand/seed mixture on top of the soil.

Where I live now the soil is icky clay and doesn't drain. So I do buy whatever soil is generic and cheap and sterilize it just like my old soil.

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

Just a note here to mention that potting soil -- even special "seed starting mix" -- is not sterile out of the bag. I sterilize it in my microwave, 6 to 8 quarts at a time with 3 to 4 cups of water added if the mix starts out bone dry (the water is important if you don't want the peat to catch fire). I put it in a giant tupperware bowl, microwave on high for 12 - 15 minutes until I see lots of steam, then I snap the lid down and let it gradually cool off. The steam sterilizes the potting mix and also loosens up the peat so that it gets nice & moist. Baking it in the oven works too, but I don't like the smell.

Sterilizing your soil mix isn't such an issue for wintersown seeds (although it should kill off those pesky weeds), but it will go a long way toward preventing damping off & other problems with indoor seedling starts.

Shenandoah Valley, VA(Zone 6b)

Thanks, everyone. That clarifies things a good deal.

Ellicott City, MD(Zone 7a)

You actually bake your potting soil, Critter? Now, it all makes sense!! I know how you LOVE TO BAKE....just don't mix up your pan of brownies with your pan of potting soil....NO taste comparison!! :~)

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

LOL! Seriously, it's not just a question of taste... the brownies do smell *much* better than did the potting mix! The day I tried it, DH came home and was very hesitant in voicing his query of what my plans might be for dinner, LOL. I'm sticking with the microwave method for sterilizing my indoor seed starting (and african violet potting) mix.

west Houston, TX(Zone 9a)

I just use germinating mix--saves the smell! lol

edited to say this is a Jan shot--a newer one is on the other thread.

This message was edited Feb 11, 2006 3:45 PM

Thumbnail by dmj1218
Marietta, GA(Zone 7b)

Dmj, I have to ask.. did you germinate the seeds where they are? You have 100% germintation rates if so!!

Susan

west Houston, TX(Zone 9a)

yes--but I always put 2-3 seeds to make sure the trays are full. I often have to top water but they are only about 15 feet out the back door and I can do it in the dark with the back porch light if I don't get home before dark from work. I have this real goofy looking old plastic watering can that puts out a really fine spray.
Debbie

Ellicott City, MD(Zone 7a)

I love your January shot, dmj1218! Here's a February shot of my wintersown jugs!

Thumbnail by Shirley1md
Marietta, GA(Zone 7b)

Ohhh!! Thanks DM!!

Send snow here!

Susan

west Houston, TX(Zone 9a)

Oh my Shirley! Guess you got to stay home today and look at them out the window, huh? Winter sowing in its truest meaning....we have had a really warm winter down here (unusually so).
:)
Debbie

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