Seedlings

I have a small question to ask. This year when I started my seedlings from seeds, I ended up with a lot of them not doing much. All new seed, but I used miracle grow potting soil and I wonder if the fertilizer in this mix was too strong for starting seeds? Any comments?
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Helen

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Soil temperature and moisture is key to getting seeds to sprout.

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They had a warming mat under them and a grow light later.

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On Sun, 30 May 2004 22:02:04 -0400, "MOM PEAGRAM"

I don't know about fertilizer *harming* seedlings, but I've always started mine in a soil-less starter mix with no ammendments. Seeds have enough 'food' to sustain sprouting and early growth (those first 1-2 pairs of true leaves). I use *very* dilute fertilizer only after transplanting to individual pots.
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I'm beginning to think it was the Miracle Grow soil-less potting mix. I've never had this happen before.
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I use Miracle Grow potting mix also, no problem!
Maybe you pissed off Jesus.
'enry VIII
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Dear Mom,
Seeds don't require fertilizer as mentioned below so I doubt that would be your problem. As you know you can sprout seeds in cotton wool. No fertilizer there.
However, light, water, seeds age and soil temp are fairly important. You say these were 'new' seeds. Check the used by date.. you may have purchased them last week, but what does the used by DATE say.
You mention that they have a warming matt underneath them. (is it possible the soil temp was too high ?) What temperature was the soil ? Did you test it ? And if so , what 'seeds' were you growing. Different seeds germinate at different temp levels. i.e. celery won't germinate over 21C (No I can not do the American conversion on this) Tomato/chill/eggplant like temps above 18 preferably 21. Lettuce will germinate at 10/12 etc etc. Also it is advisable to sterilise containers used when trying to germinate seeds, to remove any disease that may already be in existence. Personally I never bother with this, but its always an option.
Also can you see any fine white crawly things in the soil. They are barely visible to the naked eye, but they will thrive in warm soil such as 'springtails' http://www.happydranch.com/5.html
To be honest I would put my money on the seeds themselves, as it does sound like you have everything in order to germinate them, but I would like to know the soil temp that the matt is generating. If the soil was 'poor' it would start to affect the seeds after germination and the first shoots, but not before. Did this occur ? Also how were the containers you planted these seedlings in, did you keep them watered, and how large did the seedlings get before the 'didn't do much'. Could you see any signs that they may have been attacked by pests of some kind ? Or was there a mouldy like substance on the seeds themselves.
Also, you should really take the seedlings off the warming matt once they have sprouted, and put them in a sunny/warm place (greenhouse maybe or kitchen windowsill) as growing on a warming matt with a light does encourage 'weakness' in the plants.I have always found it makes them more susceptible to diseases. They need to toughen up a bit in the greenhouse before being transplanted to the garden beds in early spring otherwise they die of shock, poor little hot house plants.

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