germination and seedlings

I was wondering if anyone else had the same observation as I have. I use a soil that is specifically for germination (high sphagnum moss content I think) and it seems to do a good job of germination but then the seedlings seem to lack vigor. When I transplant the seedlings into larger vessels with "regular" potting mix, the plants suddenly become vigorous.
Anyone else have this experience?
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Billy
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wrote:

You are probably not packing the soiless mix hard enough and the roots are weak from not having any resistance as they develop. I'm not saying to pack the mix hard or very tight, but firmed in before you put seeds on it, then cover the mix with the seed and if the seed needs dark to germinate just press that seed firm into the soil leaving it out to the light and water lightly. If the seed needs dark to germinate, still place seed on packed soiless mix and cover it with either vermiculite or more soiless mix. The mix is more likely milled vermiculite, not peat, but I don't know what you have there.
As a plus, make sure the mix is moist before you pack it into the flats or tray you are using. Most mixes have a wetting agent so the media will absorb better, but don't over water.
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In article

My main problem has been getting light to the young plants. My cold frame helps a lot. Once up I plant outside as soon as possible so I am latter than most folks about here.
These sites have a bit of what your question is aimed at.
<http://www.gardenersnet.com/atoz/germinat.htm
<http://www.ca.uky.edu/agc/pubs/ho/ho56/ho56.htm
Just book marked them myself as I never thought to ask that question concerning best practice after germination.
Thanks!
Bill
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Exactly!
The starter I used, Magik-Moss Seed Starter is excellent, as far as composition, water retention and working form, but it seemingly has the nutritional value of shredded plastic. Next year I'll mix a couple of cups of alfalfa meal and a little bone meal with each bucket. That should green things up, as compared to the pale starts I was constantly chasing with nitrogen this year.
Steve Young
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"Steve Young" <bowtieATbrightdslDOTnet> wrote

Billy, here's what I did this year and the results were incredible. I used the same starter, as I liked it very well. To approximately 6 quarts of it I added 1 quart of my homemade compost, 1 pint of alfalfa meal, 1 cup of bone meal and 1/3 cup of green sand.
I potted up the flats and planted. Starting from the first watering I used 1 well rounded tablespoon of Soluble Root Growth Enhancer per gallon of water. http://www.biconet.com/soil/rootGrowth.html I watered with this mixture 3 - 4 times through the 6 weeks they were under lights. When I took them outside to take in sunlight and harden off, I gave them a couple of waterings with fish emulsion at about half the label recommendation.
These plants were twice the size of anything I have ever started, and healthy, oh my. The amazing thing is how nice the roots looked when I planted them. Though I used 3 inch square containers for the tomatoes and smaller for peppers, etc. none were root bound, as I would of expected for plants as large as they were.
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oops Billy, I haven't posted in so long I forgot to check my nym ;)
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"Bowtie" <bowtieATbrightdslDOTnet> wrote:

I'll give it a try. Thanks.
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- Billy
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To some degree yes. After moving to a new home, I've been trying to establish some new California poppies late in the season. I saw almost nothing growing from seed this late. I eventually tried Jiffy-7 "peat pellets" which are primarily sphagnum moss as well as square peat pots with potting soil (Miracle-Gro Moisture Control). The seedlings (germinated indoors) coming out of the pots (soil moderately packed) come up more slowly and smaller, but they seem stocky and strong. Most of the seedlings from the pellets are growing taller, but spindly with long stems sticking out underneath the base. One reason may have been when I kept them too long indoors. They seemed to get longer stems because they grew and leaned towards the sun coming from the window. Another part could be the fertilizer in the potting soil as well as the resistance to root growth from the packed soil. I move them outdoors to condition them to the sun, but some seedlings have died from the heat. I guess that's fine, since I'm trying to develop seedlings that won't just die when they get transplanted.
I did have one really nice example growing from a pellet, that I've since transplanted to a pot. That one I germinated in a different area, and took it outside as soon as I saw the taproot well established and before the stem popped up.
I have removed the netting from the pellets before transplanting. The peat pots I've watered and pulled back to keep the soil around the seedling intact. I've used plastic seedling pots, but I have a hard time getting them out without damaging the root. I also tried ripping the used peat pots into pieces to use as a soil amendment.
Just for fun I'm trying to sprout up some heliotropes from seed in the peat pellets. I'll see how that turns out.
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Yes, I get the same observation.
I start seedlings in small one inch pots. After germination about %80 percent for most of my plants. Then I transplant with potting soil in 5 inch pots. I transplant the seedlings just after the true leaves arrives. I also cut off the lower seed leaves on many of the plants that seem to lack vigor after a week or so on the transplants, it seems to help the plants. When the weather gets nice the plants get planted outside.
Billy, I know that you have far more knowledge about plants than I do.
Questions: Is something wrong with this observation? Is this processes the norm?
Enjoy Life ... Dan
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