Starting in pots

For the first time in 'n' years of gardening in So. Calif coastal, I am starting veg seed in those little degradable pots.
Have always planted straight in the ground, as we generally have mild weather and can grow seasonal crops all year. But became curious about the starter pot method, especially as the weather is not as steady as before (YOU know why).
So, as an experiment, I decided to plant half of the [whatever] seeds in commercial planting mix, and half in my own compost+ pearlite -- all in degradable pots. (I almost said "potties" because they're so tiny <g>.)
What are the ups & downs of transplanting vs. planting right in the ground? Maybe someone has stats? Particularly for this Mediterranean-ish climate?
Should have some sprouting results to report in a few weeks.
Persephone
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wrote:

Yeah, I wondered about that! Seems quite an effort on the part of the little plant.

Would that apply equally to the half that is in commercial planting mix, as well as the half that is in my compost?
I went online for liquid seaweed and found much as you outlined re: transplanting. Tx for tip.
Persephone
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On Sun, 22 Feb 2009 19:25:57 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@NoSpam.com wrote:

Usually, better off planting straight into the ground--no transplant shock, less damping off, larger fuller plant, more fruit. Some plants transplant much better than others.
Last year I started some basil plants in 4" clay pots. They grew to about 2 feet tall. The ones sowed directly in the garden grew 4 feet tall and much larger, stronger, and more aromatic plants.
Experimentation is always a good idea. I often use coleus for experiments because they grow so fast and react adversely to environment changes.
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