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Nutrients I Use
The first question you may be asking yourself is, “Soil or Hydroponic?”
Although hydroponic grows are an excellent way to grow your plants. There are some things you may want to consider first.
To do it correctly it can be quite expensive and problematic. I would suggest to really set yourself up for success to first grow in some good soil and leave hydroponic growing for a little later.
My list of soil ingredients are Coco Coir, perlite, peat moss, vermiculite, high grade potting soil.
1 gallon Coco Coir
1 gallon peat moss
1 gallon perlite
1 cup vermiculite (optional)
1/2 gallon high grade potting soil (without fertilizer)
*note on coco coir, I like the pressed 10 pound blocks. They are easier to use if you place the dry block in a wheelbarrow and add enough water to soften it up so you can break it apart easier.
Throughly mix dry ingredients.
Because there is very little fertilizer in these ingredients, they make an excellent seed starting soil.
Brian’s Super Soil Mixture
I like to use dry ingredients and mix them together.
Epson salt, also known as magenisum sulfate - is a time-tested mineral that promotes healthy growth. That's because magniesium helps plants take in vital nutrients and boosts chlorophyll production while sulfur produces vitamins.
Blood Meal for vigorous growth, high yield and large blooms.
Bone Meal for stronger root development. Bone Meal is a natural source of vital, readily available organic nitrogen, phosphorus and calcium that promotes strong plant roots, vibrant blooms. Helps keep your plants healthy throughout the growing season!
Dry fish, such as Seagate concentrated multi-purpose long-lasting indoor/outdoor fertilizer that can be applied to flowers, trees, and vegetables.
Liquid fish fertilizer. I like to use one half teaspoon per gallon of water for seedings.
Bat Guano rich in readily available nitrogen, phosphorus and micronutrients and nearly the third of the nitrogen is water soluble, making it readily available to plants
Seabird Guano mixed into the soil or applied as a liquid to dramatically increase both the amount and size of blooms throughout the flowering period for all indoor and outdoor plants
Dolomite Lime supplies essential nutrients calcium and magnesium, and sweetens your soil to improve plant growth and maximize fertilizer performance
For use as a dry nutrient for unfertilized Super Soil mixture
1/2 cup Epson Salt
1/2 cup blood meal
1/2 cup bone meal
1/4 cup dehydrated fish (optional)
1/2 cup bat guano
1/2 cup seabird guano
1/8 cup dolomite lime
Nutrients I Use
Rather then soak the seeds in water for a specified time, I prefer to use these small sandwich boxes.
One reason I do it this way is because I have more control over the process.
I don’t like wondering if they have soaked long enough or maybe too long!
When placed in these breath-able containers you can easily see how they are doing. If the paper towels are damp, etc.
Also, I have had predator bugs eat expensive seeds! And that’s not good at all!
Deli sandwich box
I use the clear sandwich boxes that have the lid that simply folds over And snaps closed.
2 layers cut to the appropriate size of the bottom of the container than add enough water to saturate. Place the number of seeds you wish to start in the center and add one more layer of paper towel. Add maybe 1 teaspoon of clean water, and drain off the excess being careful not to have the towels move around.
Deli sandwich box
I recommend placing the boxes in a warm place and waiting patiently. Temperature should be at least 70’ but no less as the seeds may not sprout if they are too cold. I have sprouted seeds in as high a temperature as 110’.
The only risk I would be concerned with would be that the paper towels may dry out. This is another reason I prefer the clear boxes with fold over lids, they help keep moisture in, and you can see if the paper towels are dry.
Most seeds will begin to open on the second or third day.
You can use any small type of plastic cup for starting your new seedlings.
THE SOIL SHOULD HAVE NO ADDED DRY FERTILIZER AT THIS TIME! The seedlings are very tender at this point!
Make sure you have made several holes in the bottom of your cups so excess water can be drained off.
You do not want your plants sitting in water for any extended length of time! The roots will rot and the plants will die without proper oxygen being supplied to the roots!
Sprouted seeds ready for soil
Use a pencil or something similar to punch a 1/2 in deep hole in the plastic cup soil. This will give the newly sprouted seed some added protection.
I prefer to NOT fill the cup up entirely, but only half way!
Make a small hole
I like to use a clean plastic spoon or carefully pick up with your fingers and place in the hole in the plastic cup soil.
I prefer not to cover the seed in the hole but allow it to make its way up without obstruction.
Once the seeds are safely in the hole in the soil, I like to give them a teaspoon of very weak fish fertilizer water.
I like to use one half teaspoon per gallon of water for seedings
Seeds in cups
I like to use the deli boxes to set over the newly planted seeds to not only protect but help keep moisture in.
Once the seedling pop up you can remove the covers
I continue to water with the diluted fish water until they are transplanted into their next container.
Keep the soil moist and only add water when it is dry.
Cover with sandwich box
Once your seedlings are a couple of weeks old they are ready to be relocated.
You should be watering your seedlings with the weak fish water until you transplant them.
I like to use small cloth grow bags, as the cloth allows excess water to easily drain away and the roots have better oxygen coming into all sides of their container. Where as in plastic containers the oxygen is reduced.
Here is where I add 3 teaspoons of our dry nutrients (mixture recipe above) to each cloth bag. I like to mix it with my hands into the soil just before filling the bags.
I usually dampen the soil to where it is nice and moist but not leaking or dripping. Then add your 3 teaspoons of dry ingredients.
Fill the cloth bag about half way and compress it fairly compact and adjust the height of the soil in the bag leaving just enough room for the 1/2 cup of soil holding the seedling.
Any extra soil mix should be placed in with the seedlings new cloth bag.
When your young plants are beginning to become “root bound” in the bags, it is recommended that you move to a final container. Try to avoid plastic as much as possible.
I prefer Felt growing containers which are fairly inexpensive and like the soil mixture, can also be reused multiple times.
Please let me know if this has been helpful!
And be sure to check out our large variety of collectible souvenirs flower seeds 😁!
2 week old seedling
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