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[nafex] Seedstarting Mixes

1.  Over the years, I have tried a number of the "soilless" seed
starting mixes.  One of those years it was a big bale of Pro-Mix.
2.  I observed that the Pro-Mix looked almost exactly like spaghnum peat
moss, with traces of vermiculite and perlite thrown in.  That got me to
thinking: Why couldn't I just buy a bale of spaghnum at less than 1/3
the price, and throw in my own vermiculite and perlite?  (Wetting
agents?  What's that, gypsum?)   That's what I do now, mixing it up in a
big plastic can.
3.  I know that one of the advertised advantages of the expensive mixes
is that they are "sterilized", and free of the pathogens that cause
damping off and etc..  But there are other ways to deal with damping
off, including heating the mix in the oven, or using the Tom Olenio
method of aiming a small circulating fan at the emerging plants.  That
fan business makes a lot of sense to me, and I am going to try it this
spring.  I anticipate it will produce sturdier, stockier plants in the
4.  It it's mycorrhizal fungi that are of interest, throwing in a little
handful from bio-organics or one of the other fungal purveyors would fix
that.  I don't think I would pay $32, either Canadian or U.S. dollars,
for a product which, it is plain to see, is about 99.9% or so Candian
spaghnum peat moss, which, BTW, is a wonderful soil amendment if there
ever was one.

Best Rgds and Apologies to the Mixmakers, Don Yellman, Great Falls, VA

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