highbrass85
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Starting seeds in Miracle-Gro Garden Soil

I've had a garden the last 2 years in a row (no pun intended). I'm pretty sure I always started my seeds in Miracle-Gro Garden Soil as it is a yellow bag with tomatoes on it. None of the other bags look like this. Every year they have done well, sprouted, and flourished in my garden once put in the ground. This year I was 100% sure I grabbed the same bag, but it says it's used for mixing with soil, not to be used alone. I just got $30 worth of seeds from Park Seed Co., and started them yesterday. Will they still germinate if I do, in fact, have the wrong bag? The material seems sparse and quick to dry.

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Greywolf
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Re: Starting seeds in Miracle-Gro Garden Soil

Best I can say is follow the instructions to mix it with other soil.

What I am exploring this year is compost, and sources of organic compost. And I remember long ago living in an apartment. You really don't have a yard to generate your own stuff.

IF YOU ARE IN A SITUATION LIKE THAT, what you can do is carry a day pack and go to a wild area with deep dark soil under the leaf fall, and scoop up some of it to carry home. A wastebasket sized litter bag works perfectly, diamond in fact.


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PaulF
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Re: Starting seeds in Miracle-Gro Garden Soil

If it works, go for it......however, I have never used anything but Miracle-Gro potting soilless mix for seed starting having always been warned away from using a product with actual soil in it because of the disease issues. When I use potting soilless mix I always add water to the mixture until it is damp but not wet. Then with watering after germination I get good results.
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rainbowgardener
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Re: Starting seeds in Miracle-Gro Garden Soil

agreed, I usually only use soil-less mixes for seed starting. Actual soil is usually too heavy and moisture holding. Seeds/seedlings rot out, get diseased, etc.
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imafan26
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Re: Starting seeds in Miracle-Gro Garden Soil

I got a bag of garden soil by accident once and it does not work in pots. It is too coarse and really it is more like compost and for me compost does not do well in pots. Held too much water and I ended up throwing most of the pots out and putting the rest of the bag in my garden.
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feldon30
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Re: Starting seeds in Miracle-Gro Garden Soil

Using soil or compost to start seeds is a gamble I've never felt like taking. Week old seedlings aren't strong enough to fight off infection.

Yes, seeds do manage to germinate in nature in soil, but you're talking hundreds of seeds. When I'm measuring out one and two seeds per cell from a $4 seed packet, I like to do everything I can to ensure 100% results.

Of course your mileage may vary. See store for details.
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Black River
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Re: Starting seeds in Miracle-Gro Garden Soil

I would like to share my experience I had with Miracle-Gro potting soil this year. I usually use it every year for transplanting seedlings into cups with no problems. This year, as usual, I bought some again to use for my cool season crops such as cabbage, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, etc. Everything was going well until about the second week, we noticed our seedlings turning yellow, and before long our entire group of seedlings were infested with aphids. All these seedlings were inside under grow lights on a shelving unit. I know of no other way aphids could have gotten on the seedlings except from the Miracle-Gro soil. We had a few ladybugs that had got inside the house as they often do and they were flocking to the seedlings eating the aphids. I mixed a solution of Dawn soap, tobasco sauce, olive oil, and water and sprayed the seedlings, almost in a panic to save them. The solution killed the aphids but my seedlings were set back quite a bit, they're just now ready to set out, a little late for my zone. I started mixing a little plant food in their water that seems to have helped bring them out of being stunted.

I can't positively say the aphids came from the Miracle-Gro soil, but I can think of no other way we could have got an infestation inside the house like that. And like I previously stated, we have had no issues before and used them same soil for the past several years. The cool crop seedlings are now outdoors being hardened off, I hope to plant them this week (my mother-in-law was visiting from Kansas, became very ill, doctors discovered large tumors in her lungs and brain) so I don't know if I'll get a chance to even plant them at all. I switched to a Scott's brand soil for my tomatoes, they are in the same area, no pests noted so far.

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jal_ut
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Re: Starting seeds in Miracle-Gro Garden Soil

Hmmm, sounds like you have already planted some in that medium? If you have a bit of sand handy add a spoonful of sand to the pots and then just be sure to keep them watered well. Yes the seeds should germinate fine as long as moisture is present.

What's all the fuss about starting seeds in garden soil? I plant all sorts of seeds directly in the garden, yes in the soil put there by the creator, yes filled with organic matter, worms and all manner of microscopic life. Yes it grows and does fine.

Can garden soil in a pot be so much different?
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GardenThrive
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Re: Starting seeds in Miracle-Gro Garden Soil

Last year I mixed my own seed starting mix. It contained compost, vermiculite, and peat moss. Worked really well as it was light, retained just enough water, and the compost provided some nutrients. I did add only a small amount of compost though. This year I was running low on time and just ended up getting a bag of the Jiffy organic seed starting mix. It's mostly peat moss and coir. I didn't have any disease problems, but that's just my experience. Used that same homemade mix for both the seeds and when I potted them up twice, to grow peppers and tomatoes.

ButterflyLady29
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Re: Starting seeds in Miracle-Gro Garden Soil

Yes, garden soil in a pot is a totally different story. In a large garden the soil doesn't get all crusty and clumpy since it's part of a much larger system. But take that part of the system out of it's natural environment and it changes the whole make-up of the system. When subjected to more frequent watering and less interaction with creatures designed to keep the soil loose and you soon have a pot of dead concrete.
Potting soil or potting mix is designed to be a whole system, not part of a much larger system.

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feldon30
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Re: Starting seeds in Miracle-Gro Garden Soil

Jal_ut,

Damping Off is a real problem for indoor seedlings started in non sterile soil. Especially seeds like heirloom tomatoes, and specialty peppers.

I absolutely start beans, cucumbers, corn, etc. directly outside.
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dragonthumbs
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Re: Starting seeds in Miracle-Gro Garden Soil

I use to use Miracle grow myself, but have since stopped. They are a side product of Monsanto. (the GMO and pesticide creating company). Not to sound like a snob or anything, I avoid them at all costs after that.
I also found my plants did far better win a organic seedling starter mix.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Starting seeds in Miracle-Gro Garden Soil

When I was starting a lot of things from seed, I made my own home-made, eco friendly potting soil.

Perlite and vermiculite are mined and then heated to very high temperatures. Peat is basically mined from bogs and is being used up way faster than nature can create more. So I used things that are all agricultural by products, not mined, and would be wasted if not used. I used mushroom compost (left over from growing mushrooms), coconut coir (outside fuzzy stuff from coconuts) instead of peat moss, rice hulls (left over from milling rice) instead of perlite or vermiculite.

It worked fine and had a good texture to work with, but clearly was not as pumped full of nitrogen as miracle grow is. So I had to supplement the nitrogen with things like soaked alfalfa pellets, aerated compost tea, seaweed fertilizer, etc.
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imafan26
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Re: Starting seeds in Miracle-Gro Garden Soil

I read the label on the garden soil.
It contains one or more of the following, peat, processed forest products, compost and/or peat moss, coir, sphagnum peatmoss and a slow release fertilizer; very little fertilizer.

The difference between this product and MG potting soil is that potting soil contains perlite and a little more fertilizer.

For me, perlite does make a difference. You have to be more careful about watering since the garden mix is essentially compost with very little fertilizer and no added aeration. Some people don't have a problem planting in compost.
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rainbowgardener
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Re: Starting seeds in Miracle-Gro Garden Soil

Wow, good job, imafan. Yes, "garden soil" is not potting soil. So no perlite or any mineral element to lighten it up and improve drainage. But also next to no nutrients. "compost OR peat moss." Mainly peat and wood products ("processed forest products" would be basically wood chips). I got some similar stuff to this because it was cheap to fill in the holes my dog keeps digging in the back yard.

NOT a good seed starting mix; probably pretty rough textured too.
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