Seed germination in vermiculite

anney(Georgia 8)March 6, 2006

Perhaps this isn't very "experimental" but I read about starting seeds on top of a moist layer of vermiculite. Ideally the vermiculite is placed on top of the growing medium so the roots can burrow downward. But that isn't what I've done.

I've had no success trying to germinate some 2 year-old cuban pepper seeds (two weeks and no show), so this morning I opened my huge bag of vermiculite and put a quarter inch layer in the lid of a sour cream container and moistened it. Then put the pepper seeds on top, put the container upside down on the lid, offset slightly so air can circulate, and put them in my little heated grow-house.

If they germinate, I'll have to carefully transfer them to the planting soil, but at least this way, I'll learn if they germinate at all. Can't see what I planted and don't want to disturb them in case they're just being extremely slow.

I may end up with more pepper plants than I want! I'll let you know.

Has anyone here used vermiculite as the medium to germinate seeds? If so, how did it work?

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anney(Georgia 8)

I'll send this below!

    Bookmark   March 26, 2006 at 5:32PM
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mrbrownthumb(z5 Chicago)

How did it work out for you? I've only used vermiculite for rooting cuttings but I've not done it for seeds but I was going to try that idea with larger seeds this year in a baggie with moist vermiculite.

Post your results!


    Bookmark   March 30, 2006 at 12:24AM
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Vermiculite is my preferred seed starting medium, especially for saved seed of tomatoes and peppers. Also works well for cukes and squash. I use 1# cottage cheese or sour cream containters-fill 2/3, sprinkle generously with seed, cover w/more vermiculite. Carefully add water to run down the side (to keep from making a hole or dislodging seeds). Don't forget to put drain holes in containers. Once seedling have true leaves water with a VERY weak MiracleGro-type fertilizer. One thing I especially like about this is that the strongest plants are easy to ease out, letting others grow on or the entire "clump" can be put into a tray of water and gently coaxed apart. Worked best w/tomatoes and peppers. Have to keep a sharp eye on watering because of the fast drainage but otherwise very easy - no worry.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2006 at 6:45PM
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Vermiculite and perlite both loosen the seeding media and I've added them both on occasion but lately I've just relyed on the regular peat based media because fewer seedlings emerge with the seed coat still attached. I believe that the surface "crust" helps to free the seed coad for many seedlings as they penetrate it.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2006 at 9:00AM
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