Jiffy Seed starting mix

shoontokFebruary 10, 2011

I understand that Jiffy seed starting mix being a 50/50 peat/vermiculite mix is very nutrient poor. I have been watering the newborn seedlings (after they sprout and are fully out of the soil and the soil appears dry) with small amounts of a 1/4 strength mix of a 15/30/15 water soluble miracle grow.

I think this will be helpful in the early development of these plants. Correct me if im wrong please.

I plan on transplanting them out of the starter cells that they are in to bigger pots with a better nutrient enriched soil mix after i see a 2nd set of the true leaves. So for the time being i hope what im doing is right.


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sjetski(6b NJ)

The way i understand it is that the initial set of false leaves provide nutrients to the seedling (similar to a yolk sac) and the roots provide moisture. And as most of us already know, young sprouts are susceptible to "burning" if exposed to too much nitrogen.

I've heard of advanced hobbyists "pre-providing" nutrients at this early stage but it's a severely watered down fertilizer that's a lot weaker than miracle gro to begin with. Remember that at a 1/4 strength that miracle gro is still 4/7/4 which may be too much.

Personally i'd keep an eye on them, maybe even flush out the jiffy mix a bit with excess water, enough so that the water leeches out of the bottom, then let the soil dry out again.

Of course my advice may not even be necessary, but there's only one way to find out, and that is to watch, wait, and hope. Hopefully they explode with vigor ;)

    Bookmark   February 11, 2011 at 8:18PM
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yeah i sprinkled a little blood meal on 12 of my cayennes as an experiment, a little less than a pinch each, i might have killed 'em but they were growing slowwwwwwwwwwwwwww compared to the MG starter mix

    Bookmark   February 14, 2011 at 1:21AM
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I mix a heaping teaspoon of Miracle Grow with four gallons of rain water and use that solution exclusively to water my tomato and pepper seedlings. They look oh so healthy. I go through a whole four gallons every two days watering about 150 seedlings. If you are using water with fertilizer in it or using tap water that is hard or has salt in it top water only, bottom watering can lead to a crust forming on the soil surface that will kill your plants as water continuously wicks upward and evaporates at the surface.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2011 at 9:26PM
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I have a theory to offset that nutrient poor starter mix.

When germinating seeds in starter trays, pots, etc. Fill that container 3/4 the way to the top with a nutrient enriched soil. Then place seed on top of that pre-moistened soil and cover the seed with 3/8 of an inch of the jiffy or whatever 50/50 peat/vermiculite mix. Moisten that thoroughly and cover with plastic wrap or plastic cover to retain moisture and commence normal germination methods.

I believe that that the starter mix holding moisture and lightweight of the starter mix will allow seedling to pop through easily and when rooting commences into the nutrient enriched soil there will be little need to add food to the equation.

Just a theory

Happy Growing!

    Bookmark   February 20, 2011 at 1:14AM
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genoprizebull(6 Akron NY)

That's exactly what I did last year Shoontok and they did very well for me.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2011 at 10:34PM
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Has anyone tried Shoontok's method above? Fill a seed starting cell with 3/4 nutrient-rich mix, and a sprinkle of Jiffy seed starting mix on top? This seems to get the best of both worlds: nutrients for plant growth, with a layer of seed starting mix to allow the seedling to poke out.

As I've posted before, I used 100% Jiffy seed starting mix last year with dreadfully slow results. I don't transplant the seeds out of the cells until they're ready to go outside, so I was stuck with that soil for 2+ months.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2014 at 11:33AM
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I use 1/2 strength bloom every 10 days once the first set of true leaves develop. It has less nitrogen and promotes a healthy root system. I would switch over to grow once my peppers go out in pots. Most of my peppers get planted in the ground where I go Organic so I only use it in pots. I switched to bloom years ago and have better luck with it then the grow. These plants are 4 weeks from planting the seed. I also transplant into larger pots as soon as the roots show at the bottom of the 6 packs.I find that root bound plants don't do as well. You do need fertilizer to get good growth and every 10 days gives me better results then every 2 weeks.Light is also very important to get good results

    Bookmark   February 1, 2014 at 12:01PM
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Hi, what is "bloom" and what is "grow"? Sorry, I don't know all the lingo yet. Also, what soil are you using in those pics above?

    Bookmark   February 1, 2014 at 1:06PM
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