Germinating Media

In a previous post  I compared a soil mixture to rockwool and starter plugs to see which was the best for germination. I found my soil mix was the best, but I really like and use the starter plugs a lot. Here I continue looking at seed germination.
Please read my post on how to speed up germination too
Growing Media, or Germinating Media is plural for Growing Medium or Germinating Medium, This is the material in which the seed is placed to germinate and begin to grow. Of the various growing media, you will need to select the medium that is best for your specific plant and growing environment.
Listed here are some of the options that are widely available for the gardener.

Vermiculite is expanded mica. It can retain a large volume of water for long periods of time. Although it contains a high level of magnesium and potassium and can hold nutrients and is good for aeration, it is not often used by itself I would sugges mixing it with perilite or soil in a final mixture for germinating seeds.

Perilite is a volcanic glass. It holds water on its surface but does not allow much absorption. It has no elements needed for plant growth and does not hold nutrients well. It does promote good aeration , stays cool and is a very good ingredient as part of a growing or germination medium.

Sand can be a good choice for root cuttings but is a bit too heavy for germinating seeds and can dry out quickly since  it does not hold water, nor nutrients.  I would not recommend it for germinating seeds but I do add it to most of my soil mixes to promote aeration.

Garden soil can be good for plants to grow in but in most areas will not offer the optimal conditions for germinating seeds because it does not allow for proper aeration and drainage for seeds. Also, it is not sterile. You can sterilization it (bake it in a pan at 300 degrees for 30 minutes) but I would suggest you sue a soil mix from HTGSupply.com with vermiculate, perlite, peat moss etc. to germinate seeds. There are many seed germination mixes available from HTGSupply.com where the work of mixing has been done for you.

Starter plugs – my favorite medium for germination at the moment is the starter plugs. They are made from tree bark provide some nutrients to the seedlings and are low mess and make transplanting easy.

Good Growing,
Dr. E.R. Myers

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