Creating a seed starting mix/potting mix from scra Sept 16, 2009 23:18:18 GMT -5
Post by Alan on Sept 16, 2009 23:18:18 GMT -5
OK, in starting my small orchard here on the farm the past few weeks and in looking to an alternative to peat moss and coco coir (shipping is almost as bad in my opinion as using peat) I have been experimenting with several soil mixes made from on farm materials.
Now before I get into it I would love encourage everyone to play with several different mixes, to research their uses, find the best materials, and pass them on here and locally. It is key to self sustainability to creat mixes using no or very little money. You can substitute $5.00 for the words "very little money", and I say that only because I have had to add lime or sulfer to each of these mixes depending upon what I'm using.
I don't have the exact mix ratios here in front of me, but these are some materials I have been working with.
Forrest Dander (from the scrubby and younger parts of the forrest where it won't be missed much)
Leaf Litter (this and dander should not be collected from areas where ferns or black walnuts are growing)
Bat Guano (as an amendment and an acidifier)
Composted pine shaving based chicken and turkey litter
Of course depending on what you will be using the mix for you can kind of see what ingredients you would or wouldn't want in the mix as well as the proportions and the size of the materials to be included.
I have made five mixes at this time. 150 gallons worth to "play" with. Later I will put up my mix proportions and report back on my results.
I can say this, Luther Burbank was using a material similar to this as indicated by "his means and methods" series which Karen (plantsnoobin, 'cause she is awesome) gave me and he reported terrific results for all types of seeds. For germinating tomatoes and the like I have been having a terrific result using 2/3 worm castings and 1/3 sharp sand with a bit of added lime.