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6 messages
12/04/2013 at 11:56
I am new to growing your own so i need some advice. Does it matter what compost you start your seedlings in. In my opinion it seems to be taking a long time for them to sprout. They are in a shed and cold frame no heat or is it just the weather. Last year to me they seemed to sprout quicker. I am using a peat based compost this year and is different type from last year.

 

12/04/2013 at 12:02

I only use multipurpose and never have a problem,I would imagine they are taking longer with no heat for them to germinate. Try them on a window sill where they will get some heat.

12/04/2013 at 12:14
diggers2 wrote (see)
I am new to growing your own so i need some advice. Does it matter what compost you start your seedlings in. In my opinion it seems to be taking a long time for them to sprout. They are in a shed and cold frame no heat or is it just the weather. Last year to me they seemed to sprout quicker. I am using a peat based compost this year and is different type from last year.

 

You dont say what they are-not all seeds need heat-at the germination stage the growing medium is immaterial to a certain extent-seeds will germinate on kitchen towel if the conditions are right.

12/04/2013 at 12:18

Hi, if you look on the pack of compost you buy, they should say suitable for small seeds, however i have found some of these can be lumpy so I use a garden sieve to get rid of the lumps and to put the thin top layer over the seeds. They are probably taking a long time to sprout as its been so cold. I have had to sow lots of types of seed in my kitchen this year even though I have a green house! Any I have sown outside have taken forever!! good luck

 

12/04/2013 at 12:22

Seed compost has hardly any fertiliser because some seeds germinate less well when fertilizer is present. Potting compost has a full dose of fertilizers. Multipurpose compost is a sort of half way house. I doubt if the strength of fertilzer will make much difference for most types of seed. 

The composition of the base material (peat or peat substitute) varies a great deal, and manufacturers have struggled to find an alternative to peat that works as well for seed germination. Apparently the difference is not so important for potting on, but there seems to be quite a variation when it comes to seedlings. 

I know that last year there were lots of complaints about the quality of various composts (I know Wickes was one) where you could see bits of recycled plastic and other rubbish) so goodness knows what else was being chucked in, such as shreddings of wood chips from wood that had been preservative treated). 

Trouble is, if you expect to pay  £4 or less for 60 litres of a bulky material that costs a lot to handle, ship and store, then you should be wary about what you are getting. I pay extra for a good quality seed compost. It may cost quite a bit more, but when you think of the extra cost per seed trayful and compare it to the cost of seed and your time, and the end result when successful, the extra cost is peanuts.  For potting on I am  less fussy. 

 

 

12/04/2013 at 12:59

I use my own home-made, sieved finely, and it works great. I just have to be sure I know what the seedling is supposed to look like, as everything else already in the compost bursts into life at the same time!

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