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in The potting shed
Today I used up the last of last years Potting compost. There are a fair number of seeds which need cold to aid germination, so I sow them about now and put the pots outside for the weather to work its magic. Great, except that none of the local garden centres have got their stock of Compost in yet. Makes life a little difficult.
That's because they don't cater for real gardeners Berghill.
I got mine from Homebase, I should think the multi purpose had been there since last summer (it was saturated) and the seed compost was in very small bags but I got the seeds sown. I use a mix as I find JI seed a bit on the hard side when it comes to pricking out. I put vermiculite on top, usually use grit but only coarse stuff to be had. If I'd gone to the pet shop to get aquarium grit I wouldn't have got the seeds in, short days still.
You can use garden soil riddled then into a micro wave or into a bucket and boiling water poured on it to sterilise the soil. Drain the water and dry out then mix with washed sand and you have a perfect seed mix, I also add some fine grit for drainage.When doing a lot of trays use riddled potting compost with washed sand and fine grit, one third of each although for some seed I use only a quarter compost, most seed will germinate in damp sand, when I spilt some tomato seed on my hot sand bed I had better results than from the actual seed trays.As a lad we did not have bespoke compost so it was all done with soil, we had no problems with that so why do otherwise?
Got mine at end of summer in Asda - 50p per bag . Just happened to be there at the right time doing my weekly shop when it was brought in and announced over the tannoy. What a rush to get to front of store quick - sold out in no time.
I use peat free stuff and most places do not stock the one I prefer. I think I would be even more unpopular with my wife if I started putting soil in her microwave. And even sifted from this garden is likley to contain metal. You ain't seen our soil!
Used to sterilise the soil with the flame gun, but that stopped working a long time ago. Now been turned into a 'dragon' sculpture by my son in law.
If I get really desperate I will germinate the seeds in petrie dished in the 'fridge.