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Old 01-21-2013, 08:31 PM   #1
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Default Starting seedlings in compost

I sprout seeds in damp paper towels under the covers of a waterbed. I check them every day or 2, and transplant the seeds as soon as I see a little white root peeking out.

I have been using bagged stuff sold as "maure" or "compost and manure". It's usually almost black, with a good percentage of sand. The bag I opened today had a tint of brown-red from wood chips. And it had a fragrance. Maybe cedar? Is redwood fragrant?

Is there anything in cedar that would cause a problem with the seedlings?
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Old 01-25-2013, 12:58 PM   #2
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There's nothing in cedar I can think of that would cause a problem for your seedlings but.... cedar could cause a problem for you because of vaporized oils so just start your seedlings in open air.
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Old 01-25-2013, 01:04 PM   #3
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Thanks. I hoped it wouldn't hurt the seedlings. I REALLY hope I don't have a lot of other bags of that stuff.
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Old 01-25-2013, 07:38 PM   #4
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What is a mistake we don't learn from Biigblueeyes?

In my case, last year, I thought heyyyyyyy I'll just waste all these fine acorns into the compost 'to add weight' to my pile of chopped leaves & other stuff. Ohhhhhh man gigggggggglllllllleeeeeeeees I got 'the weight' but I also got later 'little acorns with roots' in the whole pile, which grew quite nicely thruout the spring, --little trees kind of competes with the tomatoes!

I didn't have any red cedar or cypress in my mix, because it doesn't rot fast, which could be a good thing for me, but it 'holds water' pretty well which could be a good thing for you.

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Old 01-25-2013, 10:24 PM   #5
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heyyyyy - watch it! I don't make ALL the mistakes. . . . ok, maybe I do. . .

I might never get to find out if the wood chips hurt the seedlings - greenhouse hit 95 degrees today and the seed pots were bone dry. I think I might have baked the babies.
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Old 01-25-2013, 11:55 PM   #6
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Bigblueyes
That was a good question.
That made me think????
The best blueberries I ever had was mulched with red cedar sawdust, but I have seen groves of cedar with nothing else underneath or in the grove.

It sent me looking on the internet.
and I found this:

"Cedars, especially Thuja species, have developed chemical weapons against a number of pests and pathogens. Researchers have found that Thuja plicata heartwood contains thujaplicin, a water-soluble tropolone not only inhibitory to various bacteria and fungi, but with anti-tumor activity as well. This antimicrobial activity is probably responsible for the rot-resistant nature of cedar wood. There is, however, no evidence that this substance harms plant tissues. "


Type in this to find the article if you are interested - but that is about it - except it is safe around water too.
PDF]
The Myth of Allelopathic Wood - WSU Puyallup ...


Getting overheated and drying out. Maybe you caught it in time- and a lot of seeds sprout better if wet - then dry - then wet again. Gourd seeds for one.

Do you know about sprouting parsley?
Of course you do -- you are starting a business growing herbs.
That one keep me perplex until I bought a seed starting book.

I am so excited for you and give a prayer that you will succeed.
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Old 01-26-2013, 08:23 AM   #7
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"I'll just waste all these fine acorns into the compost 'to add weight' to my pile of chopped leaves & other stuff." What's that saying I use for myself sometimes... oh ya.... it's stupid is as stupid does. I'm laughing with you not at you because a few years ago my husband swept up 1 of our walkways so his mom didn't fall. It was a mast year and acorns are like marbles. Normally I take a broom and just brush them off to the side.... he swept em into a dust pan and dumped them in my composter.
--
I get tomatoes growing out of my composter too. And squash. I consider anything that sprouts in the composter greens and just turn it under.
--
Liquid> "Getting overheated and drying out. Maybe you caught it in time- and a lot of seeds sprout better if wet - then dry - then wet again. Gourd seeds for one.

Do you know about sprouting parsley?" Tell me what the deal is on gourd seeds? I ordered some birdhouse gourd seed this year so I need to know.... I don't have a seed starting book. Parsely.... I think I know. It's a seed.... like parsnips and onions that has to be used fresh and shouldn't be saved or it won't sprout, right? Last year I saved seed from onions I left in the ground to go to seed from the year before. I just did it to make sure I could save seed if I ever needed to. I'll plant the seed I saved myself and I'll plant the seed I ordered but.... I already pitched what was left of the seed I'd ordered for last year because onions are hard enough as it is.... probably why onion sets are so popular so I'll take any info your book's got on starting onion seeds too if you've got time.
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Old 01-26-2013, 09:37 AM   #8
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heyyyyyyyyyyy Biigblueyes, what I said didn't sound right: "What is a mistake we don't learn from Biigblueeyes?" please read it again, without your name at the end of the sentence. Oh gosh, I'm sorry! I didn't mean Biigblueyes makes all the mistakes. I meant: it is good if 'we' learn from experience, even mistakes.

As for sawdust, wood chips, or 'mulch' I've learned they will absorb nitrogen & water during the decomposition process, which doesn't leave much nitrogen for your plants. Also 'mulch' has too much air in it, and is kind of spongy and won't pack down. I think the sawdust or wood chips, 'the mulch', is generally used as a soil covering layer, not as the dirt itself.

I would think you can start seeds in 'heavy well rotted mulch', but not for long, transplantation into regular dirt asap if the babies are sturdy enough. The dirt is the structure that sustains a plant, mulch just makes a nice protective top coat, keeping the soil temperature & moisture steady underneath the top coat. Mulch top coat will eventually biodegrade into dirt, but that might take 2 or 3 years to become dirt, sawdust or wood chip mulch might take 4 years to become integrated with the dirt.

Do you expect to use regular dirt, from around your place, that could be used with your mulch top coat?

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Old 01-26-2013, 10:04 AM   #9
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I usually start seeds in something like vermiculite which is sterile and less likely to cause damping off. Especially with an occasional spray of hydrogen peroxide in water and plenty of air circulation. Enough heat if its freezing (but some seeds need to be frozen as in winter sowing).

I would question whether you will get healthy seedlings in unsterilized compost or manure.

Peat however has been used forever to start seedlings. it is naturally sterile.

Also, something to consider:

http://www.motherearthnews.com/organ...m_medium=email
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Old 01-26-2013, 10:48 AM   #10
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You & the hyperlinked article make good points Hazelnut, lest we forget that we just cannot be too careful when gathering various amendments to use. The sterilizing heat of composting, nor a 9 page label won't rid us of Dow/Dupont residues.

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