The Q&A Archives: Soilless Mix Until Transplant to Garden?

Question: I have been reading Burpee's Guide to Vegetable and Herb Gardening and have been convinced to start my seeds in a soilless mix with some nutrients (I usually used plain potting soil). My question is that if I use big enough pots and feed regularly can I keep the seedlings in the soilless mix instead of repotting to a larger pot with a soil mix?

Answer: You can use soilless mix up until you transplant to the garden, certainly, as long as you add sufficient nutrients to maintain healthy growth in the meantime. Many gardeners will use a dilute liquid fertilizer for this purpose. There is one caution, however, in terms of pot size. It is a good idea to start small and transplant up as needed; this both saves space and helps maintain a healthy root-run for the seedlings -- it can be difficult to maintain proper soil moisture if tiny seedlings are grown in overly large pots. Good luck with your transplants!

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