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Start Your Seeds with a Moist Mixture

By Gymgirl
February 9, 2014

It is important to moisten your seed-starting medium before you start your seeds. After adding water, use a potato masher to completely mix the seed-starting mixture or peat-based potting mixes. It's much easier and quicker!

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Name: Paul
Utah (Zone 5b)
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Paul2032
Feb 8, 2014 6:31 PM CST
I find that warm to hot water mixes best.......
Paul Smith Pleasant Grove, Utah
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pirl
Feb 8, 2014 8:09 PM CST
Same here.
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Feb 8, 2014 9:45 PM CST
@Gymgirl
Using the potato masher is genius; thanks for that great idea.
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Name: Connie
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pardalinum
Feb 8, 2014 10:32 PM CST
I have been using hot water and a big spoon. Now that you mention a potato masher Gymgirl, I think that would work on those obnoxious compacted chunks of peat in those mixes. Thank for the tip! I'll try it out next time.
[Last edited by pardalinum - Feb 8, 2014 10:34 PM (+)]
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Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
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SongofJoy
Feb 9, 2014 3:44 AM CST
I agree. The potato masher is a great idea. I use one them for other things but hadn't thought about that.
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Name: Paul
Allen Park, MI (Zone 6a)
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paulgrow
Feb 9, 2014 8:16 AM CST
I use hot water and my hand.
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Gymgirl
Feb 9, 2014 9:26 AM CST
The potato masher idea came the Sunday morning after a Saturday evening of squeezing & mashing wet seed starter mix with my hands.

I play piano at church....

My hands were so swollen and stiff, I had to find a better way, 'cause it was seed-starting season, and they were'nt shutting the church down anytime soon!!!
Name: Paul
Allen Park, MI (Zone 6a)
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paulgrow
Feb 9, 2014 12:18 PM CST
gotcha
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greene
Feb 9, 2014 1:05 PM CST
I'll bet you were playing "Mashed Potato Time" on the piano; that's what gave you the idea, right Rolling on the floor laughing ?
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Name: Joanne
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Joannabanana
Feb 9, 2014 5:23 PM CST
I use warm water and let it sit for about 15 minutes. Then I fold the dirt with a small trowel. I find the soil mix repels the water at 1st, so leaving it sit for a while makes it super easy mix in the remain dry stuff.
Name: Karen Coffelt
Halifax, MA (Zone 7a)
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nutsfordaylily
Feb 9, 2014 9:39 PM CST
Great idea! Thanks for the tip!
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RickCorey
Feb 10, 2014 3:18 PM CST
Sometimes I pour the mix back and forth between two large buckets or mix it up in a wheelbarrow like stir-frying, but with a small shovel. And I always moisten it before pouring into cells or pots.

For years, I used far too much water to be SURE it was all moistened, and trusted that any excess would run out. But over-watering a peaty mix tends to rot seeds, impede roots and cause damping off.

And when there's very much peat in the mix, water DOESN'T run out on its own! I see what you're saying about squeezing and squishing the mix to push water into it and then wring excess water out of it, but I want to "fluff up" my mix, not compact it.

So went another route and started adding lots of grit and Perlite. Lots. But that made it even more expensive.

Now I use a lot of screened bark and just a little professional peaty mix.

That way, I achieved my goal of having any excess water RUN OUT THE BOTTOM of even small cells or tiny pots. My mix DRAINS.

Maybe I have to water often, or keep a bottom-water-mat damp, but I no longer lose whole trays of seeds to root rot or damping of!
[Last edited by RickCorey - Jul 23, 2014 1:26 PM (+)]
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