Seed compost and the Quarterly

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Hoy
Hoy's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-15

Hello folks, i have been out in the garden today. Although a little cloudy the temperature was nice and I tidied up a little. Lot of broken branches due to snow pressure.

Regarding soil mixture I have about 50% peat and the rest is sand etc. But it depends on the species sown. I often sow woodland species and then I use more peat (or soil from pine or spruce woods), if sowing alpines I use more sand topping the pots. I cover with a sheet of plastic and water as necessary. When germinating I move the pots nearer to the artificial light or into my cold greenhouse. If put outside in the open I have to water, April, May and June can be very dry here, but still slugs can be a serious problem (and the more special plants are the better slug-food). I always plant out in beds, or more often, as natural as possible later on. The plants I have in pots (or urns) are tender and I have to bring them inside the worst winters.
In fact I am not bound to peat-based either. It depends on what I can get hold of.

Trond
Rogaland, Norway - with cool, often rainy summers  (29C max) and mild, often rainy winters (180 cm/year)!

RickR
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-09-21

I also start with a soilless peat based mix, then add sand and perlite.  I don't use vermiculite anymore because if I need to hold seeded pots that didn't germinate into the following year, the vermiculite becomes dense, negating its value and reducing total volume of the medium.

Peat in the final alpine mix is less than 50%.  I don't have set proportions either, but I would say it is around 2/2/1, peat based mix, sand, perlite.  Continually trying new or different applications, too.  Another MN Chapter member uses houseplant potting mix straight, and transplants early with the first set of true leaves, sometimes even before.  I am on the other end of that spectrum, as my job is correspondingly weather related, and I never have enough time in May.

Wow, I didn't think there was anyplace in the UK with less precipitation than me (at around 26 inches per year).  I think us Americans in general have an erroneous picture of rainfall in the UK.  Malcom, would you say you are in the driest area of the nation?

Rick Rodich    zone 4a.    Annual precipitation ~24 inches
near Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

Hoy
Hoy's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-15

RickR wrote:

Wow, I didn't think there was anyplace in the UK with less precipitation than me (at around 26 inches per year).  I think us Americans in general have an erroneous picture of rainfall in the UK.  Malcom, would you say you are in the driest area of the nation?

And what do you think of precipitation in Norway then, RickR or others?

Trond
Rogaland, Norway - with cool, often rainy summers  (29C max) and mild, often rainy winters (180 cm/year)!

McGregorUS
McGregorUS's picture
Title: Guest
Joined: 2009-12-18

Probably a bit drier in Norfolk but not much - otherwise pretty much one of the driest. We have a range of low hills to the west (the Wolds) which get more rain but we get very little for much of the time. We can have weeks of cloud without any actual rain.

Malcolm McGregor
Global Moderator/NARGS Editor
East Yorkshire, UK

Lori S.
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-10-27

You know, up until you mentioned "weeks of cloud"( !!  :P), I was almost prepared to revise my generalized impression of UK weather, LOL!  

Lori
Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Zone 3
-30 C to +30 C (rarely!); elevation ~1130m; annual precipitation ~40 cm

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