Pure vermiculite for seed-starting

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Hey everyone! I didn't have any seed mix left and wanted to start a bunch of seeds that just arrived, so I filled my 36-cell plugs with pure vermiculite.

They are actually germinating wonderfully, even the ones that require surface sow! (I've been horrible at surface sow). Best germination rate i've ever had!

Has anyone else used only vermiculite for their starters? Are there any pitfalls or tricks you've learned that you'd be willing to share?

I know keeping the moisture level in the correct range may be tricky, and that the vermiculite displaced when the larger sprouts emerge is settled back down with a few sprays from the bottle. Also, don't pick up the cell tray until they have water to bind them together (oops!).


I also would like to ask about feeding the little guys. I hear different advice for feeding seedlings during growth, as to how many "true" leaves they have. My concern is that vermiculite has NO nutrition, so I'd love to avoid stressing the little buggers out, and timing looks like the key here.

When exactly is a first set of "true" leaves? Is it when the 2nd set is barely starting to grow? I have a bunch of different types of plants in the same 36-cell trays, which I can feed varying strengths at various stages if needed. I simply don't have much experience with feeding seedlings correctly since I normally use a medium with at least SOME food for them.

Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks for your time!
 
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Your seedlings do not need feeding until they are bigger. Keep them moist, and be patient - you will soon see the other leaves develop, and then add nutrition when you pot them up. Never overfeed - it`ll kill them!
Organic feed is always preferable.
 
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So when do you typically feed your seedlings?

1st set? 2nd set? 3rd? I know to use 1/2 strength at most at this time, maybe 1/4 strength at first?

When do you consider a set of leaves a "set"? when they first emerge or when they seem to be their full size? I've never known this and that's probably one of my issues.

I'm organic all the way AFAIK.
 

Logan

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I wouldn't leave them too long in vermiculite and pot on with a multi purpose compost and feed them after 6 weeks. It all depends on what you're growing to feed them.
 
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20210502_173302_HDR.jpg


*WOMP womp*

Seems I need to check the bottom of my trays WAY more often.
 

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