Photo on the right shows the poor results from using potting mix v Seed raising Mix (SRM). The four tubes, using potting mix, on the right were sown eleven days prior to the ones planted in a good SRM on the left of the photo.
Tyra from Tyras Garden, Daphne from Daphne's Dandelions ,and Tricia from Little eco Footprints all expressed interest in further information on Seed raising Mixes through comments they left after I posted about some recent failures due to being a bit lax in the potting mix/SRM department, titled My recalcitrant ways, so here goes.
I'll start by showing you the product I used and what they claim about it.
It's from Searles, a local SE Queensland company, this is the SRM I used to get the results in the photo above.
Searles Seed Raising Mix
• Certified AS 3743 for seedling mix.
• Contains high percentage of Peat Moss.
• Searles Penetraide® Re-wetting Granules.
• High germination performance.
• Contains fertilisers for up to transplanting (approx. two-leaf stage).
• A light fine textured soft blend containing Peat Moss.
• Water absorbent formula.
• Excellent aeration properties for good root growth and establishment.
• Searles® quality guaranteed product.
• Available sizes: 5 Litres, 12 Litres, 30 Litres and 65 Litres.
What is the Australian Standard AS 3743–2002? Click here.
Ok so far so good.
Judging by the performance of the seeds I have planted I'd say what they are claiming is true.
Now then on the right is the potting mix I used with poor results.
What I was thinking was to save a few dollars by hoping there was enough stored energy in the seeds I planted and the lack of nutrient in the Potting mix I could make up by fertilizing with fish emulsion.
My guess is the potting mix which contained mostly course composted bark was still composting and robbed the mix of any nutrient to help in its decomposing processing process.
Therefore making it a poor substitute for a good SRM.
Now the SRM on the other hand has a good blend of course river sand and peat moss along with added nutrients and as they say the proof is in the pudding.
Clicking on the photos will give you a larger photo with more detail.
A right click will open in a new window.
Tricia from Little eco Footprints makes a mix from sand, compost (sieved) and shaved styrofoam with good results
Little Farm in the City also gave me the idea of doing a comparison of different types of potting mixes and SRM's, so when the weather clears up (yes it's kinda drizzling and foggy, as close to rain as we can hope for I think) I'll gather all the ingredients and do a big seed growing experiment and post the results.
If you have any further questions or if I've confused the issue in any way I sure like to here from you.