Vermiculite for Starting Seeds

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I tested various proportions of vermiculite for starting seeds.

1. 100% vermiculite

2. 100% Miracle Gro potting mix

3. 50% vermiculite and 50% potting mix.

4. Potting mix on the bottom and vermiculite covering the seeds on the top.

Here are the results below from best to worst – I had 18 hollyhock seeds per tray.

  1. 100% Vermiculite – 8 seeds germinate 
  2. Miracle Gro covered with Vermiculite – 7 seeds 
  3. 50% MG + 50% Ver – 4 seeds
  4.  100% MG – 1 seed

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Vermiculite has zero nutrients so I will be bottom watering with Jacks classic 20-20-20 with micro-nutrients. This variety is more expensive than Miracle Gro, but does a good job. Note – see my results below – this does NOT work!

Note – wear a mask when handling dry vermiculite. Wet the vermiculite as soon as possible to reduce dust particles and possible asbestos.

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As you can see in the picture above, while vermiculite is great for starting seeds, since it has no nutrients, the seedlings don’t mature and grow very well. Even though I have constant bottom watering with Jacks water soluble fertilizer. The seeds in the picture are dianthus and basil. They are much healthier in the Miralcle Gro mix.

Video – Vermiculite for Starting Seeds

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2 Comments

Filed under Soil Amendments

2 responses to “Vermiculite for Starting Seeds

  1. Jim & Judy Stroup

    Tom

    I had similar results from Miracle Gro a few years ago. I switched to Fertilome Potting mix and it’s “Stand back!” I get near 100% for seeds this product. I get it at Sappington Garden.

    Jim

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