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Friday, December 13, 2013

For New Gardeners Only!: What is Perlite, Vermiculite, Peat Moss and Seed Starting Mix

For New Gardeners Only!: 
What is Perlite, Vermiculite, Peat Moss and Seed Starting Mix 

I have a YouTube Channel that is geared towards new gardeners. It is called My First Vegetable Garden! The videos are a bit longer and have a more detailed explanation of the topics than my videos on my original YouTube Channel: The Rusted Garden.

Bagged Seed Starting Mix - The Rusted Garden 2014

Seed starting mixes should be sterile. You don't want to bring in diseases. Don't use garden soil, top soil or even potting mixes unless the potting mix is sold primarily as a seed starting mix. You have a greater chance of fungi and diseases with those products.

Perlite and Vermiculate are natural products treated with high heat. They are used to make starting mixes and are added, in varying amounts, to (typically) Peat Moss. They help with aeration and drainage. All three products are sterile because of a heat process.

Peat Moss is dried and is really really... really absorbent. It holds moisture which is a must for germinating seeds and growing indoor transplants. You can make your own starting mix as these products are sold individually or you can buy a pre-made seed starting mix. 

Either way... seed starting mixes, again, are typically just peat moss with the addition of perlite and/or vermiculite. Sometimes a starting mix like Jiffy brand is mostly vermiculite. 

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