Testing seedling soil before you start

Growing only vegetables outdoors I never got too upset when something wouldn’t germinate. At ten dollars a seed I got a little more concerned. While researching I found this great idea.
Make a few extra cups filled with whatever you plan to start growing your seedlings.
Plant some pole beans, sunflowers or any other fast starter in that medium.
If the plants look fine, it’s safe for your expensive seedlings.
I found Burpee veg seeds today 60% off.


Very nice tip. Ty for sharing! :+1:t2:

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I think I’ll try it out in reverse. I’ll even put my money where my mouth is.
I have three cups of soil in which Blue Cheese seeds failed. Or was it me? I used six solo cups with holes drilled in the bottom. In three cups I put promix strait from the bag. Thats what I used in my first attempt. Thats my control. The other three cups contain the soil that the seedlings were in. Into each cup I planted radish, pole beans and sunflower seeds. I will water some with my well water (as I did), and some with bottled water. That should eliminate water as a factor.
If nothing sprouts in 14 days I will send Robert a check for the seeds he replaced.
Fair? I’m not criticizing his seeds. He stands behind them even if it might be my fault. I owe him that.


Can’t argue with that

Ok here we go. Blue cups for bottled water. They are in the same place I germinated all my seeds. Lights and humidity about the same. It is slightly warmer on average than before because I’ve increased the intensity of the lights in the other tents. I removed the plastic bags for the picture. The seedling in the middle is one I refuse to give up on.


Four days in, and I have some good news. The pole beans I planted in the soil in which I attempted to start seedlings in are the first to emerge. I watered them with my well water from the kitchen sink. The seedlings in the cups watered with Poland spring water are just peeking through. I’m on the way to eliminating my water and soil as variables. It still doesn’t mean I didn’t overwater the first time.

The seedling in the middle is one that survived my second germination attempt. Looks like she’ll make it. My replacement seeds are on the way. Outstanding customer support. Again, it could have been me. I tried my best.


IMO when starting seeds.I completely saturate the SEED STARTING MEDIUM,with near boiling water to kinda sterilize it.After it cools I put my sprouted in it.Then transfer to the medium I plan to grow in.
I put my solo cup(empty) in the grow medium then remove it add some seed starting medium to the sides and bottom.then plant my seedlings into the opening.I think by doing it this way it prevents any shock to the seedlings.Anyway it has worked well for me since Moby Dock was a minnow :joy:

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Sounds like a great approach. I’m always learning. This time around I set all my pots of soil in the tents and got the lights, timers and fans all running as if there were plants in there. I monitored the environment and made sure it was as close to optimal as possible. Only then did I start germinating seeds. I’m trying really hard on this second grow. I am also leaving the tent doors on my 5x5 and 4x4 open. (growing autos), They face each other and I put a floor fan in the middle. It’s like a ceiling fan that sits in a cage on the floor. General Electric 40 years old at least. Keeping an eye on the “nine parameters” is paying off too. And the free grow guide. It’s just a click away.