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PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2010 1:46 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 20, 2009 12:22 pm
Posts: 129
Location: Frisco, Tejas
So I lost a bunch of seedlings while skiing in Colorado last week. I overwatered a bit and set light timers in my garage nursery project and am doing a lot of washing, drying, refilling and re-seeding flats this week.

I'm going to scrub down the plant stands good and get everything that appears to be harboring fungus gnats out of there before I set the new trays out to germinate.

Meanwhile, I don't want to use something like captan that the pro nurseries use for seedlings, aside from reducing the moisture level generally, increasing air circulation and covering seeds with vermiculite (done all that) I was wondering what I might add to my mister bottles to make life less pleasant for the surface fungi that cause damping off.

Makes me sad to see my little seedlings wilt and die... anyone have suggestions?

Next up in the nursery: Wave petunias, Lobelia, Angelonia, Alyssum, Pentas and double blooming begonias.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2010 10:09 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2009 8:35 am
Posts: 102
add 10% fresh vermicompost to your starting mix:
http://www.windsweptwormfarm.com/htdocs ... seases.pdf

and...
http://cat.inist.fr/?aModele=afficheN&cpsidt=17203041

I am sending you a link to a natural strawberry grower who also used to be an entomologist near Fort Worth...feel free to send Mike an email and ask about the impact vermicompost has had on his strawberry starts. http://www.thestrawberrystore.com/index.htm


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 7:40 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 20, 2009 12:22 pm
Posts: 129
Location: Frisco, Tejas
I really gotta come see you wormrancher, i think it is time for me to setup a worm 'hobby farm'.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 4:11 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2009 8:35 am
Posts: 102
Anybody can vermicompost, but somebody as passionate about their gardening as you are really should experience the benefit of vermicompost on their plants health.

Here is some spinach I planted in January as a trial. I didn't have any seed starter, so just used some rough home compost. This is right after germination--On the left is top dressed with vermicompost, on the right is simple compost.
Image
you can see difference in germination rate, all other factors being equal


Last edited by wormrancher on Tue Feb 23, 2010 4:55 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 4:33 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2009 8:35 am
Posts: 102
So, I ran out and took a few pics of the spinach trial today...
Image
close up of compost only spinach--including damp off victim on the right

Image
close up of spinach with top dressing of vermicompost when planted

Image
Side by side

These have had nothing extra since planting, have had very few sunny days, lots of rain, freeze, 12 inches of snow etc. So, neither has had peak conditions, but you can see a big difference with just a little added vermicompost.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 8:01 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 20, 2009 12:22 pm
Posts: 129
Location: Frisco, Tejas
Wow - OK, OK.... I really need to drive over one day and swap you some seedlings for some worm advice!

Also.... I'm up to about 400-500 pounds of coffee grounds per month going into my compost and it's a tad much, seems like the coffee grounds would be good worm food and make a really nice amendment once they come out the back end?


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