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Re: seedling mulch

Kitty wrote:

Potting mix:  about a 1:1:1 mix of:
nursery mix (canadian peat and composted forest products)
bulk soil (topsoil/peat/sand mix )

Crust: thick dark layer, somewhat difficult to break

If it might be dried algae, then you
need to water with an algaecide maybe ?

I couldn't tell about that. Have watered with either tap water or rain water when needed.

Fertilizer: I used time release, osmocote mixed into the soil.

Repot?:  They've been in these cells since (I'm guessing) early June.  Cells
measure 2.5 by 2.5 by 3.5 inches deep.  They aren't too heavily rooted for
that size, but some do have roots coming out the bottom.

Jim, do you think I should repot now?  I suppose I should soon anyway to
prepare them for winter.  Let me know what you think.  This is sort of new
to me.

If you've got roots coming out the bottom, then _I_ would repot.
Can you break off a chunk of the crust and bring yourself to chew on it ?
If so, and if it tastes a bit salty/mineral-tasting, then it could well be
fertilizer evaporation product.
I agree with Ray about topping with chicken grit or coarse sand. And I'd
punt on the Osmocote at this time of year and go with a soluble fertilizer,
weakly, weekly. I've adoped Algoflash (6-6-6) +minor/trace elements; it's
a French-origin product (!); seems to work very well. Kept several planters
of Dianthus in full flowering throughout last (rainy) year from spring 'til

Jim Fisher
Vienna, Virginia USA
38.9 N 77.2 W
USDA Zone 7
Max. 105 F [40 C], Min. 5 F [-15 C]

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