Re: Vermiculite

For what purpose would a temporary vermicular amendment be?    I'm not sure
this is a clear question, but what exactly is vermiculite for?  I always
thought it was for aiding in containment of moisture as for moisture loving
plants (more than temporary) or to start seed (only temporary).  Is it a
benificial amendment, or just benificial for a spicific use?  For what
purpose was vermiculite originally intended? 
     I tried starting some seed which required light to germinate.  My method
was to top some soil with a bit of peat moss, thourghly saturate it and lay
the seed on top of that.  The problem which occured was that the soil and the
peat moss would dry out, leaving the seed to dry out, thereby causing a need
to spray the seed to keep it damp until it germinated, which also caused some
damping off at a later stage of growth (it hadn't occured to me yet to cover
the box of pots with plastic wrap to keep moisture in).   Last night I
watered down a pot filled with vermiculite and checked it this morning.  It
was just as wet as when I watered it last night.  Would vermiculite be a good
medium for starting seed eliminating the need to spray or cover pots with
plastic (once a seed or two sprouts, it becomes necessary to uncover the box
of seeds for growth leaving the ungerminated seed to dry out, you see,
requiring lots of space and millions of pot tags, neither of which I have).
 SO, how would vermiculite do?
      And referring to Gerg Ruckert's intended use of vermiculite for bulb
storage, does vermiculite draw moisture on it's own to prevent bulbs from
drying out, or is the vermiculite dampened?   
Sue Zunino

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