Liquid Organic Fertilizer for seedlings
Growing with AGGRAND A good general-purpose growing guide for those who are new to organic
When Should I Start Feeding My Plant Seedlings and with
Your seedlings don't need fertilizer until they develop their tiny green leaves and only when you can control
how much and what type they get.
In any event, you should start feeding seedlings as soon as the first set
of real leaves appear. That's when the plants start to photosynthesize and the cotyledons (the
initial small leaves that helped feed the seedling) start to die away. So feed on young
gardener. Our 4-3-3 is a good balance for seedlings.
Although seedlings might sprout in any number of situations, you can give your seeds
a greater chance of success by using a media designed for seedlings. In general, seedlings don’t like “hot” potting
soil. In other words, potting mixes that are fortified with fertilizers and water crystals and other additives may
be too strong and too slow-draining for many seedlings and reduce the germination rate. Instead, seedlings like a
fast-draining, light and sterile mix.
Never use regular garden soil to start seedlings. Besides holding
too much water (which can easily kill young seedlings by promoting damping off), there may already be seeds in the
soil. You might end up sprouting weeds!
Most commercial seed-starting mixes are a simple combination of sphagnum moss and
perlite or vermiculite that is then adjusted with dolomite lime to add calcium and magnesium and adjust the pH.
Both Jiffy and Scott’s make seedling mixes that can be used to start most seeds.
If you choose to make your own seedling mix, you can use the following recipe:
4 parts sphagnum moss
4 parts perlite OR an equal mixture of perlite and vermiculite
1/4 Tablespoon dolomite lime per gallon of mix to adjust for pH and add calcium
Alternatively, many people start seeds directly in perlite, vermiculite, crushed clay
aggregate, or (for hydroponics applications) rockwool cubes. The most important considerations at this time are
drainage (aeration) and support for the new plants.
At this stage, when you’re still working with seedlings, avoid the temptation to add
nutrients to the mix. Although some sources recommend adding worm castings or other highly diluted fertilizers to
the seedling media, external nutrients are not necessary for the very early stages of seed growth. Nature has seen
to it that seedlings will have enough food to sprout and carry them through the emergence of the first rounded
leaves, called cotyledons. Feeding should begin with the emergence of the plants first “true leaves,” which will
resemble adult leaves of that species.