Stump dirt vs. potting soil revisited
Several of you made thoughtful and thought-provoking comments on my potting soil vs. stump dirt post (both on and off blog). So I thought it deserved a followup post.
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asked whether veggies started in stump dirt might grow slower but then
do better in the long run. This is a valid hypothesis --- I'm always a
proponent of starting seedlings off in low-nutrient areas at first so
they'll develop good root systems. That said, the issue with stump dirt
tends to be seedling death, not slow growth, which suggests the problem
isn't low nutrients at all.
But I'm not giving up on stump dirt entirely. I've had great luck
using the homegrown amendment for potting up
tomatoes, peppers, and other seedlings that
spend quite a bit of time indoors. I'm just disillusioned about stump
dirt's efficacy at getting plants from the seed to the two-true-leaf
--- the area where I've traditionally had the most failures in the past.
I'm hopeful that starting them off in potting soil then moving up to
stump dirt will eliminate that issue while also keeping costs low for my
always over-ambitious indoor spring garden.