Organic Mechanics Seed Starting Mix
I am having some potting mix issues.
After my anti Miracle Gro rant I have been testing some different mixes. One of them is Organic Mechanics, made in Pennsylvania. It has an impressive organic pedigree. Most of the chatter about it on the web is self generated by the media-savvy company, so I am curious to hear from gardeners who use it. In theory, it is wonderful. Bizarrely, it is stocked locally by the deli around the corner, at the head of Bergen Street, on Court.
It is far too early to write a review of the potting mix as a growing season ought to be pass, first. So far, though, I am not enamoured of their seed starting mix. It has mulch-like chunks of bark in it (above, with cucumber seed), which I find myself picking out. Whether or not the chunks affect a seed's ability to push through to the light is perhaps debatable - plants do it in the wild all the time. But seed starting mix suggests, to me, smooth friability. I had the same to say after last year's experiment with the awful Miracle Gro organic mix (in which my seedlings later turned yellow). The organic product I have liked best so far, is still Whitney Farms. Owned by...you guessed it: Big Blue Brother. Oy. And I have also used some Fafard Complete Planting Mix, which I love. But it contains peat.
I like the Lower East Side Ecology Center's worm compost, but I aint' going to hop on the subway every time I need some. It would be wonderful if it was stocked by local stores. I have already begged two hardware stores to have organic options available and we'll see. Now I'm off to GRDN to see what they have in stock (and I need another clematis, a boxwood and extras). I asked about grow bags there recently and the sales girl told me that grow bags didn't "go with the aesthetic of GRDN". Really? I wonder if she knew what they are. But I didn't feel like pursuing it. I am increasingly drawn to them, for lightweight edible growing, and as a plastic-alternative.
(For more about why peat is an undesirable ingredient read this post at Garden Rant written by Ken Druse.)