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The right choice of soil / substrate

The right choice of soil / substrate

The seeds of most plants contain naturally stored nutrients that are essential to young plants after germination to build their basic organs: roots, stem axis and leaves. After that, the plant is able with its greened leaf organs to carry out photosynthesis and to support itself (autotrophy). The nutrient storage is usually located in the cotyledons, or in some specific species in a special nutritive tissue (endosperm). Common potting soil is not a good choice for seeding. It contains too much fertilizing salt, in which the seeds can easily rot or germinated plants die because their fine roots being leached out by the salty soil. Therefore, you should always use cultivation soil or coconut substrate. Both are nutrient-poor, germ-free and water-permeable. The main purpose of the seeding compost is to allow the seedlings to anchor their roots at the beginning of growth and to provide a consistent water supply. Minerals (fertilizer) are not necessary at that stage because, as mentioned, the seeds carry their own nutrients. There is another advantage by using low-nutritious seeding soil: the plants develop more root-mass (main and side roots fed by the nutritive tissue of the seeds), and „looking harder“ for minerals, which results in a stronger growth after starting the photosynthetic activity. Plants that are propagated in well nutritious soil, like common potting soil, investing rather in developing stem and leaves than in building strong roots, which results more often in less steadfastness after planting out.

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