I started many of my seeds very early this year. It’s not always easy in my part of the country to find a store selling good seed starting soil in January. When I saw a bag of Miracle Grow Organic potting soil, even though it seemed a bit expensive for the size of the bag, I grabbed it. When I opened the bag, I noticed that it was strangely odiferous, “But,” I said to myself, “it’s organic, so that’s to be expected.”
I filled up a few seedling trays and added water. It took a LONG time for water to begin soaking in. In fact, this soil seemed to be almost water repellent! Strange. Eventually I got it mixed together. It smelled much worse now. “Oh well, I’m sure that smell goes away in a few hours.” I planted all the seeds for this year’s peppers, eggplants and basil, and some of the tomatoes.
Fast forward two days and I was checking on the seed trays to see if they had dried out too much. Oh my Lord, the smell! It smelled like we were running an animal shelter in our basement. “It’s just the fan, blowing the smell around,” I justified.
So I lived with this mysteriously smelly soil that didn’t seem to want to be wet at all for almost two weeks when it became clear that the seeds were NOT going to germinate. I finally decided to closely examine the bag of the soil I had purchased.
Miracle-Gro All Purpose . . . PLANT FOOD??? Seriously? Not potting soil, FERTILIZER.
I started my seeds in pure crap, and I didn’t notice my mistake for almost two weeks. So much for keeping a schedule.
Live and learn. It’s my 4th year doing this and I think I was running on auto-pilot. I need to pay more attention to detail.
P.S. Several days ago I wrote an e-mail to the Miracle-Gro folks complaining about the smell of their potting soil. I was told that I could get a refund if I still had my receipt. I didn’t have it, so I dropped the issue. Oops.