Posts Tagged ‘chemical smell’

So I have bought Whitney Farms seed starting mix for years and have always had amazing success with it. Last year I saw organic seed start mix randomly at Home Depot by someone else and bought it. The plants in it grew half the size of the ones in Whitney Farms.

Last week I went through my first 2 cubic foot bag and stopped off to get another. I am in the midst of transplanting a zillion tomatoes into 4 in pots (next year must do this by late March!). I noticed the dirt seemed different when I transplanted my Japanese Soyu Cucumbers into big containers. Especially once I brought them into the house and watered them. There was a distinct odor and it was bad. Tried to ignore it. I left the cukes out in the afternoon sun and they were all burnt in the unusual sun. Sigh – do not think I should do cukes this year apparently.

Last Saturday I went to transplant the rest of the tomatoes (about 25 were transplanted with the first bag, which was okay). I transplanted about 60 or so. I was outside and felt somewhat sick and miserable at the end which is not how I ever feel when I have been gardening. I brought everything in upstairs. A few hours later I came upstairs and the smell was completely toxic. I realized the dirt was putting off a chemical smell. And about 15 – 20% of my starts were dead. I did a little research – Whitney Farms is now owned by Scotts. Big corporation. And i thought the seed start mix was organic (maybe it was in the past??) but it is not now.

Sunday I headed to Ballard to Swansons to get different dirt. I realized I could transplant into potting soil and after talking with them, chose organic Monrovia potting soil as the other organic potting soil had chicken manure – not a smell I need in the house. Spent the day retransplanting 60+ tomatoes. In all lost about 30% or more of my starts between the soil killing them and them breaking when changing dirt. I had about 50 or more basil starts – I did not even bother. Basil will come in later but I can reseed.

So frustrating but lesson learned. Pay more attention to what I am buying.


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