The shell grit seed raising seems to have worked.

There was some slight discolouration on some leaves that I think might be due to nutrient lockout because the pH is probably off the chart in that local area, but generally speaking, I think it works. The discolouration is not shown well on this pic. The true colour is closer to the lettuce leaf on the left.

When pH is at certain levels, various elements become less available. If your system sits at about pH 7.0 then everything is available.

I just lifted my first seedling out of the shell grit, and it had a 24cm root that came out in tact. I made no attempt to be gentle and just lifted it out. I tried another one and achieved the same result.

Anyway, no washing - not even a rinse, and three tiny bits of shell grit was all there was stuck to the roots.

I think I should have left it a little longer because there were hardly any side roots developed, but I planted it next to some existing established kale, so I'll have something to compare it with. The existing kale was planted around ten days earlier.

I add some seasol® from time to time, so I might add it directly into the shell grit once I see sprouts to make sure there are extra trace elements available next time. The slight discolouration might also be due to lower oxygen levels as the water probably moves quite slowly through the fine particles. I might sive the shell grit so I can get a slightly bigger particle size. I plan on reusing it for ever, so it's no big deal to sieve it.

120 Things in 20 years thinks raising seedlings in shell grit feels like a success

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