DIY Seed Starter Mix

Jan 3, 2012 at 6:42 p.m. ET

Spring is just around the corner, so why not get a head start on the planting season by starting some seedlings indoors. Several garden favorites can take a couple months to get big enough to transplant, and depending where you live, a couple months from now could be just the time to start bringing them outside. For this year's seed starting, try this starter mix recipe from Organic Gardening.


Spring is just around the corner, so why not get a head start on the planting season by starting some seedlings indoors. Several garden favorites can take a couple months to get big enough to transplant, and depending where you live, a couple months from now could be just the time to start bringing them outside. For this year's seed starting, try this starter mix recipe from Organic Gardening.

Seeds need soil that stays consistently moist to encourage germination. Creating this balance between ideal drainage and moisture retention is the trick when creating your own starter mix.

The recipe from Organic Gardening is as follows:

  • 4 parts screened compost

  • 1 part perlite

  • 1 part vermiculite

  • 2 parts sphagnum peat moss and/or coir


Aside from compost, these "ingredients" may not look so familiar. But all are available at your local garden supply store. Perlite and vermiculite are the white specs you know from potting soil, and they're great at holding moisture. Peat moss is another natural water retainer.

The benefit of this mix over store-bought soil blends is the pH balance created by the combination of peat moss and fresh compost. On its own, peat can be too acidic for young plants. The compost counters this acidity without affecting the mixture's water retaining properties.



Comments