The year has come to sow the seeds, which is exhilarating to produce the homegrown. However, you would require some starting mix, which can be expensive indeed. However, before moving on to the recipe to make the soil mix, let us look at its importance.
The soil for the starting seeds contains the primary plant nutrients of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and other chemicals that can help fuel plant growth. After all, soil with insufficient nutrients requires fertilization to add the nutrients needed by specific plants grown in it.
What is the importance of good soil for seeds?
In a garden, what matters the most is the soil quality. Soil quality matters because healthy soil can store and process more water. On the other hand, depleted soil will not hold water and make it impossible for your plants to thrive. Further, the key to healthy, high-quality soil is lots of organic matter, which will keep the seeds healthy. No matter if you are growing vegetable seeds, flower seeds, exotic & herb seeds or microgreen seeds, the soil must be of good quality and then only you will get best from the seeds.
What is the brief importance of mixed soil?
For the development of the plants from the seeds, a seed-starting mix is a good choice as it is a soilless medium. It is better than conventional potting soil for seed germination as it is lighter and more superficial. One should take care of seedlings and that's why good soil is a must for little seeds.
A decent seed germination mix should have a good water holding capacity without being too saturated. In the other case, seedlings can quickly rot if they stay a lot in excessively wet conditions. Nevertheless, can you say that a plant develops without soil?
A seedling does not need soil because it will get its supplements from the seed for the little primary while of its life. It is the fertilizer and the compost, which play a vital role in a seed-starting mix.
Another explanation for seed-starting soil being such a great deal compared to soil can be that your seedlings will not be exposed to any fungi or infecting mold if grown in a less medium.
Soil can hold much dampness and result in a severe condition known as damping off. This fungal disease causes seedlings to wilt where their stem meets the soil. When this occurs, they hamper the growth of the seedlings and eventually cause their death. There are certain pests also that particularly destroy tomato plants only. So take lots of care of plants.
So now, you can also save a lot of money when you create your seed mix. For the beginning seeds, you can either purchase a seed-starting mix in bags or make your own using a ratio of different ingredients. When you work upon the seedling mix, this will cut the gardening cost and save your money. However, going for a homemade blend is much better as it tends to be cheaper and more eco-friendly, mainly if you use recycled or sustainable materials.
Homemade Seed Starting Mix Recipe
There is a requirement for the homemade seed starting mix of the following ingredients.
- Compost – Four parts of this ingredient
- Perlite – One part of this ingredient
- Vermiculite – One part of this ingredient
- Peat moss – Two parts of these ingredients
While using the homemade compost for the soil mix, you need to break the clumps with your hands or screen them to get them in a more delicate texture. This is because the seeds do not demand big chunks of compost; they need evenly distributed particles that will give them a good start.
Now, mix the ingredients thoroughly in a wheelbarrow or garden cart. To help them stay mixed, moisten the ingredients with a fine mist from a water spray bottle or a hose with a mister setting.
Additional supplies needed
In addition to seedling mix ingredients, you will need a few other supplies to help you with the measuring and mixing process.
- A measuring container
- Trowel or large mixing spoon
- Container for mixing (You use a bucket or any table top potting tray to mix yours)
- Seed starting trays
Advantages of seedling mix
It is easy and economical to make your own DIY seed starting mix. After all, it does not get damaged, and you can use it as soon as it is made or store it for later. Just cover it with a lid and use it for potting the seedlings as well.
How to mix the homemade seedling mix?
It may look challenging to mix your seed-starting mix, but it is the easiest thing you can go for. Follow the mentioned steps for a better mix.
- Place all the ingredients in a bucket or bowl.
- Stir the ingredients well with a spoon or trowel until they thoroughly blend.
- Once the ingredients have been blended and a mixture has been formed, fill your seedling trays and begin planting seeds immediately.
Storing the leftover seedling mix
Whether you are making your seed starting mix or not, make sure to store your leftover potting soil in an airtight container to avoid attracting bugs.
So now you have a complete DIY for your mix. As said earlier, it is not difficult to make your seedling starting mix. With the mentioned steps, you can fertilize your soil at your own home whenever you want. Try to prepare a bundle early and store it for some time in the future, or stir up tiny batches as and when required.
Q1: Do you need to sterilize the seed starting mix?
Ans: Soil can have different pests, diseases, and weed seeds too. Always sterilize garden soil before planting so as to have healthy plants.
Q2: Is seed starting mix necessary?
Ans: Seed starting mixes are optional. However, they create a perfect environment for seeds. Even if you are using potting soil will be fine in most cases.
Q3: Can I reuse the seed starting mix?
Ans: You can use a leftover seed-starting mix or potting mix again, as long as you do not have any problems with pests or diseases. Dry out the soil mix before storing it in a bucket or storage bin, and keep it in a dry place till you use it for the next time.