Make your own seed starting mix

This is straight from Steve Solomon’s excellent book Gardening When It Counts. What he says has worked well in my own garden for two seasons now.

Here’s how he says to make your own seed starting mix:  Mix together one- half bucket of your own garden dirt, with half a bucket of peat moss and one cup of complete organic fertilizer. Mix and moisten, then put into four-inch pots or whatever you are using for containers to start your seeds, and plant away.

This is much more economical than buying those teeny bags of very expensive seed starting mix at the nursery. It also gets the seedlings used to your own garden soil, which they will have to live in when they get bigger. I am of the opinion that sterilized soil may give you one hundred percent germination, but if you can live with ninety-five percent germination, you don’t need the sterilized stuff, if you start with good seed that has a guaranteed high germination rate–this is key.  One caveat is that this homemade starting mix tends to dry out more rapidly than commercial mixes, because it doesn’t contain moisture beads.  You can add some, but I just watch the containers carefully and water as needed, and it works fine.  I have used this to start both vegetable and flower seeds with success.

Give it a try, and see how it works for you!


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