Seed Starter : Making Your Own
For Seed Starting Trays and Pots
Here at Celtic Farm, we start tons of seed in the cold of winter to jump start our flower seedlings and grow some finicky varieties that don’t do well with direct seeding (Like lisianthus and foxglove). Making your own seed starter mix is easy and can save you some money, as well as giving you control over seed growth.
For every gardener and farmer, you will have an opinion on what’s best and what to mix in your starter brew. Just remember that seedlings grow fast, and all the requirements of soil fundamentals still apply.. You need an optimal soil texture and soil structure to encourage fast, healthy growth by providing: oxygen, water and nutrients.
Here is our mix:
Compost (3 parts) – there is much debate on the pros and cons of “soil-less” and sterile seed starters that lack a compost or soil type component. Many argue that seeds have all they need to sprout and grow to the true leaf stage. We are of the opinion that the inclusion of beneficial bio elements (bacteria) in seed starter immerse the seed and roots into a realistic environment, and for us, not having to move the seedlings to a new soil material when true leaves appear saves us some labor ;). The compost provides a nutrient rich growth medium as well as a tea of nutrients from our bottom watering efforts.
Vermiculite (1 part) – if you aren’t familiar with this handy garden helper, you have surely seen it. Those white pebble-like structures you see in garden soil are vermiculite. This mineral composition is exfoliated and heating to provide an amazing supplement for gardeners the world over. It adds lightweight bulk to soil, and also helps in water retention and aeration.
Peat Moss (2 Parts) – peat moss is decomposed moss and other materials that come from the bottom of peat bogs. Adding this material to your seed mix provides a spongy characteristic that holds water for your seedlings as well as nutrients. You can find large bags at your garden store.
To make the mix, use your favorite garden scoop, and measure out the ingredients into a bucket or mixing tray. Mix well, the vermiculite is a great indictor for a proper mixing when it is evenly distributed throughout the starter mix.
Hopefully this will help produce some amazing seedlings!!
Some other great links: