Why splurge money when you can make your own seed mix easily? Check out these Best Homemade Seed Starting Mix Recipes below.
We have some amazing Homemade Seed Starting Mix Recipes for you that can be made at home easily!
Here are the common Seed Starting mistakes you need to avoid
Seed Starting Mix Recipes
1. Peat Moss or Coco Peat
Peat improves aeration and can save a lot of water. It is acidic and contains less or no nutrients, and if you’re using peat, *add 1/4 tablespoon lime per gallon in the mix to balance the pH.
The biggest downside of using peat is that it can only be obtained by destroying the remaining mires. There are other peat-free alternatives like coco peat you can opt for.
You can also start seeds in pure peat moss, without mixing it with any other growing medium.
The best alternative to peat moss is coco peat. Coconut fibers are offered in lightweight blocks that swell to become large when water is added. The Benefit of using coco peat over peat moss is that its production doesn’t harm the environment.
It also has macro-nutrients and traces of potassium, and it is neutral, unlike peat, which is acidic.
You can start seeds of tomatoes and peppers in pure coco peat. It acts as a natural anti-fungal, which helps to keep the potential issues at bay.
Both 100% peat moss and coco peat become great growing mediums for propagating succulents.
- Leaf Mold: Leaf mold is a kind of a lazy man’s compost. It is an outcome of the natural rotting process of leaves. You can use leaf mold to sow seeds. Here’s an interesting post on The Guardian for you to read.
- Pine Bark Humus: Bark humus is produced from the composting of the bark. The bark originates mostly from conifers. These crusts must be composted for a long period of time. The result is perfect for growing plants: Water permeable and stable structure. The small roots can grow unhindered.
- Composted Wood fiber: Wood fibers have similar favorable properties as coir. They are also low in nutrients. The material must, of course, should not come from treated wood waste.
- Cat Litter: Cat litter is a good ingredient for plants that requires very few nutrients. For example, cacti. You can give seedlings the best ground for rooting with a nutrient-free mixture of perlite or pumice and cat litter.
Important: Use non-clumping, mineral-based cat litter.
2. Perlite or Vermiculite
Perlite is a volcanic mineral. It doesn’t absorb water or other nutrients, thus improving drainage. It also has insulating properties that help the plant roots during fluctuation in temperature. You can also use pumice instead of perlite.
Vermiculite is light, but unlike perlite, it retains water and nutrients and releases that when needed. It also helps in drainage.
- Sand: You can use sand if you don’t have perlite or vermiculite. Sand is always there as a part of the soil. It is important for a stable soil structure and drainage. Sand does not contain any nutrients.
Compost is used in a few seed starting mix recipes. If you’re using compost make sure it is fine. You can also use manure instead of it.
Homemade Seed Starting Mix Recipes
Make seed starting mix depending on the seeds you’re sowing and their nutrient requirements. We have divided these recipes into three types: Recipe 1, for high energy requirements seeds. Recipe 2 and 3, for medium and low energy requirement seeds.
- High requirement seeds are those that require more energy to germinate. Many annual flowers and vegetables, such as potatoes, tomatoes, cabbage, sunflower, and geraniums.
- Average requirement seeds are the ones that need less energy for germination. This includes Allium, pumpkin, cucumber, snapdragons, dahlias, and gloxinias.
- Low requirement seeds are those that require less or no nutrients for germination. They are most of the herbs, lettuce, azaleas, begonias, petunias, and pansies and most of the plants belong to Crassulaceae family and palm species
Basic Seed Starting Mix Recipes
These two basic seed starting mix recipes are the easiest, most popular, and perfect.
- The easiest seed starting mix recipe is to add 1/2 part of perlite, vermiculite, or sand and 1/2 part of peat moss or coco peat.
- Mix 1/3 part coco peat or peat moss, 1/3 part compost, and 1/3 part of vermiculite or perlite or sand.
Recipe 1 (High Requirement)
Peat or Peat alternatives 40%
Garden soil, sand, and bark humus 30%
Recipe 2 (Average Requirement)
Peat moss, coco peat, or wood fiber 55%
Bark humus 10%
Recipe 3 (Low Requirement)
Peat or Peat alternative 50%
Perlite or Perlite alternative 45%
Bark humus 5%
Mix the proportion well before sterilization and make it evenly moist (especially when you are using peat moss). This happens best when the soil is kept in a discarded oven (45 minutes at 150 ° C) or in a microwave oven (10 minutes at 800 watts). This will make your soil disease-free.
Caveat: Dried peat moss is flammable.