When it comes to successfully growing vegetable and flower seeds indoors, it all begins with using a quality seed start starting soil.
But by adding one secret ingredient to your mix, you can turn good to great, and grow your best plants ever!
Starting Seeds Right…
On our little farm, we grow nearly all of our vegetable and flower plants from seed every year. Not only is it a great way to save on the budget, but it allows us to try vegetables and flowers we can’t find locally.
But even more, it lets us control the growing process from start to finish. Ensuring not only that our plants are grown organically, but that they are super-healthy and strong from the start. See : How To Start Seeds Indoors With Ease
And that process all begins by creating our seed starting mix with one little secret addition. An ingredient that helps grow our seedling into incredibly vibrant, deep-rooted adult plants that are ready to go when transplanted.
Creating The Perfect Seed Starting Soil
In the past, we created our seed starting soil from 3 basic ingredients: potting soil, perlite and compost. It performed well enough, but five years back, we began adding worm castings to the mix. (We have our exact formula later in the article)
And the difference in our plants improved health and vibrancy has been nearly unbelievable! And here’s why:
Why Worm Castings Help To Create Incredible Seedlings
Great seed starting soil needs to be light, airy, drain well, and be full of nutrients. But when it comes to those nutrients, it is how they are able to deliver their power to tender seedlings that makes all the difference.
Young seedlings that receive little to no nutrients simply struggle to survive. But seeds that receive too many nutrients too quickly have issues as well.
Over-fertilized soil can result in top heavy growth, but underdeveloped root systems. And that can spell big trouble for plants come transplanting time!
So the key is a fertile soil that delivers slow, steady growth. And when it comes to worm castings, they absolutely rock at that process!
Even better, they improve the soils structure, and its ability to retain moisture as well. All of which are huge keys to growing strong, healthy transplants.
The Formula For Success
Although there are many commercial seed-starting mixes available with slow release fertilizers, making your own great organic mix at home is simple.
What is our exact mix? To create an amazing seed starting mix, we use this simple formula : 1 cup of potting soil, 1 cup of fine compost, 1 cup of worm castings and 1 cup of perlite. Product Links : Unco Pure Worm Castings ; Espoma Organic Perlite
Yep, it really is that simple. And does it ever work like magic to grow amazing plants from seed!
One quick note on perlite. We are often asked if it is truly organic. Sometimes, it is often confused as a Styrofoam product. Perlite is actually 100% organic.
The white substance is created when volcanic glass is heated to a high temperature until it pops. The result is a light and airy popcorn like substance perfect for lightening up soil and retaining moisture.
It is used in many commercial potting mixes, and if the potting soil you are using already contains it, you can omit it when making your seed starting mix.
Here is to starting your seeds from scratch this year with the perfect seed starting soil mix! Happy Gardening – Jim and Mary
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