This definition explains the meaning of Seed Starting Potting Mix and why it matters. Looking to make your own seed starting soil mix? We've got you covered! While there's loads of different info out there on what soil to use, let us help walk you through the differences, so you can make up your own mind! This soil germination method is a low risk, easy method that that take up to 3-10 days. Read our guide to learn how to germinate seeds in soil.
Seed Starting Potting Mix
Seed starting potting mix is a loose type of grow medium designed to provide seeds and seedlings with the strongest start possible. Seed starting potting mixes are designed to foster healthy, strong roots from the very beginning, ensuring healthy growth throughout a plant’s life.
Note that there are many different types of formulations on the market, many of which contain similar blends of vitamins, nutrients, and synthetic fertilizers. Some seed starting mixes contain soil, but most are soilless, containing mainly peat moss, as well as coconut fibers. It’s also important to understand that you can make your own starting mix with organic compost if you would prefer to avoid chemical compounds.
Maximum Yield Explains Seed Starting Potting Mix
In general, seed starting potting mix is lightweight to ensure sprouting seeds can push their way to the surface of the medium. If it has come pre-mixed with a fertilizer (many of them don’t), the fertilizer is usually in very low concentrations because seeds don’t require much, if any, fertilization until they are transplanted into their permanent homes.
While a seed technically contains all the elements necessary for a plant to grow, there’s no secret to the fact that the right growing environment is needed to ensure health and strength. Commercially available seed starting mixes contain a unique mixture of vitamins, minerals and other elements needed to help ensure strong, robust plant growth.
Seed starting potting mix is available from most garden centers and big box stores. It can be purchased in bags ranging from just a couple of pounds to large packages ideal for maintaining a large garden. As an alternative to using loose seed starting potting mix, growers can start plants in plant plugs, or rockwool, oasis, or soil cubes.
Seed starting potting mix differs from conventional potting soil in many ways, and should not be used for planting mature plants. Plants should be transplanted into a different medium when they are mature enough for transplantation. The mixture contains a special formulation designed to enhance plant root growth and health, and can be used with flower seeds, vegetable seeds, and herb seeds.
Note that the term ‘seed starting potting mix’ is also a patented formula created by Miracle-Gro.
How To Make a Seed Starting Soil Mix
For those looking to start their seeds, you may find a lot of different information about the proper soil to start seeds in. Of course, we’ve all seen the over-priced seed starting mixes at our local garden stores, but are they really necessary?
It turns out, they aren’t! There’s actually very little difference in the soil you will use to start your seeds and the soil your plants will grow in until they are harvested.
Making a Seed Starting Soil Mix
By using the below base, amendments and minerals for your seed starting soil mix, you will be well on your way to harvesting a bountiful crop of fruits and veggies.
Remember, you don’t necessarily need a seed starting mix though, your seeds and plants can get by just fine with our gardening soil mix found here too.
- 10% Compost
- 45% Sphagnum Peat Moss
- 45% Aeration
These ingredients will make up the base of your soil. You will notice there are much more aeration and peat moss in a seed starting mix than a regular garden mix. Since your seeds do not have developed root systems yet, the more aerated and drained the soil is kept while your seeds germinate, the better.
With the above inputs in mind, for each cubic foot of soil you intend to make, you will want to add in the following measurements:
- 3.4 gallons of Sphagnum Peat Moss
- 3.4 gallons of Aeration
- 0.75 gallons of Compost
For this, you will add the same inputs as we do for the regular gardening soil mix. Every cubic foot of soil you mix up, you will want to use roughly a ¼ cup of each of the below inputs.
Now, we will use almost the same minerals as we would with a regular gardening mix. For every cubic foot of soil, you will want to use a ½ cup of each of the below minerals.
What if I want to sow directly into my garden plot?
As mentioned earlier, it’s not totally necessary to mix up a seed starting mix, especially if you intend to directly sow your seeds into your garden plot. In fact, some plants should be directly sowed for best results, such as carrots, onion, potatoes, and many other root vegetables.
For this, you will just want to be sure your plot isn’t deficient in any essential nutrients. To do so, there are a few options for you:
Soil Germination Method in 8 steps
Amongst the best ways to germinate cannabis seeds, this soil germination method is a low risk, easy method that explains how to germinate your seeds in soil. Germination can take 3-10 days, depending on environmental conditions and variety
Never use soil from your backyard! It can contain pests and moulds that will damage or destroy your seeds, seedlings or plants.
How to germinate seeds in soil
Read here which 8 steps you have to take for this soil germination method.
Step 1: Prepare your soil
Prepare your pots with clean fresh soil. It is often easy to use small pots for this, and transport them to a larger container later.
Step 2: Watering the soil
Make sure your soil is wet, but do not soak it. It needs to be damp but not soaked, otherwise you risk your seeds to rot. In most countries, normal tap water is clean enough to use. Do not add any additives to the water.
Step 3: Placing the seed inside the soil
Make a small dimple in the soil and place the seed 3-5mm deep inside the soil. Don’t bury your seed too deep! When you put your seed too deep inside the soil, it will struggle to reach the surface, and have a high risk of dying before it does.
Step 4: Cover the seed and press gently
Cover the seed with soil and press the soil gently.
Step 5: Cover the pots with kitchen foil
Cover your pot(s) with kitchen foil or microwave foil (with the small holes). The foil will act like a small greenhouse, keeping the inside of your pot warm and moist. Perfect for germination.
Step 6: Poke some holes
When you use normal kitchen foil, poke some holes through the foil. This will avoid the risk of overheating and let air flow true.
Place your setup in a room with stable temperature. 20-25 degrees is ideal. We often advice your living room
Step 7: Wait for germination
All you have to do now is wait. In our experience it often takes about 4-5 days for your seedlings to show. But to calculate for differences in conditions and seeds, we say 3-10 days is a safe estimate. As soon as your seedling has sprouted (first leaves reach the surface) you can remove the foil.
Step 8: Take care of your seedlings
All 5 seeds germinated in 4 days within 24 hours of each other. You can now place them under a grow light, behind your window or outside (during spring / summer of course).
WARNING! Do not place this germination setup outside in direct sunlight, especially during summer. Day and night temperatures vary too much and sunlight will cause the temperature inside your soil to rise to a point where your seed will be damaged or killed by the heat.
17 Comments . Leave new
buongiorno dutch passion ho seguito il vostro tutorial e dopo 4 giorni la germinazione è avvenuta.una domanda vorrei fare,devo aspettare che si aprono i cotiledoni prima di rimuovere la pellicola o posso mettere il vas gia al sole anche se non sono aperti i cotiledoni. grazie e buona domenica
tutto ok germinazione perfeta.
When a seedling is in its first days its best to not place it in direct sunlight. This can be too much for a little seedling. When the seedling starts growing a little bit you can place it in direct sunlight
ok perfect I do this because I saw that it is the best method.I had put it in direct sunlight and it was dying, I managed to save it in time.I have one in germination and I will apply your advice.thank you very much Joe
Once the stem has come through the soil how long till you put it on a larger pot and up the tempreture
It depends a little bit on the pot size you started with.
Additionally, if you grow an autoflower its best to germinate them in the pot they will also flower in. They don’t like to be transplanted a lot.
If you grow feminised seeds than you can put them in a larger pot after 3/4 weeks.
Sweet thank you ,
Hi, Joe answering?? I did an error putting seeds in soil not enough wet and under lamp … I choose Orange punch feminized and autoflowering…Is a good choice for me ad a beginner or could you give me best options? (Medium-high THC and quantity of final result) I also need some good ideas about the soil to use and the power of led lamps (I’ve buyed 2x100watt multiple ranges led lamp for plant grown for about 60cm x 40cm for 4/6 seeds). I have to do another order and I’m trying to do all well. Waiting hopefully for your answer, my best regards, thanks. Heathcliff
Critical Orange Punch is a good strain to start your growing career. Please try to follow the germination steps from this blog and you should be fine Don’t start your light if the seeds have not germinated yet. For your soil I advice you to have a type of soil that has minimum nutrients because seedlings cannot handle too much nutrients, these should be added later :).