Seed Sowing time means it’s the growing season. Good seed compost is expensive, not if you make your own. Now, let’s learn to create the best seed compost or potting mix for your seeds!
How to Make The Best Seed Compost
A perfect seed starter mix should not be high in nutrients. This could cause damage to delicate seedlings. The mixture should not lose moisture and become soggy. Wet conditions can cause mold growth and rot seeds. The seed compost mix is soilless, which means it’s light and fluffy. This will encourage strong, healthy growth and happy seedlings.
Start with two portions of compost as your base. You can use any method you like to measure your ingredients. As the compost mixes with the soil, it slowly releases nutrients that will feed the seedlings. Either make your own compost or purchase some. To get a fine texture, either break up the clumps using your hands, or screen or sieve it.
Add two parts coir or coconut fiber to this mixture. Coir is made from coconut husks and can be used as a sustainable, abundant alternative to peat or moss. Peat extraction can cause damage to fragile ecosystems and climate change. We don’t recommend using it. Coir that has been shipped in a block should be rehydrated first. Soak it in water for a few hours until it is able to be broken apart. You can also substitute well-rotted leaf mold for the coir. Both leaf mould and coir add bulk to the seed mixture and are excellent for moisture retention.
One part perlite will lighten the mixture and increase its air content. You can substitute sand for perlite if you don’t want to use it. However, it will make the mixture heavier.
Mix all ingredients using a spade, or your hands. Mix all ingredients together slowly and thoroughly. After you are done, place the starter mix in a container with a lid or in an old compost bag (or other strong plastic bag) with the top tightly rolled and secured. Keep your starter mix dry and cool.
How to Use Your Seed Compost
Before you start using the seed compost mix, make sure it is moistened. You can use the mix in plastic pots, module trays, seed flats or other recycled containers that are suitable for seed sowing. As you fill your container with your potting mix, gently press it down. Make sure to fill in all corners. If necessary, add more mix. Do not worry, the mix will not compact easily so be sure to firm it up so that there is enough for roots to explore.
Sowing Seeds into Your Compost
Follow the instructions on the packet to sow your seeds. Then water. Watering is a delicate process. You don’t want the mixture to explode out of the container. Use a mister or a watering bottle with a fine rose. You can also make a watering container by using a pin to poke holes in the caps of plastic bottles. You can fill the bottle with water and then screw it back on.
After the seedlings have germinated, it is best to water them from the bottom. Allow the containers to sit in water for several minutes, until the mixture is dry. Once you are done, remove containers from the water so that any excess water can drain.
Before you plant your seedlings, it is important to pot them in larger containers. While most seedlings will happily be potted into the same seed starter mix, some seedlings such as tomatoes or cauliflowers will prefer something richer. This is where you can add worm compost.
Use Seed Compost Mix in Containters
Combine two parts garden compost and one part coir, or better yet, leaf mold to grow your plants in larger containers. Add a few handfuls of perlite to aid drainage to each 10 gallons (45 L) of the coir/compost mixture. You can add worm compost to feed hungry plants or a slow-release organic fertilizer according to the manufacturer’s directions.
A potting mix is necessary for plants that are kept in one container for long periods of time. It must be strong enough to support their structure and protect them from nutrient imbalances. This is possible with either good quality garden soil or loam. Combine one part loam, or screened or sieved gardening soil, with one part garden compost and then add slow-release organic fertilizer. This versatile potting soil is suitable for all types of fruit trees, perennial vegetables, and bushes in a container.
This can help you save a lot of money on seed and potting mix purchases. Perhaps the best thing about these mixes is their flexibility to be modified for your specific needs. There are many other seed sowing and potting mixes available.
aDon’t be afraid to share your favorite potting mixes at the comments!