How to Choose the Right Seed Starting Soil

Successful germination depends on good-quality seed starting soil. Actually, you don't want to use soil at all. Seed starting medium needs to be free-draining and disease-free, so do not use garden soil. And, leave that miracle mix on the shelf because all that built-in fertilizer is overkill to seedlings.


Which type is best
for starting seeds?

Seedlings grow best in a light, airy seed starting medium that drains well.

To make it easy on yourself, you can buy a ready-to-use seed starting mix. This is your best bet for successful results.

These commercial mixes, such as the Germinating Mix shown here, are actually soilless and nutrient-free, made up of sphagnum peat and vermiculite.

This combination allows good drainage and also maintains steady moisture.



Organic Seed Starting Mix

Can the best seed starting mix get any better?

This Organic Seedstarting Mix is made of sphagnum peat and perlite so that the medium will drain freely, yet maintain even moisture.

What makes this mix superior? The addition of compost, protein meal and trace minerals gives seedlings more oomph: faster growth, healthier roots, and stronger plants.

With the addition of these nutrients, this organic medium will get your seedlings off to a great start. You won't need to fertilize until after the true leaves have appeared.



Garden Starter Kit

This Beginner Seedstarter Kit includes everything you need to succeed.

  • Two APS-12 growing trays with greenhouse covers

  • Organic Seedstarting Mix

  • 24 Plant markers

  • Self-watering trays water your seedlings for you, and the capillary matting helps to maintain moisture. Seedlings wick up moisture as needed -- no over- or under-watering


Need a bigger seed starting system? You'll find seed starting kits here.


Green Thumb Tip

Seedlings started in a soilless, nutrient-free medium will benefit from a weak fertilizer before they are transplanted.

Mix it Up

You can mix your own seed starting soil- less medium for germination of seeds.

A good soilless medium is a blend of equal parts: sphagnum moss, perlite and vermiculite.


Succulent Seed Mix

Growing cacti and other succulents from seed requires a faster-draining, sandy mix.

Use equal parts of sphagnum peat and coarse sand, or buy a bag of ready-to-use cactus mix.