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.
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.
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.
This Beginner Seedstarter Kit includes everything you need to succeed.
Need a bigger seed starting system? You'll find seed starting kits here.
Seedlings started in a soilless, nutrient-free medium will benefit from a weak fertilizer before they are transplanted.
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.
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.