Sunday, March 02, 2008

How to Make the Perfect Soil Mix for Seed Sowing

With spring just around the corner, sowing seeds offers me further hope that I will soon be in the garden. One of the most important factors in the success of my seed sowing is the quality of the soil that I use.

With seeds, it's a tricky balance you need to strike: when the soil is too heavy, seeds which take a long time to germinate are at risk of rotting and the seedlings succumb to more fungal disease; and when the soil is too light, the seeds dry out too quickly. I have tried various store bought seed starting mixes, but often even they are too heavy, so to provide proper drainage and aeration, I now mix my own.

If I am only sowing a few seeds, I will use a doctored cactus mix. I buy soil labeled cactus mix and lighten it by adding perlite at a ratio of 2 parts cactus mix to 1 part perlite. If I have many seeds to start, I will make my own starting mix of equal parts coarse sand, perlite, and peat moss.

Once the soil is prepared, I gently fill my containers, firmly tamp them down, sow my seeds, add more sand to cover on top, mist my containers, and I'm done.

Related posts: Raised Vegetable Beds - Organically Preparing the Soil for Planting; and How to Build Raised Vegetable Beds


kate said...

Since I will soon be starting my seeds, it was good to read this post. I hadn't thought of using cactus mix for seed starting. I didn't have good results with a seed-starting mix last year, so I think I will try using your recipe. Thanks for this!

heirloomgardener said...


I'm glad this was helpful. Let me know how it goes!

-Heirloom Gardener

top soil said...

I actually just got these seeds from europe and I was wondering if they should get more water than usual? They are pepper seeds.


heirloomgardener said...


I don't think you should treat these seeds differently than any other pepper seeds. If you are particularly concerned, you could try a few before you prepare all of them. Good luck.

-Heirloom Gardener

bathmate said...

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I love it !

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Best work !

Nice post !

bathmate said...

That’s looks so nice your posting.
Everything looks good in your posting.
That will be necessary for all. Thanks for your posting.

Search Heirloom Gardener


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