Can I buy a decent seed starter mix?
Would it be easier than making my seed starter mix?
Oh, hell yes.
So why do I choose to make my own?
The Reasons to Make My Own Seed Starter Mix
There are three reasons. And if you want to add that I’m stubborn, that would make up four reasons.
One reason is that the materials I use are more sustainable than those in commercial seed starter mixes. Don’t get me wrong, being sustainable is important, but it’s not a huge driver in my actions. When I can use sustainable materials, I do unless another material makes more practical sense.
The second reason is the natural fertilizers within Kellogg’s organic potting soil used in my seed starter mix and the composted forest products in the soil. Even though these forest products cause additional work when making the starter mix.
I hope using this composted soil in the seed starter mix gives microgreens grown within the mix a better flavor than a sterile mix.
The last reason is my hatred of unitaskers and one-use products. The plan is to compost the used seed starter mix with the forest products sieved out during the process as soil to fill larger containers to plant the vegetables in at a later date.
Those are the reasons for making my seed starter mix for good or bad only time will tell.
This blog and YouTube channel are about my journey from finding land, building a homestead, incorporating permaculture, raising animals, and growing plants.
Here’s a list of the materials used to make a seed starter mix.
- Plastic storage container.
- Dollar Store colander (I’ll be making a 1/4″ screen sieve next time).
- 5-gal pail with a lid to store sieved forest products for more composing.
- 1- to 2- quarts dry, used coffee grounds (as an acidifier).
- One coconut coir brick (Don’t buy from Amazon. It’s too expensive – use this link.)
- One 1.5-cu ft Kellogg’s Organic Potting Soil.
Watch How to Make Seed Starter Mix
The process of making your seed starting mix is explained in the video below.
Soils Used in My Mix
The images, either to the right or below if you’re on mobile, are the ones used in my mix.
Again, I wanted to use organically composted potting soil as a base and the water-absorbing coconut coir.
Remember that coconut holds a significant amount of water. You can see that in the video as I squeeze water out of the coconut coir.
Coconut coir is a sustainable or renewable product produced while processing coconuts. In contrast, peat moss takes at least tens of thousands of years to form.
Unfortunately, Kellogg’s potting soil does also contain peat. But, at least my mix has reduced some of the peat in a typical seed starting mix.
Burpee’s coconut coir and Kellogg’s soil products can be purchased at Home Depot. At a much lower price than any product on Amazon.
I like this product; it doesn’t get great reviews from other users because they’re used to sieved, clean potting soil.
As you can see in the photos, the soil contains quite a few forest products. These will continue to break down in your containers or the garden.
But twigs aren’t great for seed starter mix, so I sieved them out.
The photos show fresh potting soil in the sieve and the twigs that remained afterward.
These twigs will be added to a compost pile.
One More Ingredient
The seed starter mix will be used for all my vegetables, but most will be microgreens and lettuce. I read in many documents that these seeds like slightly acidic soil.
The pH of Kellogg’s soil is listed between 6.5 and 7.5. For that reason, I added some spent coffee grounds into the seed starter mix—only about one quart in the estimated 16 quarts of coconut coir and potting soil mixture.
Will the Seed Starter Mix Work?
Time will tell if my seed starter mix will grow plants well. I know the mix is fine-grained, holds water well, and seeds have sprouted well.
I’ll keep you informed of how the seeds are growing; click “Follow” below and enter your name and email, and I’ll send reminders when new blog posts are published.
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I now use too much seed starter and soil for my microgreens to make my own. However, I still modify a base potting mix to improve it.
You can purchase this potting mix in the Home Microgreens Store (the Home Microgreens Potting Mix has been upgraded since this article was published).