Gardening Tips

The Best Seed Starting Mix and Everything to Know

When talking about the best seed starting mix, we are not only talking about the choice of seed and what to plant but also its equipment and tools. Well, get ready to flex your green thumb indoors cause the most dormant season for the garden, the winter, is here.

It’s gonna be the perfect winter exercise that will keep a focus on the garden. The cold season with its extended freezes and unforgiving storms won’t stop you to sow the sweet spring seedlings inside the house.

Speaking of seedlings, starting it from the seeds in a closed room is not that hard. It’s, a simple and meaningful way to grow and germinate them. This way is also considered inexpensive.

You can set to transplant the seedlings outside in the early spring right after the frost time has passed. However, growing it right from the seed is quite low in the success rate. So, it’s gonna be a great experience and reward for gardeners.

That’s because the gardeners would be involved in the whole process of growing. That includes maintaining, caring, and of course, harvesting. It’s recommended for you who have just started your garden, to experience the story of creation, by growing the plant from seeds.

It’s gonna be a magical experience, like bringing new life into existence. What are you waiting for? Let’s get it started. Here is everything you need to know about the best seed starting mix.

1. The Lighting for Best Seed Starting Mix

lighting setup at green cart potted plants watering can
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One of the keys to growing a potted plant is the light. When it’s outdoor or semi-outdoor, the natural sunlight will provide it. For an indoor garden, looking for a good source of lighting is a very important thing to do.

There are some types of light to choose for an indoor seed starting setup. Any sort of light can provide it. You can choose a light stand, light stand, hanging bulbs, et cetera. It will be effective for the seed germination process.

Build your own indoor grow light using some simple materials. Save yourself a few bucks. There are many DIY tutorials you can find online to make one. On the other hand, some brands have their version of grow light products that you may wanna take a look at.

You can find the recommended grow lights from Amazon. Various kinds of products await you, from bulbs, fluorescent, to LED for the hydroponic plant.

Know whether you need to use a grow light to start seeds or not is also important. It’s according to how much sunlight the outdoor has to offer. To promote healthy growth, the plants will need 6 to 8 hours of sunlight per day.

If the weather in your location doesn’t provide so, then the seeds need a grow light method to maintain its growth.

2. Heat Mats for the Best Seed Starting Mix

germination heat mat for seed trays
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What is a heat mat? It’s also called a germination mat. It provides a balanced and steady source of heat for the seed trays. Keeping the seed trays warm is a must since you can’t get it during the winter season.

You can buy the mat at garden centers nearby. The tool is quite effective and easy to use. There is one simple thing to do to give heat on the seed tray without it. Put the seed starter trays atop of a refrigerator.

It’s got a flat surface and a steady heat that the seeds need. Keeping the bottom of the seed-starting containers warm will increase the success to grow them. Well, it’s recommended to have when you grow them indoors. Furthermore, some plants that don’t need heat to grow.

So, you must know the characteristic of the plants before planting them in the garden. Find more information about them before starting the seed.

3. Watering to Keep It, Damp

watering without disrupting the soil
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Water is the most important element we need for successful seed starting. It’s like the fundamental material to any plant, both indoors and outdoors. The retention of moisture and humidity will turn seeds into healthy seedlings.

Adding the water into the seeds is not like treating the established plants. For the starting trays, the watering method will be very different. You have to pour it gently and precisely. Use a watering can that you set gentle enough to give the ample moisture it needs.

That method will make sure the watering won’t disrupting the soil or even ruin the seedlings that are still fragile. Pay attention to the amount of water. Don’t apply too much or too little.

There is one suggestion you can do for the effective growth of the seedlings. Water the tray from the bottom to enable them to soak it up through the holes of drainage in the container. Add it slowly for about ten to thirty minutes. Touch the soil using your finger to make sure about the moisture.

4. Using Plastic Wrap

plastic wrap to make a humid environment
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The seed starting trays need a humid environment to support the germination process. Plastic wrap is a great method to try. Covering them with plastic will also keep the pests away. You don’t need to get a special type or quality for the material.

Just use the simple plastic wrap. It’s probably the best material to have for the growth of the seed. This method will keep humidity all over the inside.

You should keep the starting seed tray inside a plastic wrap until the germination process ends. It’s like creating a mini-greenhouse for to get the best seed starting mix.

5. Containers and Trays for Best Seed Starting Mix

egg cartons planter for best seed starting mix
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If you don’t have the budget, you don’t need to get the seed starting kits and containers. Those fancy package or sets are not so essentials. However, it’s still recommended to buy them if you have the money to spend.

On the other hand, you can start the germination of the seeds with some simple black plastic trays. People use these tools in greenhouses and nurseries. Some gardening supply stores even give them for free. Just ask nicely to the sellers.

Moreover, there are some ideas and tutorials to make your version of seed trays. Repurposing household items like egg cartons. It can a nice option for starting plants like peas of lettuce. For the record, we’re not talking about the styrofoam one, it’s the regular cardboard version.

It’s a great choice for DIY material. The egg cartons are cheap and readily available. It helps keep the seeds apart with the same space. The downside of these containers is the tricky part of getting the seeds into the ground.

6. The Importance of Labelling

label to identify what herbs variety
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You can’t underestimate this part of the process. Labeling is quite essential because each seed will be hard to identify if there’s no label on it.

Buy the labels at local stores. It’s cheap. Instead, use some scratch papers and tape them. Well, the presentation of your garden is according to the desired style of personality.

Label everything you plant from seeds so it’s easier to identify what herbs variety that is planted on each cell tray.

7. Use a Timer

duration of light exposure per day
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Why it’s so crucial to use a timer? One of the keys to successful planting is giving the right amount of things that the plants need. That includes the duration of light exposure per day.

As you know, seedlings need up to 14 hours of light exposures a day. It can’t go lower than 12 hours. So, it’s important to have something to give the exact time information. The assistance of a timer would be very helpful during this part of the process.

It doesn’t have to be a special timer for gardening. Just use a simple, inexpensive kitchen timer or a digital alarm app on your smartphone. With it, there’s no chance to forget to stop the light exposure that can damage the seedlings.

8. The Best Seed Starting Mix

black mini trays for starter plant
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For now, it’s time to get the right starting mix for the seeds. There are many starter mix products available at the gardening supply stores. Just get some of them and begin the process. It will make you more money than mixing it with your own.

With the right combination of ingredients, you can make the mix yourself and save a bit of the budget. It can be the Best homemade starting mix. So, what is the perfect mixture for the seed starter soil or the best seed starting mix?

Well, there are so many differing opinions regarding this topic. Let’s go with the simple mixture that containers the equal parts of vermiculite and peat moss. This is the seed starting mix that is recommended by greenhouse experts.

Combining the vermiculite and peat moss is just so perfect. They are all lightweight, cheap, and easy to mix in 50:50. It could be the best seed starting mix everyone can have for their indoor garden.

This combination doesn’t need any addition of organic content. These two ingredients won’t give your plant any bacterial issues. Peat moss will keep the soil aerated and better drainage.

While Vermiculite will give a better quality of water retention because it absorbs moistures. So, the level of moisture in the soil mic will be evenly balanced.

On the other hand, it’s also possible to have the seed starting mix from organic matter. Compost can also be part of it. However, you should be ready to face some issues like mold and bacteria. If you don’t want to deal with the problems, leave out the organics.

That can’t be the best seed starting mix for your plant, right? Instead, add some organic liquid fertilizer that is made from kelp and fish. Mix it with the water supply you’re about to use for watering.

9. Recommended Products of Seed Starting Mix

organic seed starting mix from burpee
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If you ask for a recommended best seed starting mix to buy, there’s an easy pick. Choose the organic seed starting mix from Burpee. It’s a quite popular brand or manufacture in the world of indoor gardening. This eco-friendly material is the best performer.

The starting mix is formed by coconut fiber and organic plant food. With a neutral pH, this product will give the plant proper root aeration. One thing for sure, it’s certified safe for plants. According to many gardeners, Burpee is a great choice.

10. What Seeds to Plant

plants for the indoor garden
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Many online or offline stores sell seeds. You just have to find what plants to have for the indoor garden during the winter. Here are some recommended ones:

  • Broccoli
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Beans
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Eggplant
  • Kale
  • Cilantro
  • Lettuce
  • Spinach
  • Tomatoes
  • Moonflower

When you decide to plant one of those things, you should consider about the mix. For example, you should know the best seed starting mix for tomatoes if you want to succeed planting them. Focus on the list above, those plants are up to the challenge.

11. When Should You Start?

collection of plant seeds to start planting
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If you plan to begin the process during the winter season, there’s a specific time that many experts recommend. A general rule for growing annual veggies is to start seeds between 4 and 8 weeks before the last time of winter in your location.

However, the time can change according to the area or location and the type of plants to grow. There’s a website to help you decide. It’s called Old Farmer’s Almanac.

They will provide a planting calendar of the location by entering the ZIP code. Try it, you’ll find out the perfect timeline for the indoor gardening process. After that, get ready to germinate those seeds.

Summary

Choosing a seed starting mix is quite crucial to promote healthy growth to your plant. During winter, there are still high potentials to start a gardening process. All of those points above are so helpful to guide everyone in the making of an indoor garden.

Begin the germination at the right time and use all the recommended tools and equipment to succeed. As a result, you will get some healthy seedlings and established plants. With the best seed starting mix, your garden is complete.

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