For starting seeds
There are many good potting mixes available. Using a soilless potting mix rather than outdoor soil is preferable because potting mixes don't readily compact, don't contain weed seeds and don't have disease spores and other possible problems. Most potting soils for starting seedlings will contain Canadian sphagnun peat moss, some vermiculite, and some perlite. DO NOT BUY ANY MIX CONTAINING SEDGE PEAT (SOMETIMES CALLED MICHIGAN PEAT)
AVOID STARTER MIXES CONTAINING ANY FERTILIZER; YOU WANT TO CONTROL THE FERTILIZER COMPONENT.
THERE ARE OTHER PRODUCTS THAT CAN BE ADDED TO A STARTER SOILLESS MIX BUT ALL OF THEM ARE DEFINITELY OPTIONAL.
SEAWEED OR KELP
Seaweed powder or liquid added to the mix can protect the young plants from stresses
Comost has minerals and enzymes that will be beneficial to seedlings as they start to grow
Using Polymer Gels When Starting Seedlings
Mixed with potting soil that is used for starting seeds, Polymer Gels foster improved rates of seed germination. The Polymer Gels hold water in the soil, insuring the consistent moisture that is so important for good seed germination.
Its presence also dramatically reduces shock from lost moisture when seedlings are transplanted.
Later when seedlings are set out in an established bed that does not have Polymer Gels in the soil, add little pockets of the gel and soil mixture in the area around each transplant.
For a detailed explanation of how water absorbing polymers work and why they are helpful, go to Using Water Absorbing Polymers.
For information about buying Water Absorbing Polymers click here to go to the Yardener’s Tool Shed.
We offer an number of quality seed starting mixes in Yardeners Tool Shed; click here