This year I tried my hand at making my own seed starting mix. Last year’s mix of peat and vermiculite seemed too lean to me, so I went with my gut and added clean potting soil out of the bag. I am happy to report success.
Here are proportions that I used:
⅓ potting soil, ⅓ vermiculite, and ⅓ coconut coir*
I clean my seed starting pots with soap and water before reusing them to be on the safe side. (I use Dawn dish soap.)
This year, I used reusable 2-inch pots instead of small paper cups. There are pros and cons to both methods. Being able to peel away the paper cup is a significant advantage, but the reusable pots don’t disintegrate, so I’m on the fence about which is the better option. I also purchased some new 10×20 trays. I like the extra strength trays from Bootstrap Farmer – nothing else compares.
I was wildly successful with some seeds — others, not so much. It might have been me or my set-up–might have been the seeds. I say this as encouragement to not give up even if things don’t go as planned. If something doesn’t work for you, try something else. Experiment! Failure is part of the learning process. Would you expect to be able to play Stairway to Heaven the first time you picked up a guitar?** Probably not.
*Because of the environmental concerns about peat moss, I recently switched to coconut coir.
** Playing guitar is probably not in the cards for me, but maybe the Kalimba version is a possibility.