Although there is currently a foot of snow on the ground, and no visible sign of our garden beds it is time to begin planting seeds! With our short growing season of only 90 days, we use every trick we can to extend our growing season, including starting our seeds indoors under grow lights. When we first began starting our seeds inside, we would purchase premixed bags of seed starting soil that we would find at our local garden store. The bags only came in a small size, causing us to need about 10-15 bags, and they were costly. It didn’t take us long to realize we needed a new strategy!
Why make your own seed starting mix?
Making your own seed starting mix is easy, cost effective and allows you to use your own homemade compost. Making your own seed starting mix is empowering! And by making it yourself, you will know what ingredients are in it, this way you can be sure you are using high quality organic ingredients.
Here’s what you will need:
* 4 parts Screened Compost (If you compost at home, here is your opportunity to use it! You will need to sift through the compost in order to remove any large pieces. We use hardware cloth with a 1/4 inch mesh to screen our compost)
* 2 parts Sphagnum Peat Moss (available at your local garden store)
* 1 part Vermiculite (available at your local garden store)
* 1 part Perlite (available at your local garden store)
* Large container to mix in (We use a large plastic kiddie pool)
* Tool for mixing (A small rake or hoe works well)
Here’s how to do it:
Once you have all your ingredients gathered, place them into your large container. You may wish to wear a mask and protective eyewear to avoid inhaling the dust and small particles. Using your tool of choice, gently begin to stir your ingredients until they are well blended. That’s it! Your seed starting mix is ready to use.