Gilson Lyceum is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Best Medium For Starting Seeds : Review And Buying Guide

Philip Jackson
  Aug 9, 2022 11:40 PM

Are you looking for the best medium for starting seeds on the market right now? If you said yes, consider yourself extremely fortunate, as you have arrived at the pinnacle of your search. Let us do the legwork for you so you can focus on more important things.

Perplexity about which best medium for starting seeds to purchase is a very common occurrence. This problem arises as a result of the large number of different best medium for starting seeds available on the market today. We've put up a comprehensive guide to assist you in selecting the best medium for starting seeds available on the market today.


Overview

Quick-sprouting vegetables like cucumbers, squash, and tomatoes are popular among gardeners when the weather gets warmer. Getting a head start on the gardening season by starting seeds indoors is also a rewarding and cost-effective option, but it can be challenging.

You must use an uncontaminated grow mix instead of any old soil in order to reduce the risk of seedling failure. The best seed-starting mix is light and airy, and it provides a solid base for even the most delicate of seedlings. Learn more about the best seed starting mixes available today and what to look for when making your selection.


Compare Products

1
  • SCORE
    9.4
    G Score

    G Score is a ranking system developed by our team of experts (people love working outdoors with people and plants). It from 0 to 10 are automatically scored by our team based upon the data collected. This score has no relationship or impact from any manufacturer or sales agent websites. Learn more

  • Brand
    SOLIGT
2
  • SCORE
    9.4
    G Score

    G Score is a ranking system developed by our team of experts (people love working outdoors with people and plants). It from 0 to 10 are automatically scored by our team based upon the data collected. This score has no relationship or impact from any manufacturer or sales agent websites. Learn more

  • Brand
    Grenebo
3
  • SCORE
    9.2
    G Score

    G Score is a ranking system developed by our team of experts (people love working outdoors with people and plants). It from 0 to 10 are automatically scored by our team based upon the data collected. This score has no relationship or impact from any manufacturer or sales agent websites. Learn more

  • Brand
    Gardzen
4
  • SCORE
    9.0
    G Score

    G Score is a ranking system developed by our team of experts (people love working outdoors with people and plants). It from 0 to 10 are automatically scored by our team based upon the data collected. This score has no relationship or impact from any manufacturer or sales agent websites. Learn more

  • Brand
    Burpee
5
  • SCORE
    9.0
    G Score

    G Score is a ranking system developed by our team of experts (people love working outdoors with people and plants). It from 0 to 10 are automatically scored by our team based upon the data collected. This score has no relationship or impact from any manufacturer or sales agent websites. Learn more

  • Brand
    Bonviee
6
  • SCORE
    8.8
    G Score

    G Score is a ranking system developed by our team of experts (people love working outdoors with people and plants). It from 0 to 10 are automatically scored by our team based upon the data collected. This score has no relationship or impact from any manufacturer or sales agent websites. Learn more

  • Brand
    MIXC
7
  • SCORE
    8.8
    G Score

    G Score is a ranking system developed by our team of experts (people love working outdoors with people and plants). It from 0 to 10 are automatically scored by our team based upon the data collected. This score has no relationship or impact from any manufacturer or sales agent websites. Learn more

  • Brand
    HOME GROWN
8
  • SCORE
    8.8
    G Score

    G Score is a ranking system developed by our team of experts (people love working outdoors with people and plants). It from 0 to 10 are automatically scored by our team based upon the data collected. This score has no relationship or impact from any manufacturer or sales agent websites. Learn more

  • Brand
    MIXC
9
  • SCORE
    8.8
    G Score

    G Score is a ranking system developed by our team of experts (people love working outdoors with people and plants). It from 0 to 10 are automatically scored by our team based upon the data collected. This score has no relationship or impact from any manufacturer or sales agent websites. Learn more

  • Brand
    ACT Retailer

Last update on 2022-08-09 / Affiliate links / Images, Product Titles, and Product Highlights from Amazon Product Advertising API


Reviews

Lightweight and Retains Water

Among the best seedling mixes are those that are both lightweight and capable of holding water. For aeration, they'll use vermiculite or perlite, and for water retention, they'll use sphagnum peat moss or coconut coir.

Sphagnum Peat Moss vs. Coconut Coir

Peat moss or coco coir is the most common base ingredient in seed starting mixes. They both provide young seedlings with water retention, and there aren't many differences between them in that regard. However, there are a number of other factors to consider.

It's been argued that peat moss is less environmentally friendly than other options like coco coir because it comes from bogs and can't be replenished. However, these bogs have been well managed to the point where peat moss is now considered a renewable resource.

Since it is so similar to peat moss, coconut coir has become an increasingly popular ingredient in seed starting mixes and hydroponics. When used in seedling mix, it can hold eight times its weight in water. It's even easier to ship because it comes in dehydrated and compressed bricks!

Perlite vs. Vermiculite

Adding aeration to your seedling mix with either perlite or vermiculite is a necessity for young seedlings that are having difficulty establishing themselves.

Tiny white puffballs of perlite can be seen. Seedling mixes can benefit from its light weight, but only if used in small amounts. Using too much can cause the material to dissipate.

The flaky and reflective surface of vermiculite, another naturally-occurring substance, gives it away its source. It provides less aeration than perlite, but more water retention, making it a good choice if your base of coconut coir or peat moss has less water retention.

Organic vs. Non-Organic

Gardeners can trust that a seed-starting mix labeled "organic" contains only natural ingredients free of synthetic or chemical additives. However, the inclusion of synthetic fertilizers in seed-starting mixes disqualifies them from being referred to as "organic". Those who grow food instead of flowers or ornamental plants may benefit more from an organic seed-starting mix.

Sterilization

Over 200 degrees Fahrenheit for at least 30 minutes destroys fungi and bacteria in seed-starting mix to prevent the seedlings from being harmed by the pathogen. By forcing steam through a material or submerging it in water and heating the water, heat can be applied. The delicate seeds have the best chance of survival if the mixture is sterilized.

Aeration and Moisture Retention

A seed-starting mix needs to retain its lightness and loft even after being wet for extended periods of time. In addition to water, new roots require oxygen in order to thrive. Adding perlite and vermiculite aerates the mixture. Poor seed germination rates are common when starting seeds in heavy or compacted garden soil. While retaining enough moisture to keep the mixture moist to the touch, the ideal seed-starting mix provides enough air circulation to allow roots to grow.

pH Levels

Balanced pH is defined as having a pH between 6.5 and 7 for seed-starting mixes. Natural ingredients in most seed-starting mixes fall within the correct pH range, so pH adjustment isn't always necessary. If the plant is grown hydroponically, pH monitoring is more critical (in water). Hydroponic systems can benefit from pH adjusting solutions, such as "pH UP" and "pH DOWN," which can be added to the water to help keep the pH level neutral.

FAQS

What is Seed Starting Mix?

Soil mixtures that are specifically designed to help seeds germinate and grow into healthy young seedlings are known as seed starting mixes.

Young roots have an easier time navigating seed mixes because they are finer and lighter than regular garden potting soil.

What is a Soilless Seed Starting Mix?

As a novice gardener, I was apprehensive about using soilless seed mixes. In the absence of soil, how could a plant thrive?

Seeds get almost all of their early nutrients from the seed itself! That's an interesting fact that I had no idea about. Soil nutrients aren't needed until much later in the plant's life cycle.

In order to ensure that your seed starting mix contains no contaminants or pathogens, you may want to consider using a soilless mix like coconut coir or peat moss. There is no guarantee that your mix is free of pathogens unless it has been sterilized.

Does seed starting mix or potting mix go bad?

It's impossible to "go bad" or "expire" seed starting and potting mix if they've been properly preserved and stored in a dry environment. Despite the fact that these mixes can be used for many years after they are made or purchased, there is one caveat.

In seed starting and potting mixes, peat moss, an organic material that decomposes over time, is one of the most important ingredients. It has a short shelf life, and the fiber begins to break down within one or two years of purchase, making it ineffective at its primary function: to hold moisture.

As long as the peat is kept dry, it will not become moldy or smelly (and it won't if it's kept that way).

For this reason, you may need to replenish the peat in old seed starting mixes or potting mixes after their "expiration date."

Can you reuse seed starting mix or potting mix?

If there were no pests or diseases, you can re-use the seed starting or potting mix.

Before storing it in a bucket, storage bin, or clean trash bin, let the old seed starting or potting mix dry out. Keep it dry until you're ready to use it again.

Since peat moss is a natural fiber that breaks down over time (especially if it's been wet), you'll likely only get one reuse out of the seed starting or potting mix.

What can you do with old seed starting mix or potting mix?

Mixing old seed starting and potting mixes with new soilless mixes can revive them and give them a new lease of life. They can also be used to improve the structure of your garden soil. To avoid introducing pests or diseases into new plants, make sure that the plants in question are free of pests and diseases.

For those who don't intend to reuse their seed starting or potting mix, composting it is an option.

Conclusion

It is up to you to determine what type of seed starting mix is best for your particular garden. Because there are so many different mixes available, it's critical to do your homework and find the one that's right for you. What kind of plants you're trying to grow, where you live, and whether or not you'll be transplanting your seedlings into a potting mix are all things to keep in mind.


4.7
3 ratings