Posted on

Best seed starting mix for cannabis

Best Seed Starting Mixes: Guide & Recommendations

We tested eleven different purchased seed starting/germinating mixes, as well as potting mix, garden soil, and a variety of home-made mixes. While we can’t comment on the make-up of the mixes (other than noting what the manufacturer indicates is in the package), here are our observations about the look and feel of each mix, how it reacted when moistened and placed in pots, how well it retained moisture, and how well seeds germinated and grew in it.

Although the instructions on some mixes suggest filling the seed starting container with dry mix and then watering after seeds have been planted, we highly recommend that all mixes should be thoroughly moistened with lukewarm water before use. Make sure everything is well mixed so that there are no dry areas. Don’t over-wet the mix; if water drips out when you squeeze the mix in your hand, it’s too wet.

We describe each seed germination mix below and also indicate whether or not a mix is organic (note that definitions of “organic” vary and not all organic mixes are OMRI listed; we simply report whether or not the manufacturer states that the mix is acceptable for use in certified organic production).

*** If you’re just looking for our top recommendations, scroll to the bottom of this article.

How to Successfully Start Seeds Indoors

This video tutorial shows you exactly how to successfully start seeds indoors, including seed starting mix, containers, sowing, watering, heat, and more.
>> Watch the video on our YouTube channel (28 minutes)

How to Care For Seedlings After They’ve Germinated

After seedlings emerge they need specific care in order to thrive. This video covers lighting, watering, air circulation, fertilization, thinning, transplanting and hardening off.
>> Watch the video on our YouTube channel (29 minutes)

Organic Seed Starting Mix, 6 Qts. (Gardener’s Supply)

This mix contained larger pieces of organic matter (such as twigs and bark), probably from the compost that’s included in the mix. These pieces can interfere with seed germination and growth so we recommend picking them out of the mix before you moisten it (it’s much harder to remove them when wet). It also contains sphagnum peat, rock phosphate, gypsum, protein meal, and perlite .

You’ll need to add quite a bit of water to adequately moisten this mix prior to use.

One 6 quart bag of Organic Seed Starting Mix will easily fill two 24-cell (2-inch) seed starting trays. It may fill three trays if you don’t fill each cell to the top.

Grow Kit Pellets (Gardener’s Supply)

These compressed coconut coir pellets come with Gardeners’ Supply’s new Grow Kit but can also be purchased separately and can be used in any similarly-sized growing tray.

Simply drop one into each cell in your seed starting tray and place the tray in water. The pellets swell up very quickly when water is added and will fill each cell. The moistened mix has a nice, even texture and it’s easy to work with. For seeds that need to be covered with a thin layer of soil, you may want to sprinkle a different mix over the surface after seeds have been sown.

Pro-Mix Organic Seed Starting Mix (Premier Tech Horticulture)

This organic (OMRI listed) mix comes in a 16-quart (6 lbs) bag. It contains a mixture of Canadian sphagnum peat moss (70-80% by volume), coir, perlite, a soy-based natural fertilizer, and mycorrhizae. We found that there were a lot of plant parts and roots in the mix, probably from the peat moss. Screen the mix before wetting to remove the larger pieces that could affect seed germination.

We found that this mix stayed very wet so be careful not to overwater and keep an eye on the moisture level. Wet mixes can create problems with damping off.

Wonder Soil Seed Starting Pellets

These small pellets (about the size of a very thick dime) are made of compressed coir pith, worm castings, mycorrihizae, water-saving polymers, and a small amount of plant nutrients. Because it contains mycorrhizae, it’s recommended that you use it within a year or two of purchase as the potency will decrease by about 10% each year.

Pellets can either be placed directly into cells in seed starting trays before wetting, or poured into a bowl or bucket, wetted and mixed, and then added to seed starting trays. The pellets expand very quickly when moistened and form a very fine, granular mix. Be sure that all pellets have been thoroughly wetted – if not, they’ll continue to expand in the seed tray and can push seeds right out of the tray. As with the Grow Kit pellets, you’ll probably need to use a different germination mix to cover seeds (or expand a few extra pellets to use as a seed cover).

One package of seed starting pellets will fill two 24-cell (2-inch) seed starting trays. The label says that the whole package will fill 150 cells, but those are the much smaller 1/2-inch cells.

Germinating Mix (Gardener’s Supply)

This fine, even mix contains finely-milled sphagnum peat moss, vermiculite, and some trace minerals. It’s mixed exclusively for Gardeners’ Supply and is suggested for use with their Accelerated Propagation (APS) growing systems.

It’s very lightweight and easy to work with, although it’s pretty dusty when you open the bag and it does take quite a bit of water to moisten it thoroughly. Because there aren’t any larger-sized pieces in the mix, it spreads evenly in small seed starting containers.

Eco-co Coir Seedstarting Mix (Gardener’s Supply)

Made from the husks of coconut shells that have been ground, dried, and compressed, the EcoCoir block expands a lot when water is added. Don’t be fooled by the small size and light weight of the block into thinking that you can mix it in a smaller bucket. The instructions specify a 5-gallon bucket or container – and you’ll need it!

The mix contains a lot of coconut shell fibers that make it a little more difficult to work with.

Potting Mix (Miracle Gro)

This mix is commonly used in outdoor containers but, since people often ask whether or not they should use potting soil to grow seedlings, we decided to see how well it would work.

This mix includes compost (made from “forest products”), sphagnum peat moss, perlite, a wetting agent, and enough fertilizer to feed plants for up to six months. It’s lightweight but does contain many pieces of organic matter (small pieces of twigs, bark, and roots) that make it more difficult to work with in seedling trays. It also doesn’t absorb water readily when it’s dry to be sure to moisten it well before use.

Garden Soil

Garden soil is generally not recommended for seed starting; it tends to contain weed seeds and pathogens that can kill seedlings and it usually of a poor consistency for staying moist but not wet. Still, people often wonder whether garden soil would work for starting seeds so we decided to test it.

We used a humus-rich sandy loam from a healthy, organic vegetable garden. Lettuce, carrots, beans, peas, and squash had previously been successfully grown from seed in this garden soil (outside).

Bar Harbor Blend Premium Potting Soil (Coast of Maine)

This potting soil is made with a mixture of lobster compost, cow manure compost, kelp, peat, and perlite. While it’s not marketed specifically for seed starting, we thought it was worth trying.

The Bar Harbor Blend is lightweight and easy to use. We found that the mix stayed fairly moist (probably because of the high compost content) so be careful not to overwater.

Black Gold Seedling Mix (Sun Gro)

The Black Gold mix is appropriate for organic seed germination (it’s OMRI listed). It contains about 70-80% Canadian sphagnum peat moss, perlite, dolomite lime, and yucca extract (which acts as a wetting agent) and comes in a 4 lb bag.

The mix is extremely lightweight and dusty when dry. Be sure to thoroughly moisten it before use because it doesn’t easily absorb water if it’s placed into a seed starting tray when it’s dry.

CocoTek and Earthworm Castings

CocoTek is a compressed natural coconut coir block that’s sold for use in hydroponic cultivation. Because it contains no nutrients, we paired it with organic earthworm castings with an NPK rating of 1-0-0.

One 1.4-lb block of CocoTek absorbs up to 1.5 gallons of water and expands to five times its size so be sure to mix it in a large container. You can mix it with a variety of other growing media, such as perlite, compost, or peat to customize the nutrient and water holding capacity of the mixture.

Our Testing Process

We tested a range of seed starting kits/containers (review coming soon) and lights (review coming soon). All containers were either new or had been sterilized prior to use.

Half of the seeds were started on a heat mat, the others were started at room temperature. Heat was removed when most seeds in a tray had germinated.

All of the seed starting mixes were kept moist using a capillary mat that was watered from beneath; each mix absorbed as much water as it “needed” with no supplemental watering.

Once seeds germinated, they were kept under grow lights for 16 hours per day.

No fertilizer was applied to seedlings. Normally, we would add fertilizer to encourage healthy growth. In this case we chose not to so that we could evaluate the capacity of the seed starting mix to support seedling growth.

All seeds were zinnias that were kindly provided by Renee’s Garden Seeds (we also used tomato, sunflower, and zucchini seeds in other experiments).

Testing Results

As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. So here are the results of our tests…

Each row (front to back) was filled with the same mix. There are two trays of each kind (reviews coming soon), each one grown under a different set of lights (reviews coming soon). These photos were taken 6 weeks after planting the seeds.

From left to right, the trays below are filled with:

  • Organic Seed Starting Mix from Gardeners’ Supply
  • Grow Kit Pellets from Gardeners’ Supply
  • Pro-Mix from Sun Gro
  • Wonder Soil Seed Starting Pellets
  • Germinating Mix from Gardeners’ Supply
  • Eco-co from Gardeners’ Supply

In the trays below (photos taken 4 weeks after planting), from left to right, you’ll see:

  • Garden soil
  • Coco-tek with worm castings
  • Bar Harbor Blend Premium Potting Soil from Coast of Maine
  • Black Gold Seedling Mix from Sun Gro
  • Potting Mix from Miracle Gro
  • Eco-co from Gardeners’ Supply

Highly Recommended Seed Starting Mixes

Based on everything we saw during our seed starting trials, here are the germinating mixes that we most highly recommend. We believe that these will give you the best chance of germinating and growing strong, healthy plants.

No products found. – Although this mix wasn’t part of the original testing back in 2014 (it wasn’t available then), I’ve since tested it extensively for germinating and growing a wide range of seedlings, from tomatoes and peppers to vines, perennials and herbs. It’s an excellent mix that stays moist without getting soggy (so requires less frequent watering), holds together when removing seedlings from seed starting trays or pots, and has had nearly 100% germination rates with all seeds I’ve tried. It’s the one mix I now use for all my seed starting.

Organic Seed Starting Mix from Gardeners’ Supply – This mix produced the largest, strongest, and stockiest plants. They appeared to be the most healthy of all seedlings and had one of the highest germination rates (66.7%). The mix stayed moist but not wet.

Germinating Mix from Gardener’s Supply – With an 83% germination rate, this mix produced the most seedlings. However, we found that the seedlings germinated using a heat mat tended to be smaller in this mix and one seedling tray developed a green slime on the soil surface. We recommend using this mix without supplemental heat.

Recommended Seed Starting Mixes

While these mixes seemed to perform quite well, they required a bit more maintenance (e.g., supplemental feeding, careful watering, use of a specific growing tray) to produce healthy seedlings.

Grow Kit Pellets from Gardeners’ Supply – These pellets performed differently in different seed starting trays. In the Grow Kit (also from Gardeners’s Supply), 100% of seeds germinated and grew well. In other seed trays, germination results ranged from 12% to 62% and the plants tended to be smaller and somewhat chlorotic (likely due to the lack of nutrients in the coconut coir; supplemental fertilizer is clearly needed). We recommend the pellets for use in the Grow Kit but would choose other mixes in non-Grow Kit seed trays.

Black Gold Seedling Mix from Sun Gro – Only half of the seeds sown in this mix germinated but they grew strongly. The mix stayed nicely moist without being too wet.

Potting Mix from Miracle Gro – Although not normally recommended for seed germination, the potting mix worked out quite well, with 75% of seeds germinating. Once moistened, it tended to stay fairly wet so be careful not to overwater. Because of the fertilizer integrated into the mix, there’s no need for supplemental feeding.

Not Recommended Seed Starting Mixes

In our tests, these mixes failed to produce strong, healthy seedlings, had low germination rates, or undesirable growth, such as fungus or green slime. Under different conditions (e.g., manual watering, rather than using a capillary mat) they may perform better. However, we felt that under the conditions that many home gardeners have, these mixes would not be a good choice.

Garden soil – Well, the advice to not use garden soil for seed germination turned out to be correct. Only one seed germinated, although it looked pretty sickly. On the other hand, the weed grew quite well, as did the green slime. The soil looked like mud after being watered; it looked much, much better in the garden – and that’s where we recommend you leave it!

Bar Harbor Blend Premium Potting Soil from Coast of Maine – Few seeds germinated in this mix, perhaps because it stayed very wet. The 25% of seedlings that survived did quite well, probably because of the nutrients provided by the compost in the mix. We don’t recommend germinating seeds in this mix but it would work quite well for growing seedlings on before transplanting outside.

The Eco-co mix grew a fungus.

Eco-co from Gardeners’ Supply – This mix stayed consistently moist (but not wet) and most seeds germinated (75%). However, the seedlings were small and spindly; we recommend starting a regular fertilization regimen within a week of germination. We also found that one seedling tray developed a fungus growth of some sort in all of the Eco-co cells.

Green slime covered most of the Pro-Mix surface.

Pro-Mix from Premier Tech Horticulture – Although all of the seeds initially germinated, they quickly wilted and most died. Those that survived were very small and weak. The mix stayed very wet and grew a green slime over the entire surface.

CocoTek and Earthworm Castings – The mix stayed very, very wet and developed a thick layer of green slime on top. It may have worked better without the earthworm castings.

Wonder Soil Seed Starting Pellets – With an overall germination rate of only 50%, this mix was one of the worst performers. Although the mix stayed nicely moist, seedlings were weak and stunted and green slime appeared in many cells.

Where to Buy

Many of these seed germinating mixes can be bought in your local big box store or garden center. Those from Gardeners’ Supply can be purchased on the Gardeners’ Supply website. Or, as with most things these days, you can buy from Amazon through the links below.

  • Organic Seed Starting Mix, 6 Qts. from Gardener’s Supply
  • Black Gold Seedling Mix from Sun Gro
  • No products found.

Related Reviews and Resources

  • How to Successfully Start Seeds Indoors– Video and article
  • How to Care for Seedlings After Germination– Video and article
  • Five Keys to Successful Seed Starting
  • Growing Seedlings Indoors Under Grow Lights – Everything you need to know to do it right
  • When to Start Seeds Indoors– Perennials, herbs and some veggies are best started early indoors
  • Where to Buy Seeds– Online sources for high-quality seeds

Which seed starting mixes have you used or made? What worked best for you? Let us know in the comments below!

Share this:

Last update on 2021-12-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Enjoyed This Review?

If you liked this review, please sign up for our email updates with reviews, how-to articles and gardening videos!

Please note that the Amazon and Gardener’s Supply Company links (and only those links) above are affiliate links. Should you choose to purchase products through these links, GPReview will make a small commission (at no extra cost to you) that helps to support this website and our gardening product reviews. Thank you!

About The Author

Monica is the founder and Editor of the Gardening Products Review. She’s had a lifelong love affair with gardening and a fascination with gardening tools. She’s been known to disassemble tools just to see how they work and has a tendency to break tools while testing them in the garden.

5 Best Seed Starting Mix Reviews

MorningChores Staff is a team of writers and editors who collaborate to create articles. If the article you are reading is authored by MorningChores Staff, it means multiple people contributed on it.

If you buy an item via links on this page, we may earn a commission. Our editorial content is not influenced by commissions. Read the full disclosure.

Winter may still hold our gardens in its icy grip, but spring is just around the corner, so now is the perfect time to start planning your garden. There are decisions to be made: what kinds of flowers will you plant and what types of veggies will you grow in your veggie patch.

We all have different types of gardens or ways of growing plants. Some people live in suburbia and have a good amount of backyard space in which to plant their flowers and veggies. City dwellers might have access to market gardens where they can have their own little veggie patch. Urban gardeners who live in an apartment with only a small balcony will grow their colorful foliage and cultivate fresh veggies in pots.

Wherever you live and however you choose to garden, a seed starting mix will give your flowers and veggies the best start to life, and ultimately reward you with your own piece of horticultural heaven.

The 5 Best Seed Starting Mix

Our Top Pick for the Best Seed Starting Mix

Our top pick for the best seed starting mix is the Jiffy Seed Starting Peat Pellets.

These seed starting pellets are the easiest way to get your indoor or outdoor planting projects done. Once you plant seeds or seedlings in the quality peat, you and your kids will love watching your budding plants turn into beautiful blooms and healthy vegetables.

What is a Seed Starting Mix?

A seed starting mix, which can also be called “seed starting soil,” helps the seed to germinate into a seedling and then into a full-grown plant. Some people also like to purchase seedlings from their local nursery. However, this is not always the best choice as the seedling may have picked up containments or other plant diseases.

By growing your plants from seed, you can control the process from seed to plant to plate. It can be fun, especially for kids, to wait eagerly, and then be filled with delight when the first leaves begin to appear, and then the full flower blooms or the veggies start to grow.

Soil-Less

A soil-less seed mix means that the mix does not contain any field or ordinary garden soil. Regular field or garden soil can contain diseases and contaminants, which can be especially harmful to vulnerable seeds and seedlings.

Sterilization

You might come across the word “sterilize” in relation to seed starting mix or even potting mix, which means the manufacturer has used a heating process to kill off any bacteria or fungi or mold that can restrict the growth of your seeds and plants.

Some gardeners may choose to make their own mix, but sterilization will make sure that your seed grows into a strong and healthy plant.

Potting Mix vs Seed Starting Mix

The potting mix is probably the most well-known type of gardening product for planting flowers and veggies. The potting mix is great for re-potting plants. However, it may not be ideal for planting seeds or seedlings as it can be too rich. Also, it has a coarser texture and does not drain very well. Good drainage is necessary for a seed to germinate and grow into a budding plant.

However, in its favor, the potting mix contains fertilizer, so from seed to plant, the potting mix will feed your flowers or veggies the nutrients they need.

A seed starting mix is the preferred option as opposed to a potting mix for those gardeners who prefer to plant seed, not seedlings or cuttings. It is more desirable for 3 reasons:

  1. It has a superior germination process.
  2. The mix is usually more lightweight than the potting mix.
  3. It absorbs water easily and allows for plenty of air circulation, which is very important for the seed to be able to grow and develop into a plant.

The main difference between a potting mixture and a seed starting mix is that the seed mix usually does not contain any fertilizer. The seed provides the necessary nutrients for the budding plant, so it does not need fertilizer. Once the plant starts to sprout leaves, you can start to add fertilizer for ongoing nutrients.

One thing to keep in mind in regards to fertilizer is that some seed /potting mixes contain just enough fertilizer that will provide seeds with sufficient nutrients to last up to 3 months or until they are grown into baby plants, while other brands may not add any nutrients. Think of it this way – a seed starting mix kickstarts the seed into accelerated growth mode.

How to Choose the Best Seed Starting Mix

Lightweight and Hydrated Mix

For your seed to grow into a healthy seedling, the best seeding mix is a lightweight and well-drained soil that has a balanced mixture of organic materials like vermiculite or perlite. The soil mix should also have excellent aeration and water retention properties so that the seed’s root can push through and have room to grow.

Some companies use an organic wetting agent to provide extra hydration like a Yucca extract, which is taken from a root vegetable to help stop the soil from drying out.

Sphagnum Peat Moss

Most seed mixes contain sphagnum peat moss, which is lightweight and highly absorbent and it helps to retain moisture for your seeds. Products that use peat moss are especially beneficial for when you are gardening in dry weather or when you forget to water your plants. The downside to using peat moss is that it can be difficult to moisten.

Perlite

Perlite looks a bit like Styrofoam, small white pieces of natural volcanic mineral that can also help to provide adequate aeration and water retention to the soilless mix. It also prevents the soil from compacting and helps it to drain faster. It can also be used to cover the seeds and help them to maintain a consistent moisture level as they germinate.

Vermiculite

Vermiculite is a naturally occurring mineral, which is found in a lot of potting mixes and can be especially helpful for planting seeds. It keeps the soil nice and moist so that the seeds or seedlings do not dry out. It can also save you from having to continually water the seeds.

Coconut Coir Fiber

Coconut coir fiber can be used as a substitute for sphagnum peat moss. It is used for a wide range of horticultural and agricultural uses. It can absorb and hold up to 8+ times its own weight in water. Many manufacturers offer their coconut coir in bricks. So you can just break off a piece when you need it and rehydrate it in a bucket of water.

Diatomaceous Earth

Some manufacturers use Diatomaceous Earth (DE) as their seed starting mix. It acts like a natural, non-toxic fertilizer that will kill any insects from affecting the germination of seeds or seedlings. DE is a naturally occurring siliceous sedimentary mineral that is made from tiny fossilized algae-like plants called diatoms. The diatoms are ground up to a fine powder that looks similar to talcum powder.

DE is composed of many minerals such as magnesium, silicon, calcium, sodium, iron, and other trace minerals: titanium, boron, manganese, copper, and zirconium. DE can also help to eliminate any harmful bacteria or toxins from attacking your seeds and plants.

Organic

Organic food or products are rising in popularity. Many people are going “green” and they want their food to be free from harmful chemical additives, synthetic fertilizers, and insecticides. Environmentally friendly products are an important choice as well.

Many companies are responding to this shift and making products that they claim are organic. Many of them are, but just because the product says it is “organic” does not mean it is certified organic. So read the fine print or contact the company to make sure that the product is properly rated as an organic product or it contains organic ingredients or materials.

PH Soil Levels

The pH level is the measurement of the acidity (“sourness”) versus the alkalinity (“sweetness”) of soil. If you live in an area that has low rainfall, your soil will be more alkaline. If there is a higher level of rainfall the soil pH levels are more acidic, which is due to the rain washing away minerals like calcium from the soil.

Plants grow best when the soil is slightly acidic between 5.5-6.5. If you live in an area that has a lot of rainfall look for a soil mix that has magnesium and calcium added to the mix, or a mix that has a pH level of 5.6-5.9.

Some manufacturers use Natural Dolomite Lime, which helps to reduce soil acidity and is a good source of magnesium and calcium, which are essential plant nutrients. DE powder can also put back some of the minerals that have been washed away by excessive rain, while also helping to stimulate seed germination.

5 Best Seed Starting Mix – Reviews

1. Black Gold 1311002 Seedling Mix

You will feel like you have struck gold when you use the Black Gold 1311002 Seedling Mix. It provides the right foundation to promote healthy root growth for seeds and newly germinated seedlings.

Black Gold is soil-less and it is listed as a certified OMRI organic product with a mix of lightweight, non-clumping, natural forming enriched organic matter that requires less watering over the long term.

This seeding product is fast-acting and within a week you will see your seeds spring to life. The mix contains 70-80% Canadian sphagnum peat moss, and a Yucca extract, an organic wetting agent that is taken from a root vegetable to help stop the soil from drying out. All of these materials will give your seeds the aeration, moisture retention they need to grow up into strong, healthy plants.

Black Gold comes in a 16-quart bag and can be used for germinating seeds indoors under fluorescent lights or in pots on your patio. The mix can be dusty when dry, so thoroughly moisten it before using it.

  • Ideal for seed and seedlings
  • Good value for money
  • Lightweight mix
  • 100% organic
  • Works quickly
  • Mix is very dry straight out of the bag

2. Espoma Seed Starter Potting Mix

Whether you are planting herbs, tomatoes, or re-potting your favorite flower, this Espoma Seed Starter Potting Mix will have your garden blooming. With a rich, premium blend of natural ingredients, it is specially formulated for seed cuttings. However, it also works well on newly planted seeds.

The Espoma mix contains sphagnum peat moss, peat humus, perlite, and it is enhanced with My-tone, a blend of mycorrhizae, which is a form of fungus that helps to promote root growth and improves moisture retention. In no time at all your seeds will grow and become strong, healthy, and vibrant plants.

The mix is available in an 8-quart bag, which has a zip-lock to keep any air or moisture out.

  • Good quality
  • Organic certified
  • Perfect for flower pots and a small herb garden
  • Good germination rate
  • Absorbs water and drains well
  • Handy zip-lock bag
  • Small bag
  • Contains a lot of debris

3. Jiffy Seed Starting Peat Pellets

Jiffy Seed Starting Peat Pellets is an ideal product for a newbie gardener or a great way to encourage your kids to develop an interest in horticulture. The pack includes 100 peat pellets which can be used to grow flowers, herbs, or vegetables.

As the pellets are made from renewable raw sphagnum peat moss, all your plants will be free from nasty chemical pesticides or genetic modifications.

Instead of lugging around heavy bags of potting soil, the Jiffy plugs offer you an easy, clean, and convenient approach to indoor or outdoor gardening. All you have to do is add water and the 42mm compressed pellets expand to 7 times their normal size. There is no need to add any soil, just your seeds.

The fine netting that holds the peat together ensures optimal aeration and water filtration and minimizes any root shock or root damage while you transplant seedlings into a larger container or garden bed. The pellets come in 2 sealed bags, so you can store the remaining pellets in a garden shed or under the kitchen sink.

  • Very good quality
  • Easy to use 100 seed starter pack is ideal for newbie gardeners or kids
  • Can be used for flowering plants, vegetables, and herbs
  • Pellets are made from renewable raw Sphagnum peat moss
  • Pellets expand up to 7 times their normal size
  • Fine netting ensures optimal aeration and water filtration and minimizes root shock or root damage
  • Sealed bags allow for easy storage
  • Some of the packets did not contain the advertised pellet size

4. Hoffman 30103 Seed Starter Soil

Hoffman has been creating high-quality gardening products for the passionate home gardener since 1934, and the Hoffman 30103 Seed Starter Soil will have your flowers and veggie patch flourishing quickly.

The soil mix contains 6 premium components such as Canadian sphagnum peat moss. All of which are specifically blended to promote superior germination of seeds. You can also use the soil for transplanting and encouraging root cuttings.

As soon as you open the bag, you are greeted with a rich garden smell and the soil has a good ph level that ranges from 5.6-5.9. The soil also has a relatively fine consistency. It absorbs water easily and allows for plenty of air circulation, which is important for seeds to become healthy and strong plants.

The soil comes in a 10-quart pack that has a handy ziplock to keep the soil safe from any moisture or air contaminants. If you would like a complete list of the ingredients in this mix, you can contact the supplier @[email protected]

  • Ideal for seeds and cuttings
  • Very good quality
  • Premium soil mix
  • High water absorption rate
  • Allows for good air circulation
  • Good seed germination
  • Zip-lock bag
  • Some seeds are slow to germinate

5. Kempf Compressed Coco Coir Block

The Kempf Compressed Coco Coir Block is the perfect seed starting medium for kickstarting the healthy growth of your vegetables and flowers. The block is made from coconut coir fiber, and as the fiber is 100% organic, biodegradable, pH neutral, mildew-resistant, bug-resistant, free from chemicals and weed seeds, it will give your plants their best chance to flourish.

Kempf uses macro and micro-nutrient-rich coconut coir pith that is environmentally friendly and is a natural, sustainable alternative to peat moss. Coconut coir is more effective at hydrating the soil and releasing life-giving nutrients and moisture to seeds and plant roots.

The coir fiber comes in a 10lbs block and when you mix it with water it expands to 17-gallons of potting mix, so a little bit goes a long way. It can be used for a wide range of gardening purposes: seed germination, hydroponics, cultivating mushrooms, worm beds, and landscaping corrosion control.

The block is easy to use, just add the required amount of warm water to the fiber. Wait 10 minutes. Stir. Sit back and relax and watch your seeds spring to life. You can also mix the coir in with other soils, but it works very well by itself.

This seed starter block can be stored for long periods, but make sure the packet is well sealed to stop mildew.

  • Affordable
  • Excellent-quality
  • 100% organic and environmentally friendly coconut coir fiber
  • Can be used with or without soil
  • Good hydration
  • Very effective
  • Versatile
  • Easy to use brick
  • May need to wash more than once due to the salt content
  • No zip-lock bag

Our Top Pick for the Best Seed Starting Mix

Our top pick for the best seed starting mix is the Jiffy Seed Starting Peat Pellets.

These seed starting pellets are the easiest way to get your indoor or outdoor planting projects done. Once you plant seeds or seedlings in the quality peat, you and your kids will love watching your budding plants turn into beautiful blooms and healthy vegetables.

Whats the best starter soil?

I was wondering whats the best fox farm soil to use for the first month? I used fox farm ocean forest from seed to finish and i had alot of nute burn for the first 3 weeks, so i wanted to try something a little less harsh for the first month and then use the ocean forest. Thanks in advance

VICTORYGARDENSHYDRO
New Member

I was wondering whats the best fox farm soil to use for the first month? I used fox farm ocean forest from seed to finish and i had alot of nute burn for the first 3 weeks, so i wanted to try something a little less harsh for the first month and then use the ocean forest. Thanks in advance

sebastopolian
Well-Known Member

I too agree, Foxfarm Light seed warrior. I also use for Sunshine Mix#4 (1 bag) with 2 Bags Light seed warrior mixed toghether. It also works really well during flowering. But that is a soilless med. Peace & happy gardening.

Uvalax
Active Member

The absolute best starter soil is straight up genereic Seed Starter soil. Miracle Gro has a Seed Starter soil, and lowes has many different brands of starter soil. Theyre all the same pretty much, and all provide perfect aeration and moisture retention, most of all its nutrient-less. Dont get all fancy wiyh expensive fox farm shit when you dont need the nutes. Fill some party cups with seed starter soil, plant your seeds and by the time youll need to transplant the plants will be able to tolerate the nutes in the new soil.

jdizzle22
Well-Known Member

I was wondering whats the best fox farm soil to use for the first month? I used fox farm ocean forest from seed to finish and i had alot of nute burn for the first 3 weeks, so i wanted to try something a little less harsh for the first month and then use the ocean forest. Thanks in advance

kingofqueen
Well-Known Member

Get u some Happy Frog man it nurtures them baby’s and is a mild soil where Ocean Forest is a hot soil . I go from rapid rooter to party cup or str to a 6in mix in 30% perlite for better drainage . No need for nutes for that month . I think with Light Warrior is very light on nutes might have to fert with it ? But for damn sure dont expect them to survive in seed starting mix from the hardware store . It’s nothing but peat and vermiculite . Nothing nutritional but yes okay for “starting seeds” .Hope this helps

That Canadian
Active Member

Just get pro-mix, it has no added nutes, but has micro organisms, lime, and is a soiless mix. Look it up, fairly cheap and use all the way through

bamfrivet
Well-Known Member

I used Miracle Grow Seed Starter in a small cube and all but 1 seed sprouted in 2 days. Maybe I just got lucky, I dunno. I replanted the last seed in the medium they will have the rest of their life and it took 6 days. Both soils were bought at Home Depot.

CSI Stickyicky
Well-Known Member

I use sunshine #4 (Soilless mix) for starting, and i cut my Ocean Forest with Sunshine #4 for vegging.

2 parts Sunshine #4
1 part Ocean Forest (Happy Frog works great too)
Mycorrhizal fungi inoculant
Earthworm castings.
Dried Kelp
Jamaican Bat Poop (In the flowering mix)

The flowering mix is the same except that i add High Phosphorus Guano, in my case, Jamaican.

That mix lightens up the Ocean Forest, and improves drainage because of all the perlite in Sunshine #4. The Myco inoculant is already in Happy Frog, but it’s not in Ocean Forest, so i add it. The Jamaican Bat Guano increases the phosphorus, because i’ve always thought that Ocean Forest just didn’t have enough Phos to finish up the buds. You’ll still need the occasional Micro-nutrient.