Saturday, January 5, 2013

DIY & save money Seed Starting Mix

We're all planning, buying and staying up all hours of the night trying to get our gardens going but have you ever thought about your seed starting mix? How much are you really paying, what is really in those bags?

For shear cost value I decided that I would make my own seed starting mix. a quick formula search and a run to the local hardware store I got these babies.

you'll need Peat moss (roughly $10), Vermiculite ($20), and some compost ($2-$4). The formula I ended up using was a 40%,40%,20%.

I used these tools.

Yep you're looking at it right, I have TONS of these black potted babies which I've been collecting for the past 2 years while living in Washington State. Did you know that Home Depot and Lowes have a "recycling" center for black pots and the likes? If you need some head on over and ask your friendly associate if you can have a few.

To make my mix I used 9 pot fulls (the black pot shown above) of peat moss, 8 pot fulls of vermiculite and 4 pot fulls of compost. You'll notice that this mix is very light and that's what you want when you start your seeds. The compost also gives the needed nutrients the seeds need so there is no need to fertilize or "feed" them until they have become established seedlings.

 You want your mix consistency to look like this... Make sure you also mix it very well. I've found in my mix that there are still some unmixed compost bits.

I have many different seed starting trays. Some I made myself out of paper, called paper pots...
Others I've recycled over the years (those black trays are very useful in gardening).

Add your mix to a bucket or tuperware then soak it in warm water for an hour or so. You don't want muddy mix, just mice wet mix. Then fill whatever you are using to grow your seeds in and place those babies under good grow lights.

What are you planning on planting this year? My most fun thing for me might be the Artichoke , lemongrass or the Luffas.

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