this post is about making organic seed starting mix out of composted garden soil and peat moss for a cheaper, more efficient, and healthier option to getting your seeds poppin’!
It’s time!!! Those garden dreams are ready to be put into action – starting with indoor seed starts….which need seed starting mix!
why start seeds indoors?
Not all plants are equal, they require different climates to grow and thrive and produce fruit. Starting seeds indoors lets gardeners cheat the climate by getting plants to a point of establishment in the cooler months prior to peak growing season, then transplanting them as soon as the first frost passes.
Otherwise, one who may plant tomatoes on the first of May might only get one month of harvest time before the first frost of fall! Starting indoors extends the growing season big time for most.
do you need lots of fancy equipment to do indoor starts?
Maybe! You will need these things
- solid bottom containers to set seed starting pots in (cookie sheet, plastic tray, etc.
- seed starting pots (I use organic peat pots)
- tray covers (I use saran wrap)
- light – if you don’t have lots of south facing windows, you’ll need grow lights)
- starting mix – that’s why you’re here! This mix is cheaper and I think better for the plants
If you have a greenhouse or set one up, that’s great. Then you will not need lights and if it’s heated, you can start grow your seedlings in there start to finish!
I can’t decide if I want a full on conservatory or a little walpini for our off-season growing needs. I’m thinking, this year it would be best to set something up makeshift so I have time to think and plan on what I want long term.
If you’re looking for ideas, I pin non-stop on my Homesteading Goals board!
But for now, my setup is as makeshift as it gets. Saran wrapped trays in a windowsill. And it works great!! Anything extra is just for the gardeners’ joy and efficiency.
which seeds need to be started indoors?
Ok, so I just did a video and post on this! But, it’s for Zone 7, where I live. So if you’re in a comparable growing zone, check it out and get some ideas. Otherwise, this is a really good resource for planting times.
Organic Seed Starting Mix Recipe
Ok! On to the recipe. Its just that simple, I had to jazz up the post a bit before typing it.
- Dig up some compost amended soil out of your garden bed. Check out my insta for how I do this the laziest way possible by letting my chickens happily work away.
- Fill a big oven safe container a little over half full with your composted soil
- Bake it in the oven at 350F for 30 minutes. (gardeners everywhere go nuts for my lack of technicality, temp measurement, and precise timing) This is to kill bad stuff.
- Add 1 part organic peat moss to 4 parts baked composted soil.
- Mix thoroughly with your hands removing any rocks or big clay-ey pieces.
- When you have a good, even consistency – you’re mix is ready to go! Add it to peat pots or other seed starting compartments and start sowing. Check out my video below to see my seed starting mix method and setup.
One important note on gardening…and life
You guys. There are so many great people out there sharing their advice, experience, and ideas. And most of them are pretty good. However, you’re going to find that every person recommends something a little different.
Don’t stress about this. Find someone (or a few sources) you trust, learn form them, and make adjustments as you go.
Like in life, not everything you read, see, or hear is going to resonate or work best for you. So take what you like, and leave what you don’t! Because before you know it, you’ll have your very own unique way- tried and true to you. I think, that’s what most special about life. It is made just for you.
Extra thoughts while blogging…
When I was an atheist coming to question Christ and God, I needed (incredibly nerdy) visuals to come to believe. I used to frequently imagine God as a power source, and humans as living a power grid. Sure, we can tie in to other humans’ energy and feel and look like we are doing ok. But the second that person shorts (falls short of expectations, disappoints, hurts us), our energy is cut off right along with them…and no person is perfect, so it’s bound to happen. To truly live, we must connect directly to the source. He will never short. Ever. Gardening – is just one thing that strengthens my connection. What about you??
watch how I make this ridiculously simple seed starting mix with our composted garden soil
Shop this post
Organic Peat Moss on Amazon Prime for seed starting mix