Seedling Mix–This Year’s Recipe

I finally got myself down in the basement last night to blend my seed-starting mix. I made a half-batch to start with, since most of the seedlings I start this early are the ones that will stay longest in their pots/flats. So, I decided to do a heavy-fertility batch using most of the worm castings. I will no doubt need to make at least one more batch to pot-on (transplant to bigger pots) my tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant, but when I mix that one, I can just use the standard recipe without castings and use the seaweed/fish emulsion in the watering (by that time, I may be able to water them outside during warm days, and the smell won’t be as much of a problem).

The Recipe

8 gallons peat moss

1 1/4 gallons sand

1 gallon perlite

1 gallon vermiculite

1/3 cup horticultural lime

5 lbs. worm castings

I had purchased 3-2lb. bags of the castings from Territorial Seed–the extra pound will go to my houseplants. My son hung out with me while I made the mix, but after I started adding the worm poop, he lost interest in sinking his hands in and helping me mix it. Slight issue with the hand-mixing if you have delicate hands–the perlite and sand tend to make it a little scratchy and the slightly moist lime can burn a little, so you end up with red hands (I wasn’t going to let my son help after I added the lime).

I just wash really well with scrubby soap and the nail brush and apply thick lotion when I’m done, but those with tender paws and/or manicured hands may want to wear gloves. I’ve never had the desire to be a hand model myself, and wearing gloves seems a bit like using a condom–a good protection if you need it, but not as pleasant as going bare.

Anyhow, it’s looking good for getting the leeks in within the next couple of days–I brushed out the remaining soil from the light shelf trays and they are sitting in a bleach solution in my bathtub. I’ll drain and wipe them down and let them air-dry completely before replacing them on the light shelf, and then I’ll be set for planting!


One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Cecily Schneider on February 27, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    thank you for sharing! i’m tired of searching all over town for seedling mix

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