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Make Your Own Soil Mix for Seed Starting and Containers

If you have a decent sized garden, or if you grow a lot in containers, it is easy to spend a lot of money on soil mix. Soil straight from the ground is not suitable starting seeds or potted plants, but you can easily make your own soil mix for seed starting and containers. Most commercial soil mixes are full of chemical fertilizer or are really expensive -- often they are both. Save money and keep your garden organic by making your own.


You will need a large container (a large storage bin or wheel barrow will work) to combine these three items:

  • 40% soil
  • 40% compost
  • 20% vermiculite
Just eyeball it. Add equal parts soil and compost, then about half that amount of vermiculite, until you get nice, loose, crumbly soil. You can certainly do equal parts of all 3 ingredients, but vermiculite is pricey so I add less with very good results. 


  • Perlite can replace with vermiculite if it isn't available.
  • You CAN use soil from your garden for the soil portion of this recipe. If you live in an area with heavy clay soil you might want to play with the percentages to make sure you have light, loamy soil for young seedlings. 
  • If you plan to sell plants using this soil mixture you MUST use commercial soil, not soil from your lawn, according to Arkansas law
  • This soil recipe is perfect for using in my newspaper pots (no special tools needed!).
  • While I don't like mushroom compost for use in containers, I do sometimes use it when starting seeds. 
It is cheap and easy to make your own soil mix for seed starting and containers. Keep a container of this mixture on-hand so you are always ready to potup houseplants or start seeds.

Are you ready to start seeds for spring planting?



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The Restoration Garden by Tiffany Selvey is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
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