Best Seed Starting Mix

Two vital decisions must be determined while planning your garden:

  1. Which kind of vegetable or plant to grow
  2. Whether to start them from seeds or source for seedlings.

Whichever choice you make, you have to get the best seed starting mix. We all have different ways to grow plants or different types of gardens.

Some people have an ample backyard space where they can plant their veggies and flowers. Others live in the city, and they can access a small veggie patch. If you stay in an apartment where you only have a small balcony, you will have to grow your fresh veggies and colorful foliage in pots. For any option you choose to grow your plants, you need a starting mix to give the vegetables and flowers an excellent start to life.


Best Seed Starting Mix Reviews

Gardeners Supply Co

Key Features

  • It is 100% organic
  • It is weed-free and well-balanced pH
  • Each bag contains 6 quarts
  • It is tested for garden use

This is our favorite soil for starting seeds that has impressed the most experienced gardeners with more robust plants, heftier root systems, and faster growth. It is carefully balanced using natural materials that are professionally composted. The Bio-Blended compost contains many beneficial microbes and high-quality nutrients.

Why we like it

  • It supports healthy growth and enhances seed germination.
  • It is rich in nutrients so your seedlings won’t need fertilizer for more than six weeks.
  • The beneficial microbes boost your plants’ stress resilience.
  • The technology used enhances plants’ uptake of nutrients and water.

What we don’t like

  • It might not work as expected when invaded by specific fungal infestations, so you have to try other treatments.

Our Verdict

It’s an excellent blend that provides a suitable foundation for any organic garden. We recommend it for it provides enough nutrients for the period before transplant, and ensures the growing plant roots get the boost they need.

8-Quart Espoma SS8 seed starter

Key Features

  • It comes in an 8-quart bag with a zip lock to protect the mix from moisture
  • It is all-natural making it perfect for all cuttings and seedlings
  • It contains lime to ensure the soil is less acidic for plants

Epsoma SS8 is not only an excellent seed starter mix but also suitable for all cuttings and seedlings. It contains perlite, peat humus, sphagnum peat moss, and mycorrhizae blend that promotes root growth, improves water and nutrient uptake.

Why we like it

  • It promotes root growth.
  • Its high moisture retention feature works best for plants during droughts and low soil humidity.
  • It promotes faster root growth.
  • It supports rapid development and growth.

What we don’t like

  • The mix has coarse texture although it doesn’t harm soil.

Our Verdict

We recommend this seed starter mix for it has a vast number of users, and many gardeners love it. If you are looking for a starter mix for various cuttings and seedlings, this product might be a perfect choice.

Miracle-Gro 74978500

Key Features

  • It is enriched with Miracle-Gro food that feeds the plants for a maximum of 6 months
  • Its bag holds 8 quarts of seed starter, enough for two pots of 8 inches
  • It performs best when used in containers

Miracle-Gro has earned most customers’ trust. This is a top-notch quality mix for starting plants from seeds and root, leaf or stem cuttings. If you are looking for a seed starting mix for both outdoor and indoor gardens, this could be your product.

Why we like it

  • Its formulation ensures fast roots development
  • It promotes proper drainage and provides nutrients for plants to grow healthy and big
  • The seed starter is excellent when starting cuttings

What we don’t like

  • This mix doesn’t retain water meaning you have water the plants frequently

Our Verdict

This starter mix is made with natural ingredients and doesn’t affect the soil pH. We would recommend it for growing veggies, or small herbs indoors.

Jobe’s Organics 09726 Fast Start

Key Features

  • It weighs 4pounds
  • It is enriched with Jobe’s biozome to provide faster results by breaking materials down aggressively
  • It is packed in an easy to pour bag for quick application
  • The guaranteed fertilizer analysis is 4-4-2, and you should apply during planting

If you’re looking for an organic granular fertilizer without synthetic chemicals, you will love this Jobe’s Organics. It is certified USDA organic, to ensure all the used ingredients are natural and quality.

Why we like it

  • It acts fast to boost the root growth of new plantings and seeds
  • It enhances the plants’ resilience to drought, insects, and disease during growth
  • The Jobe’s Biome boosts soil conditions by increasing microorganisms’ activities for a living and healthier soil
  • Its certified USDA organic and environmentally friendly
  • It’s ideal for growing vegetables, herbs and flowering plants

What we don’t like

  • It causes fungus invasion which can kill all your plants

Our Verdict

This mix is best as a soil conditioner and creating a healthier environment for your plants. We would recommend it for its fast-acting abilities for rapid root development.

Burpee Organic Compressed Coir

Key Features

  • It is 100% biodegradable as it’s produced from plants
  • It’s OMRI listed for organic gardening
  • The compressed brick is made from renewable coconut fiber

Burpee mix is one of the best eco-friendly soil alternative mixes. It’s made of coconut coir that improves soil conditions naturally and boosts soil structure. The renewable resource is compressed into a brick but expands to 8 quarts within a few minutes after adding water.

Why we like it

  • It lasts longer in the soil for it decomposes gradually
  • It provides a quality medium for growing all types of plants
  • Its water retention abilities make it suitable for drought seasons and keep diseases at bay
  • It is the best alternative to peat, and it’s renewable
  • It promotes successful germination and root growth

What we don’t like

  • Since coconut is grown in ocean areas, this mix may have high levels of salts. You should water plants frequently to prevent the accumulation of salt residues in the soil.

Our Verdict

If using peat is hard for you, try this easy to use coconut coir mix; you will love it. Being eco-friendly makes it a perfect soil alternative mix.

Seed Starting Mix Buying Guide

Growing a flower garden or vegetable requires you to choose the right starting mix to develop your root cuttings or seeds. The various ingredients in the starter mix are vital as they influence a plant’s development rhythm and other growth aspects. Soilless mixes are made of components such as vermiculite, coconut coir fiber, perlite, and milled peat moss, and they feature a finer texture. Certain features are significant when choosing a starter mix for root cuttings and seeds. These features are what makes a seed starting mix the right one for your plants. But before we discuss those factors, let’s look at the benefits.


  • It enhances germination and growth rate – starter mix improves the soil conditions and creates a suitable environment for seed germination and root growth. It is aerated to allow seed roots to push down.
  • It is well-drained with high water absorption – well-drained soil is one of the critical factors for good germination. This helps the plants thrive through harsh conditions.
  • It is nutrients rich – most starter mixes are rich in nutrients and can feed the plants for several months with no need for fertilizers.
  • It’s organic – many people no longer want foods with chemicals or grown using fertilizers. Growing your veggies and plants using fertilizers poses you to the risks of dangerous diseases. Unlike potting soil, starting mixes are produced from natural and organic ingredients that enhance the plant’s development and growth.

What to Look for in the Best Seed Starting Mix

Here are key factors to help you pick the correct type of product.

Water Retention and Drainage

Peat moss is a common ingredient in an excellent formula. It absorbs and helps plants retain moisture. To increase moisture retention, some manufacturers add granules that expand while absorbing water. This is beneficial, especially for gardening in containers in case you fail to water the plants or during dry weather.

Also, look for a finely textured mix since it highly contributes to water retention and drainage, which is necessary for your starting mix to work. The best starter mix should have a balanced blend of organic materials like perlite or vermiculite. It should also have aeration properties for the seed’s root to push through and have enough room to grow.

100% Organic

Flowers or bushes sustained through boosting mix with powerful chemicals tend to wither after a few months. Why is that? This is because when these chemicals are no longer administered, they cause the demise of the plants as they only offer short-lasting effects.The same applies to the starting mix. The initial steps of a plant are essential, so you should create the right environment for your plant’s growth. Always check the label to pick an organic and natural starting mix.

pH Levels

Most contain lime to help regulate the soil’s pH levels. If the starter mix has high acidity, it can end up killing your plant. This is what compels most manufacturers to add lime to their formulas so that the ingredients blend won’t make your soil acidic.

Lower acidic levels help to provide suitable conditions for root cuttings and seeds to grow. Generally, seedlings perform well under pH levels between 5.5 to 6.5. When adding anything, ensure it doesn’t interfere with the whole mixture’s pH.

Coconut Coir Fiber

Coconut coir fiber is often used by many manufacturers to substitute sphagnum peat moss. It has a wide range of uses in agricultural and horticultural farming. It absorbs and holds more than eight times its weight in water. Mostly coconut coir is offered in bricks, soak you have to soak it in water to rehydrate before using it.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What is Seed Starting Mix?

It’s is a unique soil mixture designed to give seeds and root cuttings the best environment to germinate and grow into healthy seedlings. However, most people like purchasing seedlings from a local nursery, but this can be dangerous as they may have picked diseases or contaminants from other plants.

2. Is Seed Starting Mix Necessary?

Some gardeners prefer using fertile garden soil or potting soil to avoid the stress and work of transplanting. And of course, if the seeds start well in those soils no need for a starting mix. However, you are dealing with fungi or mold pressures, and you should consider a sterile soil mix.

3. What is the Difference Between Potting Soil and Seed Starting Mix?

The main difference is that the potting mix has poor drainage and coarser texture, which isn’t suitable for planting seeds while the mix has a finer texture and is well-drained. The potting mix is best for repotting plants. Also, the potting mix contains fertilizer as an additive, while the starter mix is organic and nutrient-rich.

Final Thoughts

Seed starting mix is the easiest way to carry out your gardening projects. Once the seeds are planted, they get enough nutrients and water to grow into healthy vegetables and beautiful blooms. Whether you forget to water the plants for a day or two, these starter mixes retain water to keep your plants growing, unlike the potting mixes that have less water retention abilities.

We love seed starter mix. It acts fast, supports root growth and development as well as improving plants’ resilience to drought and diseases. Choose the right soil for seedlings and watch your plants bloom and grow big.

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