Sowing or cultivation soil is a special soil that promotes the growth of seedlings and young plants. This article tells you where you can buy good seed-soil in stores or even make it yourself.
Buy seed soil – you should pay attention to this
Seed soil can be purchased in many stores and from numerous vendors. They are available in very different qualities both in specialist shops and on the Internet or even at discounters. In view of this large selection, the question naturally arises as to which characteristics can be used to identify good seed soil. After all, not all products offer the same quality and many a hobby gardener has had to worry about a poor germination rate and/or ailing young plants because the selected substrate type did not have the required quality. So that you don’t have to get angry, we have summarized the most important selection criteria here.
The most important criteria
Sowing soil should offer seedlings and young plants optimal starting conditions. This is particularly the case when the substrate has the following properties:
- low in nutrients
- free of or low in mineral salts
- germ-free (also free of fungal spores and weed seeds)
- loose and airy
- permeable to water and air
You can first determine the quality of the seed soil by looking at the information on the packaging and then by taking a sample. The packaging provides information about the respective ingredients and the pH value of the substrate. Ideally, this should be between 5 and 6.5.
Take a sample of the substrate and feel it between your fingers. The earth should
- loose and crumbly
- and a little damp (but not wet!)
- feel good seed-soil also smells pleasant of “earth” and does not have an unpleasant or even smelly odor. In this case, unpleasant smells are always an indication of poor quality.
Where should you buy seed soil?
The manufacturer and the place of the sale are further indications of the quality of the seed soil. Basically, you should not buy “no-name” soils from the discounter, since these cheap goods are almost always of poor quality and your plants will not grow as well as desired. In addition, these soils often contain fungal spores and other germs; it is also common for weeds to suddenly grow out of them. You are actually best advised to go with the higher-priced branded products, even if all that glitters is not gold here: Just because a product is expensive does not mean it must be of good quality. Therefore, be sure to look at the list of ingredients and check the seed soil before use.
Make your own seed compost
On the other hand, you do not necessarily have to buy good seed soil, you can mix it yourself at a fraction of the price. Most of the ingredients you need can be found in your own garden.
Basically, you only need three basic materials for your self-mixed seed compost, which you mix with one-third each:
- Garden soil: The soil thrown up by moles, which usually annoys you in the form of molehills, is very suitable. Here, this loose soil, which comes from deeper layers and is therefore usually free of weed seeds, is perfect for your purposes. Alternatively, you can also remove soil from the garden, whereby you should dig about ten centimeters deep to remove it. Soil from the surface mostly contains weed seeds and other unwanted debris.
- Sand: Ordinary sand, such as that sold in hardware stores, is perfectly adequate for this purpose. However, please do not use play sand or sand suitable for ornamental bird cages, as these materials clump together very quickly when they come into contact with water and then become hard – not a good prerequisite for the root growth of young plants.
- Humus / mature compost: Although young plants initially only need a few nutrients for their growth, they cannot do without them either. Mature compost or even humus soil is the ideal supplier of nutrients, and these substances are both loose and permeable as well as being good at storing water. Bark humus is particularly suitable.
You can also add additives such as perlite, coconut fibers, wood fibers, or even cat litter to your self-mixed seed soil. All of these substances are intended to help loosen up the substrate and improve its water storage capabilities. However, they are not absolutely necessary.
Why should you use seed soil at all?
Of course, young plants also grow in conventional potting soil. However, they do not form as many roots in a nutrient-rich substrate and, above all, not as strong roots as in a nutrient-poor one: in a seed soil poor in nutrients, mineral salts, etc., the young plants are practically forced to build a strong root network in their search for “food”. to train. This will benefit you later as an adult plant because many roots ensure better supply and thus better and healthier growth.