Whether you are starting seedlings for a garden or just want to grow some herbs for the kitchen, the soil you use plays an important role in creating thriving plants. Using soil directly from the garden can expose seeds to a variety of bacteria and weed seeds that will inhibit growth. For best results, choose a quality potting soil mix to grow seeds.
What About Potting Soil?
There are myriad formulations of potting soil designed for use with specific plants. Potting soil, in its most basic form, contains compost, sand, peat moss and perlite. Special blends contain other additives such as lime, extra sand or peat moss and wetting agents. The four basic categories of potting soil are professional, plant specific, all purpose and premium. To determine what kind of potting soil you need, research the plants you are growing and refer to planting and soil recommendations.
Growing Seeds in Potting Soil
Since commercial potting soil is sterilized to kill bacteria and any other seeds that may be present, it is easier to use for starting seeds than soil from the garden. For best results, choose a soil-less potting mix that is designed for seed starting, such as Miracle Gro Seed Starting Potting Mix. There are also a variety of peat pellets (dehydrated potting soil discs that expand when you add water) that can save time and mess.