Technically, no, seed starting mix is not necessary. However, plants will be eternally grateful if they get it. Seed starting mixes are designed to provide the perfect growing environment for seeds. Just using potting soil
Potting on (or potting up) is the act of moving the plant, with its root ball, to a larger pot.
Not everyone needs seed starting mixes, some gardeners do very well starting their seeds in potting soil or rich garden soil. This often saves the work and stress of transplanting, but if you need sterile soil because of mold or fungi pressures, then seed starting mixes will really help.
What is the difference between seed starting mix and potting soil?
The term “seed starting mix” or “seed starting soil” is used interchangeably. When compared to potting soil, seed starting mix is poor in nutrients, as low as possible (or have controlled nutrients for specific plants). The other difference is that seed soil is sterilized and have a very fine substrate.
The mix also contains an all-natural fertilizer to encourage growth and help produce disease-resistant plants. Coast of Maine seed starter is a lightweight, well-draining growing medium that won't pack down, so tender seedling roots can develop. It retains moisture to help prevent roots from drying out.
The factors that influence the best time for potting up seedlings include their container size, the type of plant, when they're intended to be planted outside, and how vigorously they are growing. There is no set rule like, “You must pot up within 33 days of germination”…
Growing from seeds indoors is one way of starting your garden. Another option is to tuck seeds directly into soil outdoors. Planting seeds this way is called direct sowing, and it is an easy process that yields great results.
You'll get better growth and happier seedlings with a soil-less mix. You can buy seed-starting mix pre-made in bags, or you can make your own so you control the ingredients, important if you're want to keep your gardening organic. You can also save money by making your own mix.
For long-term container plants, include loam or good quality garden soil in your potting mix. Combine one part loam (or screened garden soil) with one part garden compost, and add some slow-release organic fertilizer. This mix would be suitable for many containerized fruit trees, bushes and perennial vegetables.
Loam or good quality garden soil offers this. Simply combine one part loam – or screened or sieved garden soil – with one part garden compost then add some slow-release organic fertilizer. And that's it – a versatile potting soil suitable for many containerized fruit trees, bushes and perennial vegetables.
Instead, they are a soilless mix containing materials such as peat moss, perlite, vermiculite, compost, pulverized limestone, or fine sand. This ordinary potting mix, the same type used for houseplants, is fine for starting many seeds.
If you want to improve the chances of your grass seed growing into a great lawn, you can begin by seeding the lawn with potting soil. It both holds in moisture more effectively than standard yard soil and it also contains fertilizer to help in the seeds germination.
Roots grow and develop faster in this light, porous mixture composed of vermiculite and pulverized peat moss. Ideal for seed germination, cutting propagation and transplanting. Weed free. Needs no sterilization.
If you're looking for an easy, beginner-friendly and mess-free way to start your seedlings indoors, I recommend looking into using peat pellets. Peat pellets are little disks of dehydrated peat that are held together by a biodegradable fine mesh netting.
Planting into the wrong soil: Seeds need consistent moisture to germinate, but the soil should never be wet or soggy. If the soil is too wet, seeds can rot and disappear. Therefore, use a fast-draining seed starting mixture that allows water to move through quickly.
Until seeds have sprouted, keep the seed bed moist, never allowing it to dry out. Water with a fine-spray hose nozzle or watering can which will provide a fine misty spray and not wash away the soil. Water often enough (usually about once a day) so that the soil surface never dries out, but remains constantly moist.
Is it better to plant seeds in the morning or evening?
Seeds need warmth to germinate--temperatures between 65 and 75 degrees--and sunlight works best. Seeds thrive on about 12 to 16 hours of sun each day. Only morning planting will allow seeds immediate substantial sunlight exposure.
Most seeds germinate best under dark conditions and might even be inhibited by light (e.g., Phacelia and Allium spp.). However, some species (e.g., Begonia, Primula, Coleus) need light to germinate (Miles and Brown 2007). Don't confuse seed light requirements with what seedlings need. All seedlings require sunlight.
Seeds are sensitive to overwatering, which can dislodge seedlings. But too little water can also damage them. One of the best plastic wrap garden ideas is to stretch plastic wrap over the surface of the seed planting pot to maintain high moisture.
If it's mildly alkaline (7.5 to 8.0), a little peat moss, which is naturally acidic, should correct it. Soil that is very alkaline (more than 8.0), which is more likely to exist in dry, hot climates, needs sulfur. All soil could use a little fertilizer boost to nourish the seeds.
Because grass seed is fairly easy to germinate, grass will technically start to grow in potting soil if adequately watered. The problem is how long it will (or won't) live. Potting soil isn't actually dirt. It has perlite, peat, sphagnum moss, and vermiculite added to ensure proper drainage.
You can add a thin layer of organic matter to help the seed to germinate, but do not cover it over with top soil. 'Never put topsoil over newly planted grass seed,' says Yamaguchi. 'This won't provide healthy growing conditions – it will actually prevent the seedlings from sprouting by essentially suffocating them.