Becoming a gardener takes time and dedication, and even though it is a beautiful and relaxing hobby, you really need to love plants in order to become one.

Many people pursue this hobby nowadays, but it seems like they are not always able to get the right information and find the right answers to their questions.

For that reason, we hope our guides will help you get into the world of gardening and get all the information you need in order to create a beautiful green nook.

Related: Best Seedling Heat Mat For Indoor Plants

Best Soil For Seedlings

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If you have ever thought that creating an adequate soil mix for a plant or a flower is complicated, then you have definitely never grown seedlings.

Creating the right seed starting mix takes a lot of time and dedication, and you really need to control every step several times to make sure it will go smoothly.

Seedlings seek soil that is a lot lighter than those you use for other plants, and they also need it to be composed of fine particles that will make the soil texture smoother and make it easier for roots to develop in it.

The best seed soil mix also doesn’t have any fertilizer in it, and the seeds are able to grow naturally.

One of the most important things you should know is that it should have lightweight soil but make sure it is able to retain moisture, which can usually be done with some perlite and vermiculite.

You should also be very careful while making the soil base and make sure at least 50% of it is made of peat moss or sphagnum peat moss.

Gardeners also recommend using the coconut coir because it is able to retain a lot of water but also creates enough drainage holes.

I also recommend choosing 100% organic soil because it will give you the healthiest plants, and you probably won’t struggle with any plan diseases when using it.

Controlling pH levels is also important, and I recommend keeping them anywhere between 5.5 and 6.5 for best results.

Even though the best thing is to make your own seed starting mix, there is plenty of seed starting mixes you can find in your local garden center.

These are some of the best products you can use for seed starting, and you can be sure they will provide you with amazing results in a very short period of time.

QUICK OVERVIEW: Best Soil for Seedlings

Miracle-Gro Potting Mix
  • Dimensions: 13 x 4 x 19 inches
  • Weight: 9.26 pounds
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Miracle-Gro Indoor Potting Mix
  • Non-organic
  • Feed up to 6 months
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Dr. Earth Gold Premium
  • Weight: 5.94 pounds
  • Premium organic soil
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1. Miracle-Gro Potting Mix

Even though it is not a seed starting mix, this is one of the best Miracle-Gro potting mixes, and it will definitely do a great job when it comes to growing your seedlings.

It is known to enhance the growth and color of the plant, so I recommend using it if you plan on growing some vegetables or flowers.

Specs

  • Dimensions: 13 x 4 x 19 inches
  • Weight: 9.26 pounds

What plants is it good for?

This potting mix can be used both for indoor and outdoor planting, and I recommend using it for indoor planted seedlings because it will provide them with enough nutrients.

You can keep them in indirect sunlight if you wish, but you can be sure you will be able to get amazing results even without that.

Key features

Even though it is not a seed starting mix, this is an amazing product that will definitely help you with seed starting any plant, fruits, or vegetables.

This product is based on processed forest products of all kinds, and there is, of course, a lot of organic ingredients like peat moss, perlite, vermiculite, and pine bark.

The product is known for its natural fertilizer that will boost your flower’s growth and make its color more vibrant and attractive.

You will also get a wetting agent that will secure you with good soil moisture and create enough drainage holes so the plant can get air.

This is a great option for seed starting because they will be able to develop fast and well, and you can be sure you will get the best seed quality while using it.

Since it is highly concentrated, it will be able to feed your seeds for up to 6 months, which is a great addition because it will last you for a long period of time, and you probably won’t need to use a fertilizer.

The company also claims your plant will be able to grow twice as fast than it would with regular soil or potting mix.

Unfortunately, there were plenty of bad experiences with this potting mix, and some users claim their plants were dying after just a month or two of use.

Even though there is no real explanation, it definitely has something to do with this potting mix, so it may not be a good choice for every type of seedling.

On the other hand, plenty of people are very satisfied with the product, so you definitely have to match it with your type of seeds.

It is also a very cheap potting mix, and it can be great for seed starting if you find the right combination for it.

Pros

  • Enhances the color of plants
  • Contains a natural fertilizer
  • Very cheap

Cons

  • Plenty of negative reviews

2. Miracle-Gro Indoor Potting Mix

This is also one of the products that are not a seed starting mix, but it can really help you get germinated seeds with ease.

It is a very enduring mix, and it is known to be very rich in nutrients, so you will definitely get great results when using it on your seedlings too.

Specs

  • Non-organic
  • Dimensions: 16 x 10 x 5 inches
  • Weight: 7.63 pounds
  • Feed up to 6 months

What plants is it good for?

This potting mix is made for indoor planting, and it will definitely give you the best result when used indoor with young seedlings.

However, you would make sure seedlings receive at least some type of light, whether that be natural light or an artificial one; otherwise, they won’t be able to develop well.

It really does a great job, and if you use it in combination with enough sun exposure, you will definitely get amazing results.

Key features

This Miracle Grow potting mix is actually a blend of a variety of different herbs and plants, and it is a very stimulating environment for both plants and different seedlings.

It is a non-organic potting mix containing coconut coir that will control moisture levels in the soil and help you get rid of excess water.

This product has no bark or any compost that could attract bacteria or any fungus, but you should still be very careful and control the whole process.

When using this product, you will have to water the seeds frequently, but still, be very careful so you do not overwater them.

Many different problems can occur in an overwatered environment, so you have to be careful not to overdo it.

This can create many problems for beginner gardeners, so you should be aware of problems like this before you buy this product.

It can feed your plant for up to 6 months, and some users claim it lasted them for a month or two longer.

They also claim that they have been able to see great results and that it will really work with any plant or seeds.

It is also one of the more affordable potting mixes on the market and can be sued for a variety of different things, so I encourage you to get your own sample.

Pros

  • Feeds the plant for more than 6 months
  • Nutrient-rich
  • Great growth-rate
  • Suitable for different plants

Cons

  • Not the best option for beginner gardeners
  • Needs a lot of care

3. Dr. Earth Gold Premium Potting Soil

Dr. Earth is also a very popular gardening company, and they produce a variety of different potting mixes and seed starter pellets.

All of their products are enriched with amazing soil microbes that stimulate growth and help you get healthy plants in a very short period of time.

You can also be sure that all of their products are 100% people and pet-friendly, so you can be sure that your plants will grow in a healthy environment.

Specs

  • Dimensions: 19 x 12 x 4 inches
  • Weight: 5.94 pounds
  • Made with Tru Biotic ingredients
  • Premium organic soil

What plants is it good for?

This Dr. Earth potting soil can be a great choice for indoor and outdoor planting, but I believe it would do great indoors, where your seeds will be getting little to no light.

The product is enriched with a Tru Biotic technology that stimulates growth and creates an ideal soil for your seeds, and it is also highly concentrated, guaranteeing you the best results.

Key features

A Myco Apply certified formula makes this potting soil so popular and effective with plants and seeds.

This formula is tested, and it is known for creating extremely stimulating environments for plants and being able to imitate its native soil, helping them thrive completely.

It is a very safe product, and the company claims it is 100% free for both people and pets.

The product is rich in Tru Biotic microbes with ecto and endomycorrhizal that will help stimulate your plant growth and provide it with a good draining system.

There are also plenty of regular organic ingredients on this list like perlite, peat moss, compost, mulch, alfalfa, kelp meals, vermiculite, and coarse sand.

However, this is not a sterilized soil, and soils that don’t go through this process tend to struggle with fungus and different types of bacteria, which can be quite exhausting, especially for people who don’t have too many gardening skills.

On the other hand, we have had many bad reviews regarding this product, and many people claim their plants started dying after they were enriched with this potting mix.

Many people had nothing but positive experiences, but we can’t be 100% sure that this product is as amazing as the company claims it is.

This product is also a bit more expensive than other potting mixes on the market, so you should really make sure it will be a good fit for your plant and that you will be able to get good results with it.

Pros

  • Tru Biotic microbes
  • 100% organic ingredients
  • 100% safe for people and pets

Cons

  • Not sterilized
  • More expensive than other mixes

4. Miracle-Gro Seed Starting Potting Mix

A list of potting soils without this many Miracle-Gro products is definitely not a good list, so here is another one of our faves.

In this case, we have a mix made specifically for seed starting and seed germination that will make this whole process a lot easier for you.

If you struggled to find the right potting mix recipe and imitate the seedlings’ native soil, this is definitely the right choice for you.

Specs

  • Dimensions: 17.56 x 12.87 x 7.2 inches
  • Weight: 7.13 pounds

What plants is it good for?

This mix is made specifically for growing seedlings, and it is recommended to use it for newly planted seeds, whether they are planted indoors or outdoors.

If you want to start germinating seeds as soon as possible, you should put them in this mix, add more organic ingredients and leave it somewhere in full sun for best results.

It is enriched with a chemical formula for fast development, and it will definitely affect seed germination by helping them grow in less than a month.

However, I recommend keeping only a few seeds in one pot because they will tend to grow very fast, and translating seedlings in this phase can be quite exhausting and complicated, and it can turn out to be very unsuccessful.

Key features

This seed starting mix is made for germinating different types of flowers, vegetables, and herb seeds and helping them grow a lot faster than when using a regular potting mix.

It can also help you start the plant from a simple leaf and stem or root cutting, and in general, it creates a great starting point for your new and healthy plants.

The product is enriched with special Miracle-Gro plant food that has a natural fertilizer that will stimulate the growth of your seeds and create the ideal environment for them.

It also has usual organic ingredients like worm castings, Canadian sphagnum peat moss, and coconut coir fiber to create the best potting mix for your seeds.

Not only will it promote root growth, but it also has an organic wetting agent that will provide you with perfect soil moisture and get rid of excess water.

This is also a certified organic germination mix, so I believe it is a really great and universal choice because it can start seeds of many different plants, flowers, and vegetables.

It will give the best results with young seedlings, so I recommend using it from the start, and it is also a sterile mix, so you shouldn’t have any problems with fungus and bacteria.

The mix is one of the most expensive seed mixes on the market, but it is definitely a worthy investment because it will give you very fast results, and you can use it on all types of seeds you have.

Pros

  • Enriched with Miracle-Gro plant food
  • Organic mix
  • Great moisture retention
  • Best seed mix for different types of herbs, vegetables, and fruits

Cons

  • Very expensive starting seeds mix

5. SunGro Black Gold Seedling Germination Mix

SunGro is a gardening company that has been around for many years, and even though it is not popular as Miracle-Gro or Espoma, it still has amazing products, and its Black Gold seedling mix is extremely popular among gardeners.

It can be sued for young seedlings but also newly germinated seedlings, and it is also a product of certified organic production.

Even though it is not a soil-less mix, it still has amazing capabilities, and you will wait only a few weeks to see the results.

Specs

  • Dimensions: 16.97 x 12.52 x 6.54 inches
  • Weight: 5.06 pounds
  • 100% organic and natural

What plants is it good for?

This SunGro product is great for starting seeds indoors because it will help them get enough water and nutrients at all times and make the soil surface ideal.

It is a highly concentrated mix, and its soil structure is very dense, so even if your seedlings are not exposed to too much light, they will develop well.

The product is a lot different than other seed packets, and seed starting tray mixes you can find in your local garden center, and I really believe you wouldn’t be able to replicate this at home.

Key features

The SunGro starting mix is one of the very popular mixes to get your seedlings germinated and grow healthy plants.

It is rich in kelp meal, bone meal, and even an alfalfa meal, and some weed seeds will help create a stimulating environment for your young seedlings.

This is an organic seed starting mix, and although it is highly concentrated, the company is not very open about other chemicals or ingredients that may be a part of it and the reason you get such great results when using them.

It has seed starting pellets that will do everything they can to create an ideal soil, and they will also make transplanting seedlings a lot easier.

In my opinion, this is a great started mix, and if you add some jiffy seed starter pellets, you can get even better results than you would with a fertilizer.

The seed starting process can be very complicated, especially if you are a beginner gardener, and I really recommend purchasing this one if you don’t have too much experience.

Unfortunately, some people have complained about getting no results when using this potting mix, so maybe you should do a bit of research and see whether it will fit your seedlings or not.

It may be a bit too harsh for herbs and some types of fruits, so I recommend reading through Amazon reviews before deciding to make a purchase.

Pros

  • Highly concentrated
  • Organic
  • Great for seeds grown indoors

Cons

  • Not the best option for all types of seeds
  • May harm some seeds

Things to Consider When Buying Best Soil for Seedlings


Water retention

Seedlings need an environment rich in ingredients that help them retain the moisture levels they need, and this is something that can’t always be found in regular potting soils you can buy in your garden center.

When the seedlings have enough water, they will prosper properly, and it will be easier for you to control the whole seed starting process this way.

Nutrient retention

As much as water is important in the seed starting process, retaining nutrients is too, and you really have to incorporate the ingredients that will help with this in your soil.

Organic ingredients like, for example, peat moss or sphagnum peat moss tend to hold on to nutrients, and they will be able to supply your seeds all the time with them.

For that reason, it is very important to have ingredients like this in your potting soil if you want to grow your own seed successfully.

Aeration

As we have already mentioned, well-drained soil is good soil, and your seed starting mix should be very lightweight if you want to create an environment like this.

It would be best if you were sure that you had created a starting mix that will help the seeds breathe and provide them with airflow and that there is little to no chance of mold appearing in your soil.

Density

Seeds require very dense soil, and whether you are buying a pre-made one or creating your own at home, this is something you should test because it can really determine the future of your seeds.

However, make sure it doesn’t get too hard because it can cause problems with nutrient absorption, and you will need to make a new seed starting mix and go through the whole process from the beginning.

Related: Best Grow Lights for Seedlings

FAQ


What is the best soil for seedlings?

Seedlings prefer very lightweight potting mixes that will help them retain moisture and get enough air at the same time.

They love an organic environment, so I recommend using a rich soil mix in perlite, vermiculite, sphagnum, or peat moss if you want to get the best results.

Make sure you have enough ingredients that will help create the balance between aeration and good moisture levels in the soil.

What is the difference between potting soil and seed starting mix?

Seed starting mixes are a lot different in comparison to potting soils because they are very lightweight, and overall their texture is pretty sleek and simple.

Potting soils tend to have a coarser texture, and they usually have some fertilizer included, whether it be an organic or natural one, which makes them too harsh for seedlings.

However, you may grow some seedlings with it, but you will definitely need to provide them with a lot more care and attention if you want to make sure you have good seed starting soil.

What’s the best seed starting mix?

There are hundreds of great seed starting mixes, and you can choose the one that fits your conditions and seeds the best.

You can choose between organic seed starting mixes, soilless seed starting mixes, and plenty of other mix recipes you can do by yourself at home.

The market is full of different types of seed starting mixes, and there is no way you won’t be able to find the one that works the best for you.

How do you prepare the soil for seedlings?

When preparing the soil for your seedlings, the most important thing is that it has to be rich in organic ingredients, like peat moss, perlite, vermiculite, or compost.

You should also use some mulch and cover crops that will improve the soil texture and prepare the seedlings for planting by giving them some nutrients.

When you use a lot of organic ingredients for your garden soil or seed starting mix, you will basically eliminate the need for fertilizer of any kind.

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