For many years, we strongly advocated that people use what is called seedling mix, instead of potting soil, for actually starting your seeds in. There were really good reasons for this guidance, the biggest one being that seedling mixes would be sterile. This helps the gardener not have to deal with situations like fungus, moss and other unexpected growth in your soil, which can cause trouble with germination. This undesired competition is usually fine for somewhat larger seedlings, but can present difficulty for the germinating seed trying to establish their place in the world.
It’s probably not well known, but a lot of commercially available potting soil mixes are either not sterilized or inadequately sterilized. Major brands that most of us would think we can trust!
Long story short, the supply chain issues of years past forced us to try a different way. We started using our trusted Pro-Mix potting soil in our actual germination process. If you don’t know, Pro-Mix is one of the higher-end potting soils out there, it’s very high quality stuff! (And often has a price tag that shows it, unfortunately!) We’ve found it fully adequate for starting seeds in and have had very few issues. It has worked well enough that this now our normal and recommended position. We would not toss our recommendation behind just any potting soil brand or type out there, but Pro-Mix is one that we do back and recommend.
We do like that this highly simplifies our early season soil purchases. If you’re looking for a one-size-fits-all germination and potting soil, our advice will set you up right. If you’re wondering what we use here at Frosty Garden for our potting soil, this is 100% where we are at based on many years of experimentation!