Soil recipe for seed starts

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Andrew
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The very best time to get biology to interface with a plant is when it germinates. The conventional wisdom is your seed start mix should be sterile. This is not so for the beyond organic regenerative grower! A good seed start mix contains microbes, and microbe food. We want a diverse set of microbes so that the plant can select who it wants to work with, and for this reason you want an aged vermicompost (12+ months for best results). Vermicompost, vermicast and worm castings are all the same thing and can be used interchangeably. They are the result of composting with worms and are loaded with microbes, enzymes and growth hormones.

I recommend creating your own or purchasing a living soil mix where possible. We sell a product called "Living Soil 1.0" in our store which has been specially formulated for this (see end of post). Although our recipe has quite a few ingredients, you can have success with a simple recipe yourself:

Buy a bag of sterile potting mix. Lets say its 1 cubic foot (28L). To this bag add...

- 3-6L of high quality vermicompost (worm castings) - this provides our microbes, improves germination + water retention
- 30g of SEA-90 - water soluble trace elements and minerals
- 1/2 cup of rock dust / green sand / azomite - minerals
- 1 tablespoon of dolomite lime or baked/crushed eggshells + pinch of epsom salt - calcium + mag to balance pH and provide nutrients

optional but highly recommended:

- 1.5L of bio-char - this provides a home for microbes, adsorbs heavy metals, improves soil porosity + water retention

Blend this together and moisten appropriately (squeeze in hand and if water readily drips out you've added too much water), you want one or two tiny drops to appear when you squeeze hard, but not flowing drips.

TFSW LS 1.0: https://terrafloraorganics.com/shop/ols ... ng-soil-10
TFSW biodynamic vermicompost: https://terrafloraorganics.com/shop/ols ... m-castings
CHAR+ biochar: https://terrafloraorganics.com/shop/ols ... cubic-foot
angelinab
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THANK YOU for this. Just the info I've been looking for. Is it crucial that the vermicompost be 12 mos old? If so, very curious as to the reason why.
Serafina
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Thank you for this recipe, I am looking forward to trying it!
Is there a bag of potting mix you can recommend starting with? Is it ok to use a bag of compost or soil from the garden? I’m also curious as to weather vermicompost needs to be aged and what is the best way to store it?
Lindsaywilkins6
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Thanks Andrew. Do you mean a sterile seed starting mix or a general potting soil? TIA! Hoping to improve my starts - I wasn’t very happy with the promix seed starting mix - lots of stalled plants. Tried to get them going with added worm castings but I know my starts could be faster growing.
yvonne
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Thank you Andrew! How do you recommend aging the vermicompost as our Hungry Bin is bursting?
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Andrew
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yvonne wrote: Wed 20-Jul-2022, 20:51 Thank you Andrew! How do you recommend aging the vermicompost as our Hungry Bin is bursting?
Yes, a storage tote with some holes drilled in the top is helpful. Keep it slightly moist by misting it every few weeks to keep it as active as possible (it goes dormant as it dries out).
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