Gardening Quick Tips – Preparing Your Seed Starting Mix

Hello and welcome to another video with gardening for beginners this video is part of a new series called gardening quick tips They’re going to be short videos Maybe 5 or 10 minutes tops that are going to provide instructions on how to do singular specific tasks in this video We’re going to cover how I prepare my seed starter mix I know for many of us It’s a very simple process. But in this video, we’re gonna cover everything you need to know The goal here is to focus on one simple task of gardening and perfect it So while it’s helpful for the beginner, it’s tailored for the longtime gardener as well and with a new series I figured I’d get some new music to spice things up. Let’s get started!Nothing like a new intro song to get some new energy flowing right? So seed starting mix really is the first building block to getting your seeds to sprout Whether you’re using the paper towel method to germinate your seeds or you’re plopping seeds directly into soil and starting them indoors You’re gonna want some type of soil medium. I like to use Jiffy seed starter mix I’ve had good success with it. And as far as you know prepared seed starter mix, it’s really inexpensive at about five dollars a bag I’m sure that Any seed starting mix that you can get in the stores is probably going to be more than acceptable for getting things Started, you know when you’re mixing your soil but I like to use this one mainly because In my neck of the woods. It’s readily available at retail and hardware stores in town You’ll also want some type of container to put the soil in and the size of the container Really depends upon the scale at which you’re starting seeds. I use the paper towel method for a lot of my seeds So I use this container right here It’s not really that big but I have nine different varieties of seeds going right now in paper towels And on average about 2 to 5 seeds germinate per day, so I don’t need a huge container But if you’re starting a lot of seeds in seed starts seed flats or you know styrofoam or paper cups You may want to consider getting a three or a five gallon bucket, you know Especially if you’re starting them all at the same time This is going to lower the amount of time that you you know would spend having to remix Something of this size right here I found though that this container when I fill it all the way to the top I can fill up about Five of these styrofoam cups, which for me really is all I need Another thing you’ll need are the liquid ingredients to mix in with the soil I use either tap water that I’ve let sit for about 24 hours or rain water depending upon how much of that I have I also use cold-pressed neem oil So this stuff is essential if you want to avoid fungus gnats infesting the inside of your home. I use this brand It’s Theraneem Naturals Neem oil for the garden certified organic And just for the record all these products that I’m showing. I’m not getting any sponsorship from any of these I don’t want you to think I’m making any money This is just you know through trial and error, the most effective things that I’ve found and I enjoy Passing that knowledge on to y’all but this is the only brand that I’ve tried and I’ve had really good success with it I’m sure any brand that’s labeled for use in the garden is good Just make sure Azadirachta Indica or Azadirachtin is listed as the active ingredient It’s very important if it uses words like “extract” stay away from those and for the record I don’t know if I’m pronouncing either of those two phrases correctly So I’ll make sure I have them printed up on the screen somewhere And for those of you that are watching closed captioning you probably already know how it’s spelled But yeah as far as the ones they use the terms like extract when they’re talking about Azadirachtin I would recommend staying away from those I’ve tried those like as Premix sprays for example in the past and they’re just not as effective. Are they effective? Yes to a certain extent but I would find at least with the ones that I tried to use that my fungus gnat problem would come back or You know, I would actually have some mold or some sort of fungus, you know starting on the surface of the plants But when I use this stuff, I don’t seem to have either of those issues at all So why do we do this? You know Why do we premix our soil with these liquids outside of making sure that you don’t have a fungus gnat problem? You always want to pre moisten this type of soil before putting into containers If you were to just pour dry soil in a cup and add neem oil and water the liquids will collect at the top and not evenly Distribute through the container and I can give you an example right here this is the seed starter mix that I just threw in there into this little container and I’m just gonna pour some water in there and As you see right here It doesn’t mix evenly You know the liquids they’re just collecting at the top and they’re not evenly distributing through the container or the soil and What’s going to happen is you’ve got dry soil right here You’ve got this soupy mess up here what this can do you see that right there how it’s not it’s just separated right there What that can do is that can move your seeds around to where they go in different depths or in different areas which may not be the best place for them to sprout or even worse once your seed starts to sprout this soil may eventually the water may eventually Collapse down into the bottom and what that does is that pushes the soil down that can expose the root system of your plant Which can shock it which is no good. You might even have to start over Last but not least you really should use a mask When mixing this soil really when preparing any type of soil including potting mix or if you’re making your own soil from scratch This stuff right here. The seed starter mix has little dust particles that can be dangerous if inhaled Mix it in a well-ventilated area and if you’re outside stand where the wind is blowing the particles away from you, but even outside You should still wear a mask I even like to wear goggles when I’m mixing outside because the wind can be capricious at best on some days and Getting those dust particles in your eyes isn’t my idea of a good time safety first There we go So I know I’m in my greenhouse which is you know, a bit of an enclosed area But what I’ve done is I’ve opened the door already and I’ve cracked the window So there’s steady circulation of air in here, but it’s not so windy that I’m going to need goggles I’ve noticed at least when mixing seed starter mix the biggest dust problem happens when you first pour it in the container So I’m going to recycle this stuff that I just showed you There we go Yeah, that’s not too bad. And then I’m also going to add a little bit more of the Jiffy seed starting mix Nope that’s not bad at all very little but a little bit of dust not much at all But I’m still gonna keep my mask on still gonna keep my mask on most definitely now what you want to do is Pour in just a small amount of neem oil. You really don’t need that much a little bit goes a long way And that’s really all you need Now some water and again you don’t really need a lot We want the consistency of soil that is wet but isn’t dripping wet when you squeeze it in your hand That should be enough right there I finally get to get my hands dirty! So I like to mix it like this Okay Where I’ve got one my one hand squeezing it like this and then my other hand I’m turning it and I’m using my fingers To get all the pieces of soil on the sides I’ll get this a little bit closer just pretend like I’m spinning it right there so You know The reason I do this is it’s to ensure that the neem oil gets evenly mixed throughout along with the water as well You don’t want any, you know dry pieces in there Now if you are using neem oil, you’re gonna notice a faint odor from it almost like a combination of olive oil Onions and garlic sauteing some people don’t like it, but I love it And I think we’ve got it just about right, right here and as you can see It passes the hand squeezing test It’s damp and workable but it’s not dripping wet. There’s no liquid or water coming out of my hands and Now that you have it mixed this soil is ready to be packed into containers for sowing your seeds One last tip if you’re not going to use your seeds starter mix right away, or you’ve got a partial batch leftover, for example You can always put a little bit of plastic over it that’s going to help lock in the moisture to keep it damper longer So you wouldn’t have to prepare it again. So tell me what you think in the comments section below Did you learn something new? What are some of your best practices for preparing and mixing your seed starter soil? Also are there any other gardening quick tips that you’d like to see in a future video? If you did like this video, please click the like button and subscribe to our channel If you’re on a PC You can click the icon in the bottom right of this video or if you’re on a cell phone You can click the subscribe button below this video I’m also going to include a few clickable videos at the end that you may find helpful on your gardening journey Thank you for watching and happy gardening

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