Last year I came across an academic article on potting soil mixes for starting vegetable seeds called "Volume of Vermicompost-Based Potting Mix for Vegetable Transplants Determined Using Fuzzy Biomass Growth Index". Unfortunately I'm no longer a student with access to the full article (and I'm too lazy to go to the library), but fortunately the main result is in the abstract:
Paper pots of 65 cc in volume filled with a mix of 25% vermicompost, 100 cc in volume filled with a mix of 50% vermicompost, and 81 cc in volume filled with a mix of 33% vermicompost, in combination with equal parts of sand and top soil were most suitable for production of good quality transplants of tomato, eggplant, and chili pepper, respectively.Ok, so I'm not going to measure the volume of my starter pots in cubic centimeters (or follow the findings very closely), but I am going to use equal parts sand, worm castings, and potting soil which is what I used last year for starting variety of seeds including Peter Pepper and Buddha Belly. It worked fabulously for everything!
I measure out using a plastic cup, dump the ingredients in a shallow tub trug, and mix. The mix feels absolutely dreamy...
The shallow tub trug is great because it also makes filling starter pots extremely easy.
I used to work in just whatever bucket I had around, but now I'm spoiled.
So the agenda for today is to get the seeds sown and going with the aid of a heating pad and some florescent lights.