6 Best Soil For Starting Seeds Indoors of 2024

By Harry RamosLast update: 2023-11-23

Indoor gardening is a fun and rewarding hobby, but can be tricky to get started. You’ll need the right soil if you want to start your own vegetables or flowers from seeds. In this article, we'll break down 6 of the best soil for starting seeds indoors, plus a handy buying guide so you can choose the best one for your needs.

Here are the best soil for starting seeds indoors you can buy in 2024:

  • High Germination Rate (Potting Mix): Purple Cow Organics 00023
  • Best For Hydroponics (Potting Mix): Malifea 2LBS Leca Expanded Clay Pebbles
  • Best For Cucumber Seeds (Potting Mix): Espoma SS8
  • Best For Tomato Seeds (Potting Mix): Burpee 13126
  • Easy To Use (Peat Pellets): Legigo 100 Pcs 30mm Peat Pellets Starter Pods
  • Easy To Transport (Peat Pellets): Jiffy 4N-5PR1-2CAX
6 Best Soil For Starting Seeds Indoors
High Germination Rate
Purple Cow Organics 00023
  • Potting Mix
Best For Hydroponics
Malifea 2LBS Leca Expanded Clay Pebbles
  • Potting Mix
Best For Cucumber Seeds
Espoma SS8
  • Potting Mix
Best For Tomato Seeds
Burpee 13126
  • Potting Mix
Easy To Use
Legigo 100 Pcs 30mm Peat Pellets Starter Pods
  • Peat Pellets
Easy To Transport
Jiffy 4N-5PR1-2CAX
  • Peat Pellets

High Germination Rate: Purple Cow Organics 00023

Purple Cow Organics 00023
Purple Cow Organics 00023
Pros
  • Help achieve high germination rate – contain Purple Cow Organics compost
  • Offer long-term effects – provide enough fertility for up to 45 days
  • Convenient – a 25-pound bag
Cons
  • Not ideal for making soil blocks
  • Poor water retention

Are you looking to start an indoor home garden? Look no further! The Purple Cow Organics 00023 seed germination mix is a perfect choice.

This blend of vermiculite, perlite, Sphagnum peat moss, and Purple Cow Organics compost provides everything you need to achieve the highest germination rate, with enough fertility for up to 45 days.

The superior soil amendment, with over 20 years of successful gardening, promotes healthy, vigorous seedlings with robust root systems that will thrive after transplanting.

And the lightweight 25-pound bag is ideal for small home gardens, containers, and raised beds.

Purple Cow Organics 00023 Specifications

Container size/ Dimension (peat pellet)

12 Quarts/14 x 2 x 18 inches

Primary Ingredient(s)

Sphagnum peat moss, perlite, vermiculite and Purple Cow Organics compost.

Highlight features

contain Purple Cow Organics compost

provide enough fertility for up to 45 days

a 25-pound bag

Verdict

The Purple Cow Organics 00023 is the potting mix we recommend for those who want to start seeds indoors with high germination rate.

Best For Hydroponics: Malifea 2LBS Leca Expanded Clay Pebbles

Malifea 2LBS Leca Expanded Clay Pebbles
Malifea 2LBS Leca Expanded Clay Pebbles
Pros
  • Great for hydroponics - Made from 100% natural clay
  • Easy to use – pellet shape
  • Not attract dogs – odorless formula
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Wish the packaging had a zipper

In search for a great way to get your indoor hydroponics garden started? Then, the Malifea 2LBS Leca Expanded Clay Pebbles are a safe and effective choice.

These pebbles are made of just one ingredient–natural clay, so you can easily control what is fed to your plants.

Besides, clay provides your hydroponic setup with excellent drainage and aeration that can help reduce the risk of root rot and other problems associated with overwatering. As a result, your plants can create a healthy root system.

What's more, they're super easy to use and maintain.

Malifea 2LBS Leca Expanded Clay Pebbles Specifications

Container size/ Dimension (peat pellet)

2 pounds/11.89 x 8.39 x 3.23 inches (6-18mm clay ball)

Primary Ingredient(s)

100% natural clay

Highlight features

Made from 100% natural clay

pellet shape

odorless formula

Verdict

The Malifea 2LBS Leca Expanded Clay Pebbles are a great potting mix for hydroponics setup. They’re easy to use, odorless, and storable.

Best For Cucumber Seeds: Espoma SS8

Espoma SS8
Espoma SS8
Pros
  • Ideal for cucumber seeds – contain a nutrient-rich blend of Myco-tone
  • Easy to apply and store – zippered packaging
Cons
  • A bit pricey

Give your cucumber seedlings the best start possible with the Espoma Organic Seed Starter.

This potting soil mix is made with all-natural and organic ingredients, including a nutrient-rich blend of Myco-tone (a blend of mycorrhizal), perlite, peat humus, and Sphagnum peat moss.

This helps promote robust root growth and increases nutrient uptake, so you can grow larger cucumber plants with more abundant blooms like a pro.

Espoma SS8 Specifications

Container size/ Dimension (peat pellet)

8 Quarts/8 x 5 x 5 inches

Primary Ingredient(s)

Sphagnum peat moss, peat humus, and perlite, enhanced with Myco-tone

Highlight features


Verdict

The Espoma SS8 is the best option if you need a reliable potting mix for starting cucumber seeds indoors.

Best For Tomato Seeds: Burpee 13126

Burpee 13126
Burpee 13126
Pros
  • Best for tomato seeds - recycled coconut husks
  • Safe to use - OMRI listed and certified organic
Cons
  • The smell might attract dogs

If you're growing tomatoes from seed, then you'll want to get the best possible start for your plants. The Burpee 13126 seed-starting mix is an excellent choice that won't disappoint.

It's made from recycled coconut husks and holds the perfect amount of moisture to get your tomato seeds off to a great start, while also providing excellent air circulation and drainage.

Plus, it's OMRI listed and certified organic, giving you the assurance that your tomato plants are getting the best start possible.

This quality mix is naturally disease and pathogen-resistant, so you can be sure that your tomato plants will be healthy.

And each compact coco coir brick expands into 8 quarts of seed-starting mix, so you'll have plenty of mix at hand when it's time to plant.

Burpee 13126 Specifications

Container size/ Dimension (peat pellet)

8 Quarts/7.25 x 4 x 6 inches

Primary Ingredient(s)

recycled coconut husks

Highlight features

recycled coconut husks

OMRI listed and certified organic

Verdict

Blended with eco-friendly coconut husks for excellent moisture retention, the Burpee 13126 is our favorite pick for starting tomato seeds indoors.

Easy To Use: Legigo 100 Pcs 30mm Peat Pellets Starter Pods

Legigo 100 Pcs 30mm Peat Pellets Starter Pods
Legigo 100 Pcs 30mm Peat Pellets Starter Pods
Pros
  • Easy to use – just add lukewarm water, then seeds
  • Storable – peat pellet size of 30mm
Cons
  • The mesh that keep the pellet shape is loose

If you're looking for an easy-to-use and efficient way to start your indoor plants, then these Seed Starting Pellets from Legigo are your best bet!

Simply add water and watch them expand significantly, creating the perfect size for germinating seeds.

Made of peat, which is rich in aeration and water retention, these pellets are harmless to the environment and will degrade over time. They're also small and compact, making them easy to store, and can be moved into larger pots as your plants grow.

Legigo 100 Pcs 30mm Peat Pellets Starter Pods Specifications

Container size/ Dimension (peat pellet)

100 counts/7.83 x 7.76 x 3.31 inches (30mm)

Primary Ingredient(s)

peat

Highlight features

just add lukewarm water, then seeds

peat pellet size of 30mm

Verdict

For those who want an easy-to-use and effective peat pellet product for starting seeds indoors, we suggest the Legigo 100 Pcs 30mm Peat Pellets Starter Pods

Easy To Transport: Jiffy 4N-5PR1-2CAX

Jiffy 4N-5PR1-2CAX
Jiffy 4N-5PR1-2CAX
Pros
  • Easy to transport – the low-volume packaging
  • Boost fast and even seed germination – spongy material infused with special water-retaining crystals
Cons
  • The pellets get slimy and can grow mold

Planting seeds is made easier with the Jiffy 4N-5PR1-2CAX!

The spongy material of these peat pellets is incredibly lightweight. They’re infused with special water-retaining crystals to help speed up the seed germination.

When soaked in water, each pellet expands to four times its original size, creating the perfect environment for roots to grow without any transplanting shock or root damage.

Plus, the low-volume packaging makes it easy to store and transport.

Jiffy 4N-5PR1-2CAX Specifications

Container size/ Dimension (peat pellet)

200 counts/9.6 x 7.1 x 2.4 inches (42mm)

Primary Ingredient(s)

Peat

Highlight features

the low-volume packaging

spongy material infused with special water-retaining crystals

Verdict

The Jiffy 4N-5PR1-2CAX stands out from the competition because it’s easy to transport and highly effective in boosting seed germination.

How To Choose The Best Soil For Starting Seeds Indoors?

Choosing the best soil for starting seeds indoors is an important part of the gardening process.

Here are a few factors to consider:

Different Types Of Soil

The type of soil you choose can have a big impact on the success of your seed starting. The best soil for starting seeds should have the right balance of nutrients and moisture so that seeds get the perfect environment to germinate.

A good quality potting soil or seed-starting mix will usually provide the best results. These soils contain a variety of organic matter, such as peat moss, vermiculite, and perlite, as well as some added fertilizer to promote healthy root growth.

It’s important to make sure that the potting soil you choose is free of weeds and disease, as these can easily spread to your seedlings.

In addition to potting soil, you should also consider using a soilless mix for your seed-starting project. This type of mix consists of lighter materials like vermiculite, peat moss, and perlite that help promote better drainage, oxygenation, and moisture retention.

Soilless mixes are also sterile and free from weeds and disease-causing organisms.

Ingredients

Always check the label on the soil product to make sure you are purchasing the right ingredients and nutrients for your plants.

Other Factors

Oxygenation

Soilless mixes provide better oxygenation than regular potting soil, which helps promote healthy root growth.

Drainage

Good drainage is important for indoor seedlings, so make sure the soil product you choose has good drainage properties. Perlite or vermiculite is the ingredient that helps improve soil drainage.

Safety

Avoid products with chemicals. Many commercial soil products contain chemicals that can be harmful to plants. If possible, choose an organic product or one that is certified for use in organic gardening.

Odorless Formula

If you're starting seeds indoors, you want to choose a soil product that won't attract dogs. An odorless formula is a good choice.

Ease Of Use

Choose a soil product that is easy to use, so you don't have to worry about messing up your seedlings.

Weight

Indoor seedlings are delicate, so you want a soil product that is light enough not to damage them.

Which Brands Make The Best Soil For Starting Seeds Indoors?

Purple Cow Organics

Purple Cow Organics’ soil products are well-known—especially in the environmentally conscious gardener community—for their 100% organic and sustainable formula. It’s enriched with natural minerals, worm castings, and compost to ensure healthy growth for seedlings.

Espoma

Espoma is another reliable address to buy high-quality soil for starting seeds indoors.

Their soil products are a specially formulated, premium blend of the finest natural ingredients that provide a lightweight, clean, and sterile medium free from insects, fungus, and weeds, and is moisture-retaining and well-draining.

As an added bonus, they can be used both indoors and outdoors.

Burpee

Burpee soil products are rated highly by customers. Many have praised their effectiveness and ease of use when testing soil, as well as the results they have seen from using Burpee soil products.

Additionally, the soil products contain a variety of beneficial microorganisms that can help to promote plant health.

FAQs

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

The primary difference between potting soil and seed-starting mix is the size and texture of the medium.

Potting soil typically contains some traditional garden soil, and is coarser in texture than seed-starting mix.

Seed-starting mix is finer and consists of sterile ingredients like peat moss, vermiculite, perlite, and sometimes coconut coir. It doesn’t contain any soil or fertilizer, making it ideal for starting seeds.

What 3 things do seeds need to germinate?

Seeds need three things to germinate: water, oxygen, and warmth/light.

Water helps activate enzymes responsible for breaking down the seed's stored food, allowing it to sprout and grow.

Oxygen is needed for cellular respiration and respiration is essential for a seed to start growing.

Additionally, seeds need warmth or light to trigger biochemical processes that enable them to break dormancy and begin germinating.

How do you germinate seeds quickly indoors?

To germinate seeds quickly indoors, presoak them in a shallow container filled with water for 24 hours and then place them on a heat mat. Also, ensure that the environment has adequate light, temperature, and moisture levels to optimize the germination process.

How long does it take for peat pellets to grow?

It depends on the type of plant you are growing, but generally it takes between 3-4 weeks for seeds to sprout and seedlings to develop after they are planted in peat pellets.

The seedlings will need to be given plenty of sunlight, as well as 16 hours of light from grow lights or other artificial lighting sources, and should be kept at a suitable temperature. Once the weather is warm enough, the seedlings can be transplanted into the ground.

Do you water seeds everyday?

Yes, seeds need to be watered at least once per day to keep the soil moist and ensure proper germination of the seed. This is especially important in warm climates, where you may need to water more often.

Conclusion

Starting seeds indoors can be both rewarding and a great way to go green. The key is having the right soil that will provide your seedlings with the nutrition they need to thrive.

With this list of best soil for starting seeds indoors, you now have plenty of options to choose from! Whether you opt for potting soil mix or peat pellets, we recommend doing some research into the type of plant you’re growing so that you pick out the perfect soil for it.

Good luck and happy planting!

I’m Harry Ramos, who's crazy about all things green. I’m here to share some experience in my gardening adventure and how to choose the best products for your garden. Let's dig in, get our hands dirty, and celebrate the simple, earthy pleasures of the garden together!


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