Using the right type of soil for winter sowing is extremely important. So many newbies make the mistake of using the wrong kind, and end up with nothing after all their hard work. It’s a common mistake, but it’s an easy one to avoid. So, in this post, I am going to show you exactly which type to use (and which ones to avoid).
It’s always super important to use the right type of soil, especially when it comes to winter sowing seeds. If you don’t, then you may end up with lots of heartache and wasted effort.
Using the wrong type of winter sowing soil means the seeds may not grow, or your seedlings could suffer. But don’t worry, choosing the best soil for winter sowing isn’t difficult once you know what to look for.
The Best Soil For Winter Sowing
The soil will compact over the long winter months. So, if you use the wrong type, it will likely turn into a hard block by spring, making it impossible for the seeds to grow.
So, when you go shopping, look for a light, fluffy mix that holds moisture, but also has good drainage. It should be made out of organic materials, and shouldn’t contain any chemical fertilizers.
Here are some things to look for in a good soil for winter sowing…
- Light and fluffy soil mix
- Retains moisture, but also drains fast
- Sterile (meaning it comes in a bag, rather than from the ground)
- Contains rich, organic materials that will feed the seedlings (like peat moss or coco coir, for example)
Soils To AVOID
In addition to showing you the best types of soil for winter sowing, I also wanted tell you which ones to avoid (and why).
- Cheap dirt – With winter sowing, soil will be your biggest expense. But don’t be tempted to cut costs here. Avoid cheap dirt (like dollar store varieties, top soil, or fill dirt). It’s too heavy, and doesn’t contain any nutrients to feed the seedlings. Plus cheap dirt is usually full of weed seeds.
- Garden soil – Never, never use soil from your garden. Garden soil is filled with bugs, pathogens, fungi, and other things that are good for the garden, but can be disastrous in containers. Plus, garden soil will compact in the containers, which will inhibit seed germination.
- Homemade compost – I don’t know about you, but my compost bin is frozen solid and buried by snow through the winter. But incase yours isn’t, it’s best not to use homemade compost anyway. Unless you’re sure it got hot enough to kill all the pathogens, bugs, and weed seeds.
- Succulent or cactus potting soil – Just in case you have some of this lying around, don’t be tempted to use it as winter sowing soil. It’s way too porous, and doesn’t retain moisture well enough. Save it for your desert plants.
- Used potting soil – It’s also important to always use fresh, sterile potting soil, and never attempt to reuse it. So, once you plant your seedlings into the garden, dump any leftover soil into the compost bin. Don’t try to save and reuse it.
Choosing the best soil for winter sowing is easy once you know what to look for, and what to avoid. Just remember, winter sowing soil will be your biggest expense. But it’s worth it in order to grow strong, healthy seedlings.
Otherwise, if you’re ready to take it to the next level, then you should take the Seed Starting Course. This fun and self-paced online course will teach you how to grow any type of seed that you want! Enroll and get started today!
More Posts About Winter Sowing
- Winter Sowing Containers: What Works & What Doesn’t
- How To Choose The Best Seeds For Winter Sowing
- When To Start Winter Sowing Your Seeds
- Winter Sowing Questions & Answers (FAQs)
Share your favorite type of soil for winter sowing in the comments below.