I was really happy with the Fort V and Fort Lite mix — I got mine at the Johnny's store, but Fedco has it too.
I mix my own and have great luck (not to mention it's cheap cheap cheap). Generally I use peat moss and vermiculute mixes in a 1 part peat 1 part vermiculite and 1 part compost. You can go without compost, but I find my seedlings have much less trouble with disease & stuff when I use compost or worm casting in the starting mix. I use the same mix for potting soil but add my own homemade mix of rock/mineral fertilizer. Here's a post I did about it: http://chiotsrun.com/?s=homemade+potting+soil
I can second the Fort V starting mix. I used it last year and it worked very well. This year I'm making my own.
This year I am making my own and using the recipe from Johnny's. It can be found under the user guide for the soil blocks. There is just something about knowing what your seeds are growing in! Good Luck 🙂
I have had great results with Vermont Compost Fort V potting mix. Unfortunately it's very expansive to buy because of shipping.
I can't imagine paying to ship soil! It does sound good to make your own. But its so easy to buy a premixed bag. Last year I bought the Scott's potting mix and it was much too heavy with lots of bark and other lumps. I picked out lumps and mixed it with vermiculite and it worked well. Previously I've used the MiracleGro mix. I'm looking for a good price on a big bag of this now.
I saw yesterday that my local garden center is stocking Burpee seed starting mix. I might try that for a few plants this year, but I haven't done the math on how much that will cost yet. I've made my own in the past and probably will again this year to compare to the Burpee soil.
I tried mixing my own seed starting mix last year and it was a disaster! The peat I got was too acidic and it really affected the seedlings. Many things germinated, but then struggled for weeks before dying. I'm going back to purchasing seed starting mix this year
On another note, the combined cost of peat, vermiculite, and perlite was quite expensive. I actually think it will be considerably cheaper to buy pre-mixed stuff this year.
That's what I'm afraid of. Its seems that mixing my own would cost more, be risky that I'll do it wrong, and takes too much time.
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