- Wednesday, July 03, 2013 Best potting soil Reviewed By: Amy (Bloomington, IN) Perfect Start potting soil is light-weight and finely milled. Unlike the potting soils on offer at my local garden center, it has no stones, no big chunks of bark. It is not a seed starting mix, but a great potting soil. - Sunday, April 28, 2013 Not good for seed starting Reviewed By: Lisa L (Plainville, CT) This mix is great for large, established plants, but terrible for seed starting. The reason is the amount of perlite (the white granules). There is more perlite than anything else and it covers the surface of the pot you fill with the mix. After the initial watering, the perlite on top forms together like a brick making it impossible for tiny seedlings to break through.
I started a lot of seeds this year. I purchased 3 bags of this "Perfect start natural potting soil" and 3 bags of "natural beginnings seed starting mix" (http://www.gardensalive.com/natural-beginnings-seed-starting-mix/p/1308/).
The seeds planted in this perfect start mix, did horrible, very low germination and those that did break the surface died shortly thereafter.
The same batch of seeds planted in the natural beginnings mix are thriving - nearly 100% germination and the seedlings are huge and healthy.
The natural beginnings mix has the same ingredients as the perfect start mix EXCEPT the natural beginnings has NO PERLITE in it so the seeds can easily germinate without issue.