Try a tonic for your soil
Once upon a time - or at least until the 1930s - the making of a successful plant compost was a secret held by the head gardener. Soil on its own is not very suitable for potting because it tends to cake in the pot, blocking water and air filtering down to the roots. Also, soil contains root-rotting fungi which is especially damaging to seedlings. Old-time gardeners used a range of materials to add to soil, such as well-rotted manure, leaf mould, rotted straw and garden compost. But there was great variation, hit-or-miss results and occasional crop failure.