A Beginner’s Guide to Starting Seeds Indoors


flowersNow is the time to start your seeds indoors, generally 4-8 weeks before the last frost date. Growing plants from seeds is inexpensive and gives gardeners more variety to choose from. There is also a sense of accomplishment and joy that comes from starting from scratch.  This would be a fun little project to do with your kids during their spring break.

It’s not as complicated as some people may think. Here is a beginner’s guide to starting seeds indoors:

Seed Choice

  • Seeds can be purchased from your local garden center and seed catalogues
  • The newest hybrids, rare and unusual seeds, and certified organic seeds will be more expensive than average seeds
  • For the best results, start with quality seeds (ones with a high germination rate)
  • Look for a date stamp. Fresh seeds will be more viable than seeds that have a been sitting on the shelf for a long time; so as such, don’t buy more seeds than you will use in 2 or 3 years
  • Annuals are easier to grow than perennials
  • These seeds are best for beginner gardeners: zinnia, calendula, marigold, sunflower

Soil

  • The quality of the soil is just as important; use lightweight, porous and well-drained soil.
  • Use sterilized soil to reduce the growth of weeds; garden loam should be heated in the oven to kill any weed seeds
  • Or consider using a soil-less mix developed specifically for starting seeds; they are usually a mixture of peat moss, vermiculite and perlite

Planting Tray

  • Just about any small container can be used as a planting tray, as long as it is clean and has a drainage hole at the bottom
  • It’s best to use divided containers to keep roots from getting tangled or injured when transplanting to the garden bed
  • Sterilize containers with a mixture of bleach or other disinfectant to prevent diseases

Sowing Seeds

  • Sow seeds by following the seed packet directions for timing, lighting requirements, sowing depth, and temperatures.
  • If you are growing a variety of seeds, it would be helpful to use plant markers for identification
  • If you are using older seeds with lower rates of germination, sow at least 2-3 seeds per container
  • Be sure to water the soil thoroughly

Ideal Growth Conditions

  • the best spot for the seedlings is one that is warm, free from drafts and excess heat, and has plenty of light
  • artificial lights or grow lights are recommended, since windowsills don’t provide sufficient light
  • the germination process can be sped up with the help of heating mats underneath the trays
  • keep soil moist, but not soggy; misting with a spray bottle is recommended
  • seedlings don’t need fertilizer until several sets of leaves start to appear

Other tips:

  • seeds should be hardened off before transplanting them outdoors. Start moving them outdoors to a shady spot during the day and bringing them back in at night. Gradually increase the hours of sunlight in day.

About Connor Lowry

I love flowers! I enjoy writing about them as well as gardening. Mostly I love finding new and unique flower gardening ideas I encourage you to post regularly on this blog, and send in guest blogs or ideas for new blogs as well. New and exciting blogs are always welcome I intend to post a lot of interesting facts and fun stuff about flowers, as well as info on many varieties of flowers.
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4 Responses to A Beginner’s Guide to Starting Seeds Indoors

  1. Pingback: Spring time gardening | Spunky Wayfarer knits and bakes

  2. Pingback: 8 Eco-Friendly Container Ideas for Starting Seeds Indoors | Grower Direct Fresh Cut Flowers Presents…

  3. Pingback: Give us a break! | More in Sunshine than Shade

  4. thanks for the ping :-}

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