Starting seeds indoors can be a fun way to garden while the weather is still cold and dreary. If you are a beginner, skip this step and just buy your plants!
- Your garden plan
- Potting soil
- Labels and permanent marker
- Storage containers with lids
- Grow lights
- Heat lamp
- Timer that turns lights on and off
Be sure your pots and potting soil are sterilized so you don’t spread disease to your new plants.
Refer to your garden plan to determine how many plants I you need to start. I’ve had great success with starting seeds, so I plant one extra of every variety, just in case a plant dies.
Put some potting soil in the bucket and add water until it is moist, but not sopping wet. When you grab a handful of soil and squeeze it should stick together, but not be dripping. Fill each pot with soil, mounding it above the rim. This maximizes airflow and reduces mold growth.
Poke a hole in the middle of each pot with your pencil, and drop in 2-3 seeds. Cover up the hole and be sure to label it!
Place your pots in a storage container and cover with the lid. Place under grow lights with the lid on until the plants germinate.
After the seeds germinate, remove the lid keep them 1 or 2 inches under the grow lights. After a couple of weeks, thin down to just one plant. Hint: taller is not better. When you have a choice, keep the shortest plant.
Direct a soft fan at the plants to simulate wind and provide resistance. The plants will grow healthier this way. Water regularly from the bottom. If you want to fertilize, wait a month or so, and then follow up every 2-3 weeks.