So you want to start a garden and you’re ready to start some seeds indoors? Seed starting season is upon us, and if you’ve never started your own seeds, there are some things your going to need to be successful. I don’t want to scare you with these items, because you can literally start seeds with a paper towel and a ziplock bag; but if you want to make this a long term hobby there are certain things you are going to want to have at your disposal to make life easier.
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Start Seeds Indoors! Here’s What You Need!
If you want to start seeds indoors, you are going to first need to get some seeds. Usually starting in late January, you will start to see seed kiosks popping up at your local big box stores, grocery stores, and greenhouses. You can also find a ton of seeds online if you prefer to not buy from your local stores.
Unsure of where to shop online? Check out this post with the 12 best places to buy seeds online.
When gardening for the first time, I recommend starting with what you actually like to eat; don’t get caught up buying tons of vegetable seeds or flowers you don’t like. It’s easy to get overwhelmed in the garden, so pace yourself and start with a few veggies and flowers you love.
Once you know what you want to grow and have your seeds, you need to think about what you’re going to plant them in. You can save money and use milk cartons, yogurt cups, etc; or you can buy seed starting trays. There are so many options when it comes to seed starting pots. Dollar stores often carry plastic pots for plants, and you get about 6 for $1.25; big box stores may charge a little more, or you can shop online.
Next up is soil. You can use regular potting mix, but when you use seed starting soil you will have a higher success rate with your seedlings. Seed starting mix is sterile, which means no bacteria to infect your seedlings and cause damping off disease.
You need light for your seedlings; of course you can put them in a sunny window to grow, but in my experience this makes for leggy and stretched seedlings. What works best is overhead lighting. So when starting seeds indoors, grow lights work best if you don’t have a greenhouse. There are so many options for grow lights, so choose what works best for your setup.
Seed Starting Helpful Extras
You’ve got the basics down; now let me show you some helpful extras. I promise you these are so handy and you will want to add them to your seed starting set up.
Drip trays are the only way you will survive seed starting season. Seedlings need to be kept moist so drip trays come in handy so that you can water your seedlings in place.
Using a watering can with a long spout is best when it comes to watering your seedlings or filling trays and bottom watering. It makes for less mess.
Shelving comes in so handy. You will need a place to set up your seed trays and hang up your lights above your seedlings. These shelves are perfect.
There are some seeds that need heat to germinate and usually a warm room will suffice, but adding heat will speed up the germination process.
Starting seeds indoors is a rewarding experience, and it’ll save you money in the long run. Buying everything up front can be costly so DIY, and shopping sales and clearance will be your best friend when you first start out. If you’re a first time gardener or indoor seed starter, take it slow. Buy the essentials, seed starting soil, pots and a grow light. It can be overwhelming the first year but hang in there and you will be rewarded when your plants begin to flower and produce food for you!