Starting Seeds Indoors

Growing your own food or potted plants indoors is easier than you think! Starting herbs and vegetables, or even flowers from seeds is a great way to get a head start on the outdoor gardening season, and it will save you money too! 


You can recycle all sorts of things into planters for starting seeds. I often use washed out yogurt containers, old Starbucks iced coffee cups (the lids are great to use with it as well), take out containers, or butter tubs. 

There are also lots of options for seed starting trays at your local garden store, which are easier to move and can be a space saver in some cases, but they are by no means necessary to have. 


A good seed starting mix to plant your seeds in is a must! It has a different consistency than soil, allowing for more airflow and better drainage which helps prevent mildew or the dreaded "damping off". These seed starting mixes will also have the proper nutrients and P.H. 

My favorite is Jiffy Natural and Organic Seed Starting Mix. 

It can be found here in case your local garden shop doesn't have it.


I've had great success with this mix. A little goes a long way since you will be starting your seeds in small containers. You don't want to pack it in tightly, but loosely fill your container. 

You can either pre-moisten a batch of the starter mix in a bucket and scoop it into your little pots, which is what I prefer to help keep it from getting too soggy, or you can put it into your containers and then moisten the mix. Try not to get it too soggy because then you are more likely to get mold. 

If you have kids, this can be a very fun activity for them to help with. Let them put the mix into a bucket or bin, add a little water and mix it with their hands. You can have them wear garden gloves if you are worried about the messiness. 

Once you've got your mix into containers, plant your seeds as the package instructs. The seeds don't need light until they sprout up above the dirt, but they do need warmth so keep them in temperatures of at least 70 degrees. You can use a heat mat underneath, but this is also a thing I've had good luck without. You can still start seeds without a heat mat. 

I recommend using a spray bottle to keep the mix moist. You don't want to wash away the seeds or seedlings. If you use a watering can or bottle, you risk pouring too much water over them. Once the seedlings grow a couple of leaves, then you should water more and move past the spray bottle to bigger things. 

Light is very important for young seedlings as soon as they emerge. You may need to get some grow lights in order to ensure that your plants get at least 6 hours of "sun" per day. You can find some pretty reasonably priced grow lights, and there are shapes and sizes for all kinds of spaces. 

Once your plants have grown several leaves, they will be ready to transplant to a larger pot and into "regular" potting soil. 

If you are new to growing your own herbs and veggies from seeds, basil is great to start with. It's very easy and germinates quickly. It also transplants well when you want to move it, and not all plants do. Tomatoes are another easy one, and beans. 


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