Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Tips for Successful Indoor Seed Starting.

My maiden post is going to be on one of my favorite winter/early spring chores - Indoor Seed Starting.  I start seeds for a couple of reasons, the first one is to beat cabin fever that occurs in late winter early spring before it is warm enough to work outside.  Another reason is cost.  It is cheaper in the long run to buy seeds and soil and start your own than it is to buy those 6 packs at the store.  So here is a pick of my setup: 
Indoor seed starting setup
So here is a list of my seed starting tips:
1.  Always use sterile seed starting mix (I make my own)

2.  Cover the seeds with coarse sand (I use Builder's Sand for this), I find this helps in preventing damping off.

3.  Bottom water only and do not fertilize until the seedlings have a set of true leaves.

4.  Have plenty of light, chances are there is not enough sunlight coming through your windows.  I use shop lights with 2 t8 bulbs in them-1 warm and 1 cool.

5.  Reflect the light.  I use a mylar (first aid) blanket and aluminum cookie sheets from the dollar store (you could just use 2 mylar blankets instead of cookie sheets).
Use aluminum sheets to reflect the light on seedlings
6.  Thin the seedlings to prevent overcrowding.

7.  Run a fan.  This keeps the air circulating and also makes for stronger seedlings.

8.  Monitor for issues constantly such as damping off and fungus gnats so that you can act immediately.

9.  Transplant when ready.  I like to wait until the seedlings are bigger.  It seems to be easier for me than when they are tiny.  I have never had any ill effects from this. This is a good size:
Plants grown using indoor seed starting setup

10. Harden off your plants.

So that is it.  My top tips for Indoor seed starting-hope they work well for you!  Happy planting!!!!


  1. Thank you so much for you tips! I will do this, I imagine this will work for flowers, too!

  2. Yep-it works for anything you want to start indoors. I started some coeus and petunias inside and they are growing great. Good luck and thanks for stopping by!

  3. Do you leave the lights on 24 hrs a day?

  4. can you share your seed starting mix with us?