Farmers' Almanac

Register | Log in

« | »

Starting Seeds Indoors

Starting Seeds Indoors

While spring officially arrives this week, why not go ahead and start seeds indoors? Here’s how:

What You Will Need:

Seeds — Purchasing fresh seeds will give better results than using older seeds, so pull out the seed catalogs or go online and select the plants you would like to grow this year. An advantage of starting plants from seed is that you will have access to many more choices, including harder-to-find plant varieties and organic seeds. It is also economical. If you are new to starting seeds, you may want to try these easy to grow choices: zinnias, morning glories, sunflowers, nasturtiums, parsley, basil, tomatoes, and squash.

Containers — There are many types of containers suitable for starting seeds, such as trays, flats, egg cartons, cans, and plastic containers, but it is important they are well cleaned and have good drainage. If you decide to use a fiber or peat pot, be sure to wet thoroughly before adding soil so the pot does not draw moisture away from the growing medium.

Soil — It is best to use a commercial seed-starting mix since it is lightweight, sterile, and free of weed seeds. It will provide the loose, fine-textured, well-drained medium necessary for delicate seedling roots to grow. Potting or garden soil is not recommended due to the heavier weight and the potential for weed seeds, insects, and pathogens.

Sunlight — Seedlings normally need plenty of bright indirect sunlight — approximately 12 to 16 hours per day. A south facing window is most preferable, but if this is not possible, you may use artificial light as a supplement or substitute — either grow lights or fluorescent shop lights.

How to Start Seeds:

« | »