It is the Spring Equinox, and we couldn’t be more excited. Possibly even a little stir crazy! Spring will be here before we know it and that means garden season! For those of you that experience frost and want to get a longer growing season like we do, starting seeds indoors is an essential. Starting from seed is also a great way to save some money and guarantee that you know what is being used on your plants if going the organic route. There is so much to learn about gardening, the topic is endless. So, here are our tips on starting seeds indoors.
Read the Seed Packets
The seed packets have a lot to offer. We choose to use Burpee Organic seeds. Their seed packets have a ton of information on them. Including, whether to start them inside or outside. When to sow outside or transplant. Whether the plant needs full sun, partial sun, or shade. How deep the seeds need to be planted. Finally, how much space each plant will need when fully grown. This plethora of information is listed on the packets, cutting down on your research time. We also suggest that you read the seed packets, so you don’t make the silly mistake of planting your zucchini indoors and then getting sprouts within 4 days with 2 months left to transplant. (This may or may not have happened to us, we got a little too excited.)
Use What you Have
There is no need to go out and buy an indoor growing kit, a ton of seed trays, or fancy signs for your plants. Especially when you are first starting off. You may have household items that will do the trick. Empty egg cartons, toilet paper tubes, and newspaper are great options for creating a container to start the seeds in. Using saran wrap loosely around the containers will create the same affect as the lids that come with the seeding trays. To label our seeds we use popsicle sticks. If you do want to buy the seeding trays, we recommend purchasing the ones that come with cardboard cells as opposed to the plastic. This not only reduces plastic waste, it also makes transplanting much easier. With the cardboard cells you can cut them into their individual pods and plant them as is. The cardboard will decompose as the plant grows. The cells will drain so be sure to set them on a surface that can get wet. You can use a tarp, or even cookie sheets to retain the water. When it comes to grow lights, they help get the seeds started, allowing for consistency, but they are not needed. Find a sunny place in your house that is free of draft and your little seeds will be just fine. Below is a list of items you may need or want to purchase.
- Seeding Soil
- Seeding Trays
- Popsicle Sticks
- A Grow Light
- Heat Mat
This is the most important part. Growing and maintaining a garden is supposed to be enjoyable. Plant vegetables you enjoy and flowers you find pretty. Plant the plants that make you happy. Maybe you try your hand at seed starting and it doesn’t work out, that’s okay! If you had a good time that is all that matters. So have fun and don’t let it be overwhelming. Start small, plant what makes you happy, learn something new.
People have been planting gardens for, like, forever. There are tricks to optimize your garden, but you don’t have to work that hard if you don’t want to. In the end it is just a couple of seeds and some soil. You could throw the indoor starting out the door and plant seeds when the weather gets better or buy pre-grown plants at your local nursery. There are so many ways to garden. Whichever way you choose will not create a human eating plant that takes over the world (Little Shop of Horrors anyone?) so just plant some seeds and see what happens. We like this advice in life as well.