Must-Have Supplies For Seed Starting Indoors
To begin your seed starting indoors properly can either make or break your entire growing season. A lot of people are starting seeds indoors to get a jump on the growing season in their growing zone. If you don’t know your growing zone <—- make sure to click here to enter your zip code and find it now. It will make it much easier for you to know what and when to plant.
For a couple of years, when I first started growing herbs and veggies, I would buy from a local nursery that happens to be right across the street. I would walk over and pick out what I wanted.
I quickly learned that although the seedlings looked healthy some of them had pests attached that I didn’t see until they were a bit older, and some didn’t thrive well, at all. Last year I made the decision to start my own seedlings indoors so I could control how they were raised. I ended up with so many I put a notice on a neighborhood app and had several people come and take my extras. I felt great about that!
If you want to grow a lot of plants in your garden, buying several packs of seeds is considered cheaper than buying young seedlings from nurseries.
Starting seeds indoors allows you to get a jump start on your growing season, which really matters if you live in an area with a short growing season.
The whole process of starting seeds indoors can be intimidating, but, you can do it! Keep this in mind: If you don’t gather your supplies first, the process can be harder and take much longer and may not work out as well.
Here’s a video I made on starting seeds:
To help you with your gardening journey, I made a list of the must have seed starting supplies to get you going:
Seed saving is an excellent way to cultivate varieties of plants that perform best for your indoor garden. You can save seeds from previous harvests to use in your next planting. This enables you know how your plants and harvest should look based on the way they behaved last season.
According to Wikipedia:
In agriculture and gardening, hybrid seed is used produced by cross-pollinated plants. Hybrid seed production is predominant in modern agriculture and home gardening.
You can buy seeds anywhere, from Amazon to Walmart, to the local feed store or market. You can also buy them from many places online all over the country.
When buying seeds I try and look for things like – Bush or vining – which am I prepared for? Also, I look at disease resistant seeds to help with that sort of thing, and plants that grow well together and compliment each other.
Heirloom seeds are great, too! Heirloom means the seeds have been passed down for at least 50 years and have been open pollinated – meaning they haven’t been crossed pollinated to make a hybrid seed.
A germinating mix is a soil mix with a fine grain and no large clumps. The texture of the seed starting mix that you use is important for making sure that your seedlings will easily grow strong, new roots.
Seed Starting Trays With Clear Dome Lid
To get the great results, you can use seed starting trays with a clear dome lid. Although you don’t need trays with lids, they help in retaining the moisture which is important for good germination.
There are other options you can use, too. Instead of a clear dome lid, you can also place your seed starting trays inside a clear plastic bag. This aids in retaining the heat and moisture for your seedlings.
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To improve the germination rate (the speed at which your seedlings sprout), use a seed starting heat mat with a thermometer.
A heat mat does not cost a lot and it does not take up a lot of space. It only requires you to use less than 3 square feet of space and you can get one for less than $30.
Pallet Rack Trays
If you don’t have a tray under your containers, the water and soil can ruin your shelves, tiles, and floors.
These pallet rack trays can reduce your growing footprint by up to 50%. They collect and redirect runoff to reduce the occurrence of standing water.
I have also used aluminum baking pans for this. If you use porous containers for your seed starting, you can just add a 1/4″ or so of water to the pan and the seedlings will soak up what they need, when they need it.
Make sure to have something to mark which seeds you planted by using plant labels. I am so bad at this. I forget and then I spend time wondering what I put where. Don’t make that mistake! I do that even in the garden – I have to wait and see some times :/ …
You don’t need to use cute labels at this point as you’ll need to switch to a different kind of weather resistant marker once the seedlings are good for transfer.
For seed starting indoors, I recommend using an adjustable wire shelving.
This allows you to customize your whole set up. It also makes it easier to hang the lights overhead.
You can start with smaller ones, which costs under $25 or if you want a more intricate setup, you can use larger shelves too.
Don’t skip this item from your list. Not having a dedicated light source for your seedlings will result in weak plants and flimsy stems. They will find light when they need it and then then will stretch toward it and then will make “leggy” seedlings that are too tall to heartily sustain anything.
When starting seedlings, you don’t need to invest in a fancy grow light. In fact, a simple fluorescent light with a bright white bulb will do!
But, light hangers are worth your investment. They make adjusting and hanging your light super simple.
I use some very similar to these, I love the timer, adjustable, bendable arms, and the clamp. The clamp is super strong and the timer has several options to choose from.
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Seed starting indoors can be a fun experience, as long as you are prepared. Just remember, before you start, make sure you have all that you need.
Are there other items that we didn’t mention above or are you looking for other tips? I would love to hear from you!
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