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Starting Garden Seed Instructions

Starting Garden Seed Instructions

Our  starting  garden seed instructions will get you started quickly and give you some ideas on what is needed to grow from seed. Laid out on this page is detailed growing from seed  guidelines.

Growing from seed is so much fun, very rewarding and is one of the best things you can do for you and your family.

What are you growing from seed this year? I’d love to hear about it.. comment below..

Below I have a  have a detailed article on Seed Starting everything I have learned in my many years of growing from  seed . Please note: I realize there is many methods that are used for growing from seed, I am sharing how I do mine. Use this info as a guideline and find what works best for you.

I also offer seeds so you can buy seeds safely here


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More videos coming weekly! so make sure to bookmark this page. 🙂 Tip: if you have trouble viewing videos click Pause let them load then watch clear through, viewing streaming video will depend on your bandwidth you have.

Growing Your Own Seed Indoors – Seed Starting Equipment

Seed Starting Equipment I use every Year

Getting Ready to Plant Seeds for My Herb and Vegetable Indoor Gardening Project

More Seed Packets Arrived- Growing from Seed Continues

How to Grow from Seed When Planting Lemon Basil, Kale and Lettuce

JAN 13, 2011-Part 1 Growing from Seed Starting Begins Greenhouse 2011

JAN 13, 2011-Part 2 Growing from Seed Starting Begins Greenhouse 2011

Jan 24, 2011 Join Me Still Crazy Over Growing From Seed

Starting Herbs and Peppers from Seed

How to Grow Thunbergia Black Eyed Susan Vine From Seed
Planting From Seed Unique Morning Glory Vines

How to Grow Herbs from Seed Indoors Plus Those Dreaded Fungus Gnats

How to Grow From Seed Malabar Spinach Vine-Morning Glory Vine-Dahlia -Verbena

How to Grow From Seed- Snapdragons-Salvia-Amaranthus Plus Update on Dipladenia Cuttings

Starting Garden Seed Instructions

Spring starts early at my house , usually in January of each year I begin sowing  a few seeds. This time of year is much  needed as the weather outside is cold and snowy .  Finding some relief from the long waited Spring season can  require some patience .

A good way to get through those months is to have something growing green indoors. Many grow year around despite the season just because growing your own seed can be such a joy and rewarding experience.

I find it quite gratifying to grow a little bitty seed into a beautiful plant. Everyone should do this at least once in their life time. You may find out you love growing from seed.

I have been growing from seed many years now, and hopefully by sharing some tips with you  this may or may not give you the growing from seed bug. The choice is really  yours to make. I have found  different ways to grow seed better and keep learning every year.

What is needed to get started ? Well,  I will run down  my list of what I use and some alternatives too so you can decide what works best for your budget. You need these components to grow from seed.

There is lots to adsorb here  with this article, please don’t be intimidated as all this information will help you greatly if you are new to seed starting.


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Choose what you want to grow , find your seeds either locally or online. There is so many great online sources to choose from. Decide if you want to grow Heirloom ,  organic seeds or choose from many other seed alternatives. This is a matter of preference!

Don’t know when to Start Your Seeds Indoors , this will help click here.

starting garden seed instructions

Starting Garden Seed Instructions- Let’s Get down to business


When I first started growing seed just for personal use I used to let my seed germinate in a warm  heated room , top of a fridge you name it . I guess it worked somewhat but honestly the best way to grow and germinate  seeds faster and more productively is investing in a heating germinating mat. This is by far one of the best investments I ever made, germination is more even,  and lot  more seeds germinate when  using a heating mat. No question I would definitely recommend the investment.

Many reliable sources online for heating mats, you must decide on how big and how much you plan on growing from seed,  this will dictate the size to start with.

My heat mats have a thermostat which is set on 70-75 F  degrees at all times.

starting garden seed instructions

Starting Garden Seed Instructions


Choosing the type of soil can be pretty critical  part in your success. The best soil is a soil less peat and vermiculite soil, a soil that is said to be used for germinating seeds,  and I’ll tell you why. You want a soil that is light , free of disease causing problems ,  a soil that can grow a seed a a little amount of time without that seed dying off because of a soil was too heavy.  You do not want to keep your new seedlings in a wet heavy soil.

Trays and Pots

There is so many different pots and trays that you can use to grow seeds.  You can use  peat pots, eggshell cartons, plastic trays, homemade paper pots, recycle your plastic containers,  anything that can hold some soil will usually work granted it is a safe container. Make sure your container is clean .


Lighting is essential and having good lighting is important from day 1 of the seed germinating.  I have seen many light structures , but what I know works and has worked for several years is the 4ft shop lights everyone probably has in their home right now. These are relatively  inexpensive way to get started.  You want to however use 40 watt bulbs that at least have 3000 lumen’s or more. I use the cool lights I have also heard to use one cool and one warm bulb.

You will need an area or shelves  to hang your lights. Make sure this is in a cooler part of your home, seedlings  kept cooler after germination stay stout and grow much better , this also prevents leggy plants.

Put your  lights are on a timer, where they are on 16hrs, and 8 hrs off each day. The timer is something that works automatically so definitely is a must when using lights.

starting garden seed instructions

Starting Garden Seed Instructions- Other Equipment or Materials

Sprayer Mister , you will definitely want one as  you get going growing. This is gentle on the seed and helps to not over water  your newly planted seed and also your  newly germinated seedlings.

Labels, you will need to label all your trays , pots , flats , this is a step you do not want to forget. You can make your own labels or they are available to purchase online .

Journal, you want to have a journal to log down dates you planted  your seeds, this way you can adjust if you need to the next year. I use a journal religiously without it I would be in deep trouble.

Fan, great for air movement.

Starting Garden Seed Instructions-When do I Plant Seeds,  How, Light or Darkness

You want to check the package  as to when to start  your seed.  Count back the weeks the package states  from your last frost date in your area zone  and  this should get you pretty  close, however you will also find you may have adjust the dates  from time to time.

It will also state on the package how deep to plant, if in doubt go online and research it, you can find almost all information online.

Some seeds like light for germination some do better in darkness.

Light for Germination Seeds:   cover very lightly  with soil , or some say do not cover at all,  and provide a shop light  over the seeds.

Darkness for Germination Seeds: cover the seed with soil and place a tray over the seeds.

starting garden seed instructions

Starting Garden Seed Instructions-TLC  and Tips

1)      Sowing small seed can be very difficult , what I find works great is get yourself some fine clean sand , mix a little sand with the fine seed then take a spoon and scatter in your flat or pots. This technique works great!

2)      After your seed germinates I place the trays under the lights right away and place the lights as close as I can get them to the seedlings, this will help keep them from getting leggy.. We want to achieve stout plants if we can, doesn’t always work cause some seeds are more stretchy than others.

3)      Keep your seedlings  in a cooler area . There will be a big difference in the look of your plant  if you are growing them in a warm area you will have  stretchy, leggier plants. The coolest area in your home will work best that is if you have that available.

4)      Check your newly seeded seeds a couple times a day, you do not want  the soil to dry out before the seeds have a chance to germinate.

5)      Do not over water I think this is and can be the  hardest area when growing from seed. You do not want to have damping off root diseases as you will lose your seedlings.

6)      As your seedlings grow adjust the light fixture up , I usually do around 2 inches away from the seedling once it gets growing, but as it first germinates the light is as close as I can get it to the seedlings.

7)      Air  circulation is important in your growing area once the seedlings start growing , use a fan to keep air moving , not directly on the plants but adjust it so at least you feel air moving around the seedlings.

This  has a few benefits: Air movement can help prevent disease problems, keeps your plants from being over wet. Helps to make your seedling stronger ,  can harden off your plants if done correctly.

Placing the fan directly on the plants can work for a short period of time , but what if this fan dries them out to quickly and you come home to dry out seedlings this could be very devastating to say the least. Seedlings  do not handle dryness for very long, so pay close attention to air circulation .

8)      Germinate your seed usually around 70-75 F  degrees. Bottom heat works best for even germination.

9)       Use clean trays and pots free of soil pathogens as this can cause seedlings to quickly develop disease.

10)   Don’t be to hard on yourself if something does not work out, you will learn as you grow . Enjoy and have Fun!

I hope our Starting Garden Seed Instructions has helped you in a big way today. Get Growing From Seed!


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Diane Mumm

Picket Fence Greenhouse and Gardens

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