Sprouted Bean Seeds In Plastis Pots Supersowsunday

The Ultimate Seed Starting Guide

If you are hoping to sow seeds early in the season, and start your garden truly from scratch, then I have put together a guide covering the many essential posts from the Garden Therapy Seed Starting Series. You will find all that you need in this seed starting guide to start a vegetable, herb, or flower garden from seed. From the basics for beginners to helpful tips and tricks for seasoned gardeners, you will be able to start your garden inside or out, with DIY containers or using my very favorite equipment, all naturally and without harmful chemicals.

Seeds, soil recipe, light, seed-starting containers, DIY grow lights, indoor and outdoor seed starting - it's all here and more!

Seed Starting 101

Of course, the best place to start is at the beginning with Seed Starting 101. This covers how to choose and plant your seeds, as well as information on containers, soil, light, water, and more.

This is the perfect guide for beginners! Start seeds successfully and grow your own organic garden

Tips for Starting Root Vegetable Seeds like Carrots, Beets, and Radishes how to start the seeds for Root Vegetables like Carrots, Beets, and Radishes

Tips for Starting Seeds for Heat-Lovers like Tomatoes, Peppers, and Eggplantshow to start the seeds for heat-loving Vegetables like Tomatoes, Eggplants, and Peppers


Seed Starting Containers for the Crafty Gardener

Then the crafter has a chance to join the party when the truth about all those cutsie Pinterest seed starting containers are put to the test in Seed Starting Containers: The Real Dirt – Part 1. Do toilet paper rolls and egg cartons really make good seed starting containers? All will be revealed in this post.DIY Seed starting containers - what works best, and what you should never use! (Custom)

Seed Starting Containers You Can Buy

If you aren’t feeling all that crafty, then how about the store bought containers? The exposé continues with Seed Starting Containers: The Real Dirt – Part 2 where you’ll find out if those eco-pots are really worth the high prices and whether peat pellets grow good tomato seedlings.

tomato seedling in coconut coir peat pot

Or go container-less:

These Easy & Economical Soil Blocks Will Change How You Garden

Soil blocks give seedlings the best start...but that is not why you should use them

Setting Up a Grow Light Shelf

Once you have these beautiful little seedlings starting to sprout, what then? It’s time to build them a nice warm and bright home so they can grow up big and strong. This Grow Light Shelving for Seed Starting Indoors is an essential part of successful seed starting as it prevents cold spring temperatures and short daylight hours from stunting your new seedlings’ growth. Once the warmer weather hits, your little babies will be so advanced that your gardening season will begin in full swing.

seed shelf grow lights

Outdoor Seed Starting in Mini Greenhouses

You could also want to start seeds outdoors with some Mini Greenhouses. These are a staple in my early spring garden and you will soon see why!

Umbrella Greenhouses - How to Start Your Outdoor Garden Early (2)

About the Author : Stephanie RoseAn artistic gardener aiming to feed the body & soul through an urban potager garden & a community veggie plot in Vancouver.View all posts by Stephanie Rose

  1. narf7
    narf7February 2,13

    I am excited and I am almost at the end of our summer! What a wonderful ramp up to getting started with early spring production and planting. I am going to use this as my winter seed “push” and will be sorting out what I want to plant in my veggie garden this year. Thank you for narrowing down your excellent post/tutorials to make it easier for we first time veggie gardeners to find exactly what we need to know about starting seeds and thank you for showing us your brilliant mini greenhouse set up. I am thinking about making one with a degassed fridge without a door…rather than take it to the tip (waste disposal) I can repurpose it to grow next springs seedlings in the shed (without taking up too much of my husbands PRECIOUS room ;) ). I love the ordered progression towards productivity :)

  2. mel mccarthy
    mel mccarthyFebruary 16,13

    Ouu! I just can’t wait to start planting. Thank you so much for sharing such great info!

  3. Joaquín
    JoaquínFebruary 18,13

    I’ve seen a lot of pictures (also in your post) where the lights are very close to the plants. Is it really necessary, or is it just a matter of power? I have 4 grolux 39w tubes in a 100cm x 50cm greenhouse (indoor, no natural light at all) and there is a 60 cm space between the plants and the light source. This is my first serious seeding attempt, so I would appreciate your feedback. Thank you.

  4. Stevie
    StevieFebruary 18,13

    Hi Joaquin, yes, it is necessary in the case of the lights used for this project. I can’t speak for your lights but I have found that adjustable lights are pretty standard. In a greenhouse, it tends to be colder and seedlings grow more slowly, so that might work to your advantage. If you check out the full article on seed shelves you will see that the lights are affixed with wires that can raise the lights as the seedlings grow. If the light is too far away from the plant, it will grow tall and leggy (weak). The post on lighting is here http://gardentherapy.ca/grow-light-project/

  5. Joaquin
    JoaquinFebruary 18,13

    Thanks, Stevie. Great posts. I think my lights are powerful enough but I’ll keep an eye on the plants and raise them at the first sign of legginess.

  6. Stephanie
    StephanieMarch 16,13

    Thank you for this post! I’m new to gardening and about to plant my seeds! I have a question for you regarding the lighting. Is it ok to switch back forth between sunlight on a window sill and florescent lighting, or should I keep with just one or the other? I plan on starting my seeds in the basement due to my limited space but have a bay window that has a wide enough sill to put all my seeds if needed but the direct sunlight is only during part of the day (mainly around noon). Thanks!

  7. Stevie
    StevieMarch 16,13

    Hi Stephanie, in my experience, if you supplement the florescent lighting for sunlight, the seedling will grow and reach for the window in those few hours. The florescent lights are meant to be set directly above the plants with very little room for them to reach and therefore they will grow stronger. You could try it and if you find the seedlings are getting leggy, then change to just lighting until they are ready to head outside. Gardening is all about experimentation and finding what works for you so have fun with it. I hope this helps!

  8. sovereignjohn
    sovereignjohnApril 18,13

    I’ve read it is ideal to keep lights about two inches from seeding as this gives them enough light and prevents legginess. :)

  9. Chris
    ChrisApril 18,13

    When growing under lights how many hours a day should the lights be on as last time I grow plants I left them on 24/7 and the stem grew to fast and turned out thin and spindly.

  10. Stevie
    StevieApril 18,13

    Hi Chris, I would leave the lights on for 12-16 hours at a time. Start with 12 and increase to 16.

  11. Pascal
    PascalFebruary 6,14

    Great !

    You give to me energy to begin my gardening activities.

    In april i will open my greenhouse.

  12. bren@BGgarden
    [email protected]April 4,14

    Great information on seed starting Stephanie! Thank you for sharing it with us. I love doing the toilet paper roll planting.

  13. Wanda
    WandaMay 8,14

    Just to ad to your list of ‘seed starter’ options, I have been using coffee cream & milk cartons, I wash them well, cut them to whatever height I’ll want, put holes in the bottom & fill with soil. They’re mostly square so they fit together easier in a tray than round pots.Then when I’m ready to plant, I tear down the seam side, remove my starter & toss carton into the recycling. Not as easy as something you plant right into the ground but works for me.

  14. Stephanie
    StephanieMay 8,14

    great idea Wanda!

  15. Shannon
    ShannonJanuary 23,15

    The best thing that I have found for germinating seeds is to use Structured Water… all I have to do is remember to water with Structured Water and watch it grow like crazy. Kickstarter has a promotion on right now where the units are 75% cheaper than anyone else on the internet.

  16. Silvia
    SilviaJanuary 24,15

    Hi Stephanie, I love this post and the pictures are amazing!
    you just made me so excited to start thinking and planning my garden.
    I have a question; the last two years I was very successful with most of my plants but the green peppers went no where, what am I doing wrong?
    Thanks for sharing this

    • Stephanie
      StephanieJanuary 24,15

      Hi Silvia, thanks! Ya know, it could be so many things. Peppers, though, need heat. So maybe the season isn’t long enough or hot enough where you are? I would take the question to a nursery and get them to help you pick out the best seeds for your area.

  17. GrabCo.
    GrabCo.January 26,15

    This is an awesome curation of seed starting guides Stephanie, I’ll bookmark and share this. Can we look forward to more of these? Any particular topic you’d focus on next?

  18. Karla
    KarlaJanuary 30,15

    I want to start soon a garden for myself. This is helpful.

  19. Calvin Kent
    Calvin KentMay 2,15

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen them before. They always make me think of fairies. It must be amazing to see so many planted like that.I think I’m going to add some snowdrops to my garden Those are jst beautiful!

  20. Play Houses,Log Houses
    Play Houses,Log HousesJanuary 21,16

    Thanks for the sharing!

  21. Justin Hamilton
    Justin HamiltonJanuary 24,16

    This is really helpful when trying to think of what you want to grow.

  22. Pauline Brandon
    Pauline BrandonMarch 22,16

    Definitely the ultimate guide! My sister is just beginning with seed starting and she’ll be so happy to have all these great tips and ideas on mind. I’m definitely recommending your post to her and to some friends too. Thank you for sharing and happy gardening!

  23. Ryan Scott
    Ryan ScottAugust 27,16

    Thanks for the tip. I wil tel my frien

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