Hi friends! Today I wanted to share with you some tips for starting your own garden seeds indoor. Growing up I lived in a suburban neighborhood in a home with a lavish flower garden on every side of the house. The last thing I wanted to do was to help my mother water the flowers. It wasn’t until high school when I took a plant science class that my love for horticulture started. The idea that I could put a seed into the soil, water it, give it some fertilizer, and magically see it grow over the next few months caught my heart and I’ve loved it ever since.
“The Green Pinky” is a play on words. Everyone that knows someone who can keep plants alive will usually refer to said person as having, “A Green Thumb”. But here is a secret… a gardeners secret. We’ve killed plants… sometimes we continue to kill plants even after years of experience. That’s how gardeners learn the art. You could do everything right, and then a pest takes over the entire crop. So then next year, you spray for the pest or use other non-chemical methods to make sure that pest doesn’t take over this years crop. You make mental notes or write down what worked and what didn’t. Everyone’s growing environments are completely different and no one starts out as a master gardener.
If you aren’t a green thumb yet, no worries! It takes time and practice… and of course remembering to water your gardens.
Why start seeds indoors?
Depending on where you live the climate in spring usually jumps around. One day it’s snowing and the next thing it’s 75 degrees! Most seeds need time to grow a little heartier out of the elements so starting them indoors is your best bet.
Cost: You can wait until May (around mother’s day) and most home and garden stores will have what are called “Seedlings”. These are small plants usually in a pack of 4-6 that cost around $2-$5.00
A pack of seeds will cost you $1.99 or less.
Learning opportunity: Children seem to love getting dirty! Let them. Have them plant their own seeds! Give them a journal or check list for each day so that they can write down what they see happening to their seeds. Once their seeds are small plants you can have the child plant them in a garden around your house or in a large container on the porch or deck.
Self-Satisfaction: I love looking at my garden at the end of summer and thinking to myself…. I did this from scratch. It truly is rewarding.
- Container to start seeds. Here are some ideas!
- Plastic flat (as shown below) reusable each season!
- Cardboard Egg Container (use where the eggs sit as a place to plant your seeds) eco-friendly
- Toilet Paper Rolls (use the cardboard roll to flatten end) Eco-friendly
Fill your container with potting soil. I use miracle grow potting soil because it already comes with nutrients in the soil. If you use soil from around your house you are going to want to add in some food for the plants.
Take the pencil tip and poke a hole in the center of each cell. Do not push the pencil to the very bottom of the container. The seed should sit about midway down and not on the very bottom.
Decide how many plants of each vegetable that you want. We have a large garden so I usually plant 6 seeds for each vegetable I want. I know that usually 2 from each will either not sprout or will get damaged/die prior to planting.
Once you’ve decided, open one seed packet at a time and place one seed per cell. Once seeds are in the whole, cover it with soil and pat down gently. You aren’t “packing” the whole too tight.
Label the popsicle stick with the plant name/date and place it in the container where you planted the seeds.
Continue this process until all seeds are planted.
Water the container.
:::CAUTION::: Over watering plants is a common mistake for newbies. You want the soil to be wet but not soaked. There is a difference. An easy way to know if the soil needs water is to lift the container. Does it feel super light or is it heavy? If it’s light, it needs water. If it’s heavy the soil is still saturated and it does not need watered.
Incubate container. The reason I use this container every year is because it has an incubation lid to keep the plants in a warm humid environment.
Continue to check your seeds daily and water as needed!
In about a month or two we will transfer these small seedlings into larger containers. Much like kids feet… Seeds can’t continue to grow in these small spaces. Their roots outgrow the space so for them to continue to flourish we need to give them a larger space to grow.
I hope you will try growing your own seeds inside, I am happy to answer ANY questions below in the comment section!