Start Your Garden Seeds Indoors

Starting seeds inside is the best way to ensure success. The tiny seeds and seedlings do not do well with harsh weather changes. A late frost, which can happen in May or even June, delays your plans for planting seeds. Excessive rain can also prevent seeds and seedlings from growing. In addition, the problem of birds getting into the seeds and using it as a food source is not to be forgotten.

As the frost danger has passed, you can plant your seedlings into your garden.

Remember the three basics for all plant life, whether inside or out. They are soil, water, and light.

Small vegetable seedlings on a wooden table with gloves

Planting and Caring for Seeds

Clean gardening areas before sowing. On the list to do first is practice garden hygiene. Have a good spring clean before sowing. All pots and trays should be scrubbed clean with biodegradable detergent. Staging areas, worktops, and the interior of the greenhouse can also be done at the same time.

Soil. Always start with sterilized soil, as this is essential. There is a fungus known as damping-off-disease that can wipe out your hard work in a matter of days. Damping off is a condition where soil and water-borne fungi attack the seedlings stem base, causing it to die. For some reason the propagation of plants indoors allows just the right conditions for the spores of these fungi to grow rampantly. You can easily avoid this plight by using sterile soil or a sterile medium.

When you first start your seedlings cover them tightly with plastic wrap. This helps to maintain warmth and moisture, but be careful to uncover them when they begin to sprout so they don’t smother.

Germinating the seed. All seeds have different germination temperatures. Most will germinate between 59 degrees F to 68 degrees F. Seedbeds need to be moist but not excessively wet.

There is a variety of seed composts available on the market, but in general any medium that is not overly heavy, water retentive or high in nutritional value will suffice. There are many commercial helpers you can buy to make germinating seeds an easy project. Peat pellets that come with a miniature hot house require nothing more than adding water to the seed and peat and covering with the supplied lid. But some water, high-quality soil, sunlight and time are all that you need.

Sowing seeds and nurturing them through germination into strong healthy plants is one of the most rewarding tasks in gardening. Wherever you sow your seed, be it on a kitchen windowsill, in a greenhouse or garden shed, following a few basic rules will aid your chance of success.

Containers. A variety of containers are available to start your seeds. Some choices are flats, peat pots, paper cups, and even egg cartons. As with any plant, the size of the container used is determined by the plant you are growing and only experience can guide you here.

Garden plantings on a wooden table with gloves and other gardening tools

Watering. Like plants, seeds like to be kept moist. A good drainage system in the pot is necessary so they do not get too much water. There is no solution to them getting too dry though, just don’t forget to water them. Don’t count on all of the seeds sprouting even if you have purchased seeds from a reputable source, as some will be duds. For this reason, make sure you plant more of each seed than the desired number of plants you are looking for.

The most important element of growing your seedlings indoors is watching the moisture. They must be kept moist but not soggy. The most advantageous way to water is from the bottom. Set your pots in a tray and pour the water into the tray allowing the pots to soak up all of the water. Never let your pots stand in water as this will cause them to rot. If you have your pots in a very sunny window, place them in a tray with gravel. Keep the gravel watered just under the pots to keep them from drying out.

Sun exposure. Simulate the same conditions as those planted outside. The difference is that your indoor seedlings will need a little more attention and each plant will have its own considerations.

Seedlings require an enormous amount of light, either sunlight or artificial light or a combination of both. If they don’t get sufficient light the plants will get leggy or spindly, denying them a healthy start on the way to your garden.

Even in a bright window with a lot of sun, you may still need to use artificial light. If you do need to use artificial light, buy light bulbs that are manufactured specifically for that purpose. Even though they are for the singular purpose of growing plants, you still must keep them on for at least 14 hours a day. No artificial light can compensate for the intensity of direct sunlight.

As the seedlings begin to sprout, continue to keep them moist and turn them regularly to create even sun exposure.

Transplanting. As your potted seedlings grow up, brush your hand over them occasionally. This simulates the wind blowing and will stimulate root growth. When the leaves start to come out you can begin the process of transplanting.

For best results, you want to transplant them outdoors as soon as they are large and healthy enough to survive. A good rule of thumb to start with is four to six weeks after sowing the seeds, making sure they have at least two sets of leaves.

Small garden vegetable seedlings on trays ready for transplanting

Right before transplanting your thriving seedlings, feed them with a very weak solution of a water soluble organic fertilizer to give them strength through the transplanting process. The original medium you used to germinate your seeds can be put onto the garden. Seeds that did not germinate one year, might germinate the next.

Note: When you lift your seedlings to transplant, use a thin pointed object (e.g. a pencil), slide this under the seedling and tease it up while holding it by a leaf. Always hold the seedling by the leaf, should it break off it will only damage the seedling, where-as if you are holding the stem of the seedling and it breaks the seedling will die.

It is important not to start you seeds indoors too early. If they outgrow your pots, you will have to thin them and transplant them to bigger containers. This is not the best scenario.

Tips For Selecting the Best Seed

Any reliable seed house can be depended upon for good seeds. Even so, there is a great risk in seeds. A seed may to all appearances be alright and yet not have within it vitality enough, or power, to produce a hardy plant.

If you save seed from your own plants, you are able to choose carefully. A weak, straggly plant may produce one beautiful blossom. Looking at that one blossom you think of the numberless equally lovely plants you are going to have from the seeds. But just as likely as not the seeds will produce plants like the parent plant.

Tip one: if saving your seeds for next year, the entire plant is to be considered. Is the plant sturdy, strong, well shaped and symmetrical? Does it have a good number of fine blossoms? These are questions to ask in seed selection.

Tip two: seed size. We know no way of telling anything about the plants from which a collection of seeds came. So we must give our entire thought to the seeds themselves. It is quite evident that there is some choice; some are much larger than the others; some far plumper, too. Choose the largest and fullest seed.

If we choose a large seed, we have chosen a greater amount of food for the plantlet to thrive and nourish itself on. The little plantlet feeds upon this stored food until its roots are prepared to do their work. So if the seed is small and thin, the first food supply insufficient, there is a possibility of losing the tiny plant.

From large seeds come the strongest plantlets. That is the reason why it is better and safer to choose the large seed.

Tip three: look for seed impurities. Seeds are sometimes mixed with other seeds so like them in appearance that it is impossible to detect the fraud. The seeds may be unclean. Bits of foreign matter mixed in with large seed are very easy to discover. One can merely pick the seed over and make it clean. By clean is meant free from foreign matter. But if small seed are unclean, it is very difficult, if not impossible, to make them clean.

Tip four: seed viability. We know from testings that seeds which look to the eye to be all right may not develop at all. There are reasons. Seeds may have been picked before they were ripe or mature. They may have been frozen, or they may be too old. Seeds retain their viability or germ developing power, a given number of years and are then useless. There is a viability limit in years which differs for different seeds.

Tip five: seed germination percentage. From the test of seeds we find out the germination percentage of seeds. If this percentage is low, don’t waste time planting such seed unless it be small seed.

Why does the size of the seed make a difference? When small seed is planted, most gardeners sprinkle the seed in very thickly. So a great quantity of seed is planted. Enough seed germinates and comes up from such close planting. So quantity makes up for quality.

But take the case of large seed, like corn for example. Corn is planted just so far apart and a few seeds in a place. With such a method of planting the matter of percent of germination is most important.

Small seeds that germinate at fifty percent may be used, but this is too low a percent for the large seed. Suppose we test beans. The percentage is seventy. If low viability seeds were planted, we could not be absolutely certain of the seventy percent coming up. But if the seeds are lettuce go ahead with the planting.

Tip six: keep a diary. Experience is always the best teacher. Experiment a little each year with one or two new flowers, herbs or vegetables, as this will add variety and spice to your garden. Go to gardening forums on the internet and join the group. The experiences of others is always helpful, and the spirit of community is enjoyable and satisfying.

Don’t be afraid of mixing up colors, vegetables with flowers or different leaf textures. Make your garden your own. The important thing is that you enjoy your garden be it big or small.

A raised bed garden growing with small plantings

Growing it from seed while helping nature along without trying to control her is the real essence of what gardening is about.

My Book is Available on Amazon

Nature Lover's Variety Puzzles and Games: Activity Book for Adults, with Word Searches, Cryptograms, Crosswords, Word Scrambles, Sudoku, Trivia, Coloring, and More is full of nature games and word puzzles. 

Are you ready for a fun diversion away from the day-to-day grind? Well now you can have a carefree, enjoyable timestimulating your brain cells and letting your imagination soar…without solving the same boring puzzles. Come into the WORLD OF NATURE with this uplifting puzzle book.

Go to Amazon

Garden Art

  • Hawk metal sculpture on a fence out in the garden

    Metal Hawk Sculpture

    Stoic and statuesque, this admirable bird of prey patiently sits on a branch seemingly ready to take flight at a moment's notice. Individually handmade in Arizona, the metal artist fashions each hawk from rusted steel, shaped and welded with ingenuity and imagination. Made for indoor or outdoor use, the hawk mounts to any wall or vertical surface with a single screw or bolt. Standing 10.25" tall, the metal hawk sculpture features laser-cut details, quality welds, and glass eyes.

    Find out about this hawk and how to order here.

  • windchime of a lighthouse and sailboat against an ocean view

    Sea Breeze Bell Chime

    Imagine the sound of buoys rocking in the ocean, their bells providing that distinct resonating clang as they ride atop ocean waves. The large Lighthouse Bell captures that distinct poetic sound while providing a visual reminder of the sea. Made of quality steel (60% recycled steel) and given a full powder-coating for durability. Your choice of wind-catcher: blue crab, white sailboat or red buoy. Bell portion measures 15" tall (full length with wind-catcher will be approx. 22-24") and includes a 7" chain. Handmade in Maine.

    Find out more and listen to the chime here.

  • Flying pig garden metal sculpture on a sky background

    Flying Pig Garden Sculpture

    With wings to fly, this not-so-little piggy hovers in your garden, defying gravity and spreading smiles! Measuring a full 18" long, the flying pig sculpture is handcrafted entirely from reclaimed and surplus metals including a propane tank, bolts, and springs. Used outdoors, the pig will develop a natural rust patina (and may already include traces). Designed, cut, and welded by hand in Utah and signed by the artist on the pig's butt. Includes a removable 24" chain for easy hanging.

    Find out about this metal pig and how to order here.

Outdoor thermometer with chickadee design in the garden

Copper Dial 4" Thermometer with Chickadee Art

A contemporary take on a classic instrument, this thermometer adds a touch of colorful, original art outside your window. Framed in solid copper under domed glass, the small 4-inch thermometer is adorned with an illustrated chickadee upon a branch of berries. Mounted outdoors, the durable solid copper body is designed to withstand all weather conditions, gaining a rich patina with age. Includes a 3.5" swivel arm and mounting bracket that allows the thermometer face to be fully adjustable in multiple directions. Artist-designed and assembled in the USA with American-made copper. Find out more here.

Cardinal plant hanger in a garden

Red Cardinal Plant Hanger

Ornamented with a perched cardinal, this scrolling plant hanger provides a unique way to display your favorite hanging flowers, bird feeder, wind chimes, or patio accent. Created from durable 1/8" thick steel (60% of which is recycled), the plant hanger stretches 11" from the wall and is powder-coated in red to endure the outdoor elements. Crafted in Maine. Find out more here.

Copper Vine Hanging Bird Seed Feeder

Satisfy winged visitors with a little work of functional art in your outdoor space. A botanical beauty, the sculptural feeder features a scrolling copper vine with patina leaves, twining tendrils, and an enameled red flower to hold the seed. The unique design also includes drainage holes for water and integrated hook for easy hanging. All portions are solid copper and are provided with a UV-resistant glossy coat to preserve the metal's beauty. Crafted by hand in North Carolina and holds just over 1 cup of seed. Find out more here.

Home and Garden Products

Medicinal herb seeds for the garden

Medicinal Garden Kit Seeds

Inside your Medicinal Garden Kit, you’ll find 10 packages with each type of seed. In total you’ll get 2,409 high-quality, NON-GMO seeds packaged right here in the U.S.  

Even if you’ve never planted anything before, you’ll have no trouble growing these 10 plants. You will find details on how to plant, grow, and harvest each one in the FREE Medicinal Guide you’ll receive with your Medicinal Garden Kit. Find out more here.

Landscaping product with plans for garden, patio and yard

Ideas4Landscaping Ideas Package

Ideas4Landscaping™ is a design package suitable for beginners & professionals which allows you to begin designing your dream home landscape immediately WITHOUT the hassles and costs.

Includes designs for your front yard, backyard, and garden — so you can easily create landscaping plans for anywhere around your house.

It is everything you’ll need to get started in creating the perfect outdoor living experience.

This is a digital product so you can access all designs right after purchase.

Find out more here.

  • The Self-Sufficient Backyard book for the independent homesteader

    The Self-Sufficient Backyard

    Here’s just a glimpse of what you’ll find in this book: 

    • There are 75+ DIY projects for a self sustaining backyard
    • 7 herbs for a medicinal garden
    • Seed collection and preservation guide
    • Make a cheap water collection system
    • Make your own root cellar 
    • Set up your backyard hybrid electricity system 
    • Get your own independent source of water
    • Make a year-round self-sustaining greenhouse
    • 100+ tips to save money

    Get three digital bonuses: The Aquaponic GardenerDIY Projects from the 1900s, and Where FREE Land can Still be found in the U.S.

    More information here.

  • Plant-based cookbook with 200 recipes digital cover

    The Complete Plant-Based Cookbook

    This plant-based recipe digital cookbook includes over 200 mouth-watering recipes for everyone to enjoy!

    Eating a whole-food, plant-based vegan diet, without the consumption of meat or dairy is beneficial for our health and wellbeing.

    When you download your package you will get....

    • The Complete Plant-Based Cookbook With Over 200 Easy To Prepare Recipes
    • The 30 Day Plant Based Jump Start Guide
    • Green Smoothie Recipes
    • Plant-based Meal Plans to follow to heal increase your health, fuel your workouts in no time.

    Find out more here.

  • Getting Started in Hydroponics ebook

    Getting Started in Hydroponics

    Getting Started in Hydroponics giant 316 page ebook is simply the best way to get you started in hydroponics for the least amount of money. It contains pages of educational and expert tips along with multiple illustrated plans.

    Just follow the step-by-step directions, and in a matter of weeks, you will have huge plants that will feed your family. Those plants will be giving you fresh produce and saving you money every month.

    • You can get started in hours rather than days. Built from common materials to save money.
    • Which crops to grow and which to stay away from. You can grow just about anything with hydroponics. Here you'll learn which plants are the smartest, easiest... and tastiest.
    • Bonus secret to supercharging your grow box with CO2.

    Find out more information here.

  • The Encyclopedia of Natural Remedies book cover

    The Encyclopedia of Natural Remedies

    This ebook for the health conscious reader has 300 ancient cures, natural healing and home remedies for over 60 common ailments.

    • Explore the natural herbs that are chemically similar to statins
    • The best supplements to take for gout and arthritis
    • Ingredients that can heal heart disease and cardiovascular health
    • Keep your arteries clean from deadly clogs
    • Delay the onset of dementia and cognitive decline
    • And improve low energy levels

    Each chapter explains the root cause of your condition, and it gives you the best herbs, ingredients and healthcare protocols on how to diagnose, treat, and remedy over 80 of the most common ailments.

    Find out more about The Encyclopedia of Natural Remedies here.

  • Home Doctor Book

    The Home Doctor — Practical Medicine for Every Household — is a 304 page doctor-written and approved guide for the layman on how to manage most health situations when help is not on the way and how to manage common ailments that don’t require seeing a doctor. Many are home remedies from plants found in your own backyard. Here’s just a few of the subjects covered:

    • 10 medical supplies to have in your house
    • At-home protocol for the flu and other respiratory issues
    • Care of toothaches and mouth infections
    • 4 antibiotics people need
    • Best natural painkiller that grows in your backyard

    Find out more here.

1 of 5