A Beginner’s Guide to Starting Seeds Indoors

Getting a Head Start on the Season


Gardening can be rewarding as you watch your plants produce amazing colors and flower bloom or foods (edible plants) which will take your favorite dishes up a notch. But a challenge that many gardeners face is getting those seeds in the ground because the season or timing is not quite right to do so.

The good news is though the timing may not be just right to get those seeds in the ground you can still get a jump or head start on the season by starting seeds indoors. Seed starting indoors is not new, this method is an old approach that has given good results for more on how this is done continue reading as you prepare to reap the fruits of your labor.

Things you will need

  • Seeds
  • Seed trays or Containers
  • Good garden Soil
  • Proper Lighting or Grow Lights
  • The right room Temperature
  • Fertilizers


The first rule for success is knowing what you want, which plants do you desire to grow. Then there is choosing seeds that are healthy because what you don’t want is to choose seeds that are of poor quality because either your plants will not survive or will have a hard time establishing after germination.

Seed trays or Containers

The seed trays or containers should have drain holes to allow excess water to drain because if water doesn’t drain then you have defeated the purpose of getting a jump start, seed rot will set in which is not good.

A good Garden Soil

Good garden soil is a must if you are to have success. A soil that will hold the right amount of moisture but will allow excess water to drain is a must, to skim on a good quality soil will be cheating yourself.

Proper Lighting or Grow Lights

All garden plants need some form of light whether full, filtered, or partial light garden plants cannot survive without this important element. Your seed trays or container should be placed near a window that gets sufficient sunlight or considers purchasing grow lights which will help tremendously.

Room Temperature

The room temperature plays a very important part if your seeds are to germanite. The room temperature can be anywhere from 50 degrees and above.


To help your seedling along the way the use of a water-soluble fertilizer makes a great choice, make sure to read and follow the label because the label is law but if the garden soil which you purchase has fertilizer mixed in already then there is no need for further fertilizing.

 Disease problems

  • Seedling Blight
  • Dumping Off

Seedling Blight and Dumping Off is encouraged by excess moisture or environmental factors, compacted soil, cool soil temperature, saline soil, and warm temperatures. These diseases may affect the seeds before or after germination. Seedlings will also rot just above the soil level.

To avoid these diseases monitor the amount of moisture your plant is receiving, plant your seeds on the proper date, use healthy seeds, using seeds that are treated with fungicides is of great benefit.

The containers or seed trays should be sterilized before planting, install your seeds at the proper depth, plants that are infected should be removed immediately to reduce the risk of the disease spreading, don’t crowd seeds because seedlings need proper air circulation. Also, the soil should be clean and sterilized.

Avoid these Mistakes to Reap a Good Harvest

  • Poor  Quality Soil
  • Planting to Deeply
  • Overwatering
  • Underwatering
  • Insufficient Light
  • The wrong Temperature
  • Taking your seedlings outdoors to Early

Poor quality soil

You may have chosen seeds that are of good quality but if the soil is not a good garden soil that drains well or holds the right amount of moisture will give you issues from the get-go so as mention earlier don’t skim on the soil. Good garden soil is a must.

Planting to deeply

This is another issue that can spell death to your seeds, know the planting depth of your seeds by reading the label or asking your garden nurserymen. Planting too deeply will cause seeds, not to germinate and if seeds do germinate your seedlings will not perform as well.


While we all agree that plants need water to survive too much water can also spell death for your seeds which can lead to disease and rot. The top few inches of soil should be moist, again it is a matter of reading the label on the seed package or asking your nurseryman.


The flip side of the coin is if your seeds are not getting the right amount of moisture they will not germinate again it is a matter of getting the right information from the plant package or your nurserymen to ensure that your seeds are getting the right amount of water.

Insufficient Light

As mentioned plants need the right lighting to perform at their best, keep your plants happy by giving them sufficient light.

The wrong Temperature

Because you’re growing plants indoors the temperature plays an important part know the temperature which is required for your seeds to germinate and grow their best.

Taking your seedlings outdoors to Early

I know that you are excited to get your seeds in the ground because all you want is to, watch them take off but the last thing you want is to remove your seeds from indoors and place them outdoors only to see them deteriorate

especially when winter is about to end as spring is on the rise, wait until the soil warms up before installing your seeds. Another rule of thumb is to gradually expose your seedlings to the outdoor environment.

Take your seed trays outside place them in the sun for about 3-4 hours and bring them back indoors, continue this process for about a week and a half to two weeks before taking them outdoors and planting them in their permeant location.

The final word

Getting a jump start on the season is a great way to go, starting seeds indoors is a method that has proven to be a success so go ahead and give this method a try trust me you will be glad that you did as you reap a harvest of your labor.


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About the author

+ posts

Norman loves being in the garden, both at home and for his job....
he is 'Natures Little helper' being outdoors, growing his vegetables and flowers from an early age.
Now having spent over 22 years in the profession he want to give some of his knowledge to others...
his vast array of hints and tips you will find scattered over this site will help you no end growing plants in your garden.

4 thoughts on “A Beginner’s Guide to Starting Seeds Indoors”

  1. Thanks Norman. You’ve just got a fan for this blog, as this happens to be one of interest. Back on the topic, I would like to know if It is possible to start seeds on a windowsill or in a room that receives a full day (at least 8 hours) of bright light. Looking forward to your reply. 

    • As long as the weather is great such as early spring you will have success. With the right amount of lighting and temperature, you will be well on your way. Hope this helps, all the best to you have a good day.

  2. Thank you for the tips… I had bought some seeds to germinate within my apartment but as it seems I screwed up and none of them actually sprouted.

    After reading your guide, I understood that I made a lot of mistakes so I am going to have to start over again following your instructions carefully.

    Thanks a lot!


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