Our tomato seedling for this year.2023

Beginner’s Guide: How to Start Seeds Indoors for a Successful Garden

I understand that starting your own garden can be an intimidating and daunting task, especially if you’re new to the hobby. That’s why I’m here! I would like to guide you through the process of how to start seeds indoors, so you can have a successful garden from the very beginning.


Starting your own seeds indoors allows you to have control over the growing conditions of your plants, including temperature, light, and moisture. You can also start your seeds earlier than you would be able to if you were waiting for the weather to warm up outside.
This means you’ll have a longer growing season and can enjoy your plants for a longer period of time. Plus, starting seeds indoors is a quite fun and rewarding activity that will give you a sense of accomplishment as you watch your cute little seedlings grow into beautiful and productive plants.


Now that you’re excited to get started, let’s talk about the tools and materials you’ll need to begin your indoor seed-starting adventure. First and foremost, you’ll need some sort of container to hold your soil and seeds. This can be anything from plastic cups to specialized seed trays to recycled yogurt containers. Remember to poke drainage holes in the bottoms to allow excess water to escape. I always hit up Dollar Tree and Dollar General and check out their selection of gardening supplies. You’ll also need a high-quality potting soil that is specifically formulated for starting seeds, as well as some sort of grow light or sunny windowsill to provide your plants with the necessary light they need to grow.

Materials List:

  • Seed trays or pots – I like the little peat pots, you can also use egg cartons or dixie cups
  • Seed starting mix or potting soil
  • Seeds
  • Spray bottle
  • Plastic wrap
  • Grow lights or a sunny windowsill
  • Plant labels (popsicle sticks work great)

Step 1: Choose your seeds

The first step in starting seeds indoors is to choose the seeds you want to grow. You can purchase seeds from a local nursery or online, or save seeds from plants you've grown in the past. When choosing seeds, it's important to consider the growing conditions in your area and select plants that will thrive in your climate.

Step 2: Gather your materials

Before you start planting, gather all the materials you'll need. You'll need seed trays or pots, seed starting mix, seeds, a watering can or spray bottle, plastic wrap or a seed starting dome, grow lights or a sunny windowsill, and fertilizer.

Step 3: Fill the seed trays

Fill the seed trays with seed starting mix, leaving about 1/4 inch of space at the top. Seed starting mix is specifically formulated for starting seeds and provides the right balance of nutrients and drainage.

Step 4: Plant the seeds

Make a small hole in the seed starting mix with your finger or, I use the eraser end of a pencil, it makes the perfect size hole. Then, carefully, place one or two seeds in each hole. Cover the seeds with a thin layer of seed starting mix.

QUICK TIP: Make sure you research what plants grow well in your garden zone before planting!

Step 5: Water the seeds

Water the seeds gently with a watering can or spray bottle. Be careful not to overwater, as this can cause the seeds to rot. The soil should be moist but not saturated. BE EXTRA CAREFUL with this step!  I use a spray bottle ONLY to water my seeds indoors.  A watering can sometimes produces a thin stream of water you can’t really control and it could move the seeds while in the soil.  A spray bottle is your best bet!

Watering seedlings with a water bottle that has holes poked in the cap.
My Mom is using a water bottle with holes poked in the top of the cap, this helps to control the amount of water for the seedlings.

Step 6: Cover the trays

Cover the seed trays with plastic wrap or a seed starting dome to create a greenhouse-like environment. This will help to retain moisture and create a warm environment for the seeds to germinate. I just use a plastic shallow tote with a cover on it.

Step 7: Provide light

Place the seed trays under grow lights or on a sunny windowsill. Seeds need plenty of light to germinate and grow, so make sure they're getting enough. If using grow lights, keep them on for 12-16 hours per day.

Step 8: Remove the cover

Once the seeds have germinated and are starting to grow, remove the plastic wrap or seed starting dome. This will allow for better air circulation and prevent mold and mildew from forming.

Step 9: Transplant

Once the seedlings have grown to a size where they have outgrown their starter pots, it's time to transplant them into larger containers or into the ground outside. This should be done gradually, to allow the plants to adjust to their new environment.

Starting seeds indoors can be a great way to get a head start on the growing season and ensure that your plants are strong and healthy. With a little bit of patience and care, you can grow a beautiful garden full of vibrant plants and vegetables. If you would like some help, catch me in my Facebook group, Beginner Gardeners Start Here

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