Success starting seeds indoors

Success Starting Seeds Indoors!

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Success starting seeds indoors

It’s that time of year again! We start thinking about Spring, putting a garden in, and maybe starting seeds indoors. For the past couple of years, we’ve used a small indoor greenhouse placed in the sunroom. The seedlings were always spindly and took a while to really grow once we transplanted them in the garden. You can read about our previous experience starting seeds indoors here.

So we went back to the drawing board and created a new plan to *hopefully* have success starting seeds indoors!

After watching several videos we came to the conclusion that starting seeds indoors was not successful because our plants were suffering because of improper watering, lack of temperature control, and lack of good lighting. While we watched several videos to get a couple of different perspectives this particular video from Northlawn Flower Farm was our favorite especially because the climate is very similar to ours.

We decided to use a metal utility shelf that we had yet to move to the pantry. We cleaned it up and put it in a corner of the living room where it’s warmer.

Next, we bought new lights. We found some grow lights on Amazon a year or so ago but we weren’t pleased with the results. After our research, we realized that many people don’t use actual grow lights. Instead, they use LED Shop Lights along with a good heat source for the seed trays. We chose to use the heat mats we already had. Basically, a heating pad for plant trays though you could use a heating pad if you wanted to. The lights were purchased at Menard’s. We bought four. Two with 3,500 lumens and two with 4,500 lumens. Each shelf gets one of each light.

And lastly, we learned that once you place the seeds in moistened dirt, you cover them. You can use the plastic lid that comes with your seed tray called a humidity dome or plastic cling wrap which is what we used. This will turn each tray into a mini greenhouse. Within minutes of covering the tray, you’ll see condensation start to form. Once you cover them leave them alone until the individual tray reaches 50% germination and then remove the plastic and place the shop lights a couple of inches above the top of the plants with a little chain. As the plant grows you’ll move the lights up.

Before we would often open the greenhouse every day or so to check on and water the plants from the top. Now, we water from the bottom. Placing a little bit of water in the tray every day or so once we took the plastic off. The combination of the new lights, the bottom watering, and the addition of plastic wrap is what we believe helped us have greater success starting seeds indoors.

Since we’ve been starting our own seeds indoors for a couple of years now we’ve collected a bunch of supplies. We’ve kept a lot of the pots and trays from store-bought seedlings. We had quite a few plastic and styrofoam cups, & we keep craft supplies on hand so we had some tiny popsicle sticks.

If you’ve never started seeds indoors before you don’t need to invest in all the fancy equipment and seed trays. You can just use a couple of foil pans, some plastic cups, and popsicle sticks for labeling your pots from the dollar store. If you choose to invest in anything I’d recommend the shop lights and the heating mats and of course, you don’t want to forget your seed-starting soil.

We planted our seeds NINE days ago and we already have little seedlings growing! So far, we’ve had greater success starting seeds indoors than in years past! The plants are growing faster and look healthier than they have in years past! Hopefully this year they’ll continue to grow and flourish giving us lots of good fresh produce as the year goes on!

successful marjoram seed started indoors

Until next time,
Bailey Sue