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How to Start Seedlings Indoors

Just because your garden is covered in snow doesn’t mean you can’t start your spring seedlings. Use our six steps to start seedlings indoors for your spring garden.
  • Compile Your Gear: You don’t need expensive grow lights. Simple shop lights will do since your seedlings won’t be grown indoors long-term. An inexpensive seedling tray and a bag of potting soil also will be needed.
  • Plant Your Spring Seedlings: Fill your tray will soil and pack lightly. Moisten the soil and plant at least two seeds per space. Plant a variety of garden seeds in your tray and mark your seedlings with fruit and vegetable names. Moisten the soil again and cover with clear plastic. Keep the plants out of direct sunlight. Check your seedlings daily. Once you see sprouts in each space, you can remove the plastic and add your lighting.
  • Give Them Light: Your plants will need about 12 hours of light each day. Hang shop lights just above (no more than three inches) your seedling trays. Provide light daily for six weeks. Water daily.
  • Let Your Seedlings Grow: The plants will grow strong and straight since the light source is directly above. After about six weeks, your seedlings will be strong enough to plant outside.
  • Acclimate Your Seedlings: Take the entire seedling tray to your garden and let them acclimate to the weather outside. Take the tray out for longer periods each day as the weather warms. Once frosts end in your area, you can leave them outside all day and get ready for transplanting.
  • Transplant: When the seedlings are acclimated and spring has well and truly sprung, replant your hardy seedlings outdoors. Follow spacing guidelines for each plant and voila! Your spring garden is off to a great start.

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