Seed Starting Tips


Eager to get going in your garden? Start seeds indoors and be ready to plant when the weather is right. A few seed starting tips:

  • No pots? No problem: Use egg shells! Poke a hole in the bottom, crack and plant your eggshell starter pot when ready.
  • Add 30-40% compost (i.e. nutrients) to your seed starting soil mix. Mix should be damp (not wet) before planting.
  • Consistent water (amount and time of day) = happy starts!
  • Avoid over-filling trays and losing seeds when watering.
  • Even distribution and compaction of potting soil will help you determine a consistent watering regiment, which is key for healthy starts.
  • Planting seed too deep is one of the major causes of low seed germination.
  • Introduce stresses (e.g. wind and direct sun) gradually and one at a time when hardening off your starts.
  • Optimal germination temp = optimal grow temp + 10 degrees (most plants). Remove heat once your starts are up.
  • Using a grow light? Get it close to the soil for healthier starts.

Learn More

Guide to Starting Seeds Indoors

2017 Workshop: Start with a SeedPlant the seeds for a successful summer of gardening. This informative workshop will walk you through the basics of seed selection, seed starting, transplants, and tips for urban gardening. March 4, 2017 at Seed Savers Exchange, near Decorah, Iowa.