The best seed starting resources from around the web

hand holding plant seedling

It’s snowing here in Wisconsin as I write this blog post. Living in a northern climate can be tough because of our long winters. Long winters mean a short gardening season, which can be challenging if you love gardening as much as I do.

Right around this time of year I start to get a little impatient for spring to usher in the first days of getting my hands dirty in the soil. My fingernails have been far too clean for the last few months!

That’s why each year it feels like seed starting season arrives at the perfect time. I usually start my onions around the end of February and then work my way through my seed starting calendar over the next month.

Little by little my seed starting rack fills up with tiny, baby plants that I can fuss over and check on every day. Seed starting signals to me that the gardening season has officially begun and that I’ll be back out planting these little green vegetables very soon.

I breath a big sigh of relief when I break out my seed starting supplies each February. Spring is coming, I just have to hold on for a few more weeks.

If you’re a new gardener who’s just embarking on the seed starting journey this year, or a seasoned seed starter who wants to pick up some new tips and techniques, this is the time to do it!

I’m sharing some of my favorite seed starting resources from around the internet so you can dig in and get motivated to add to your skills and improve your seed starting process.

pepper seeds in soil and seed starting resources

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Seed Starting Articles From This Website

If you’re on the fence about starting seeds, let me assure you, it’s totally worth the time and effort. These two posts offer a quick overview of the great reasons you should start seeds at home this year and five easy vegetables and flowers to start with.

5 Fantastic Reasons to Start Seeds for Your Garden

5 seeds to start indoors that will make you fall in love with seed starting

After I’ve convinced you to embark on the seed starting journey, you’ll need to start gathering your supplies. You simply cannot grow healthy and robust plants in front of a window, so you’ll need some kind of light and rack set up.  This post gives a tour of the one I’ve been using at home for many years and even links to my favorite supplies.

How to Make the Ultimate DIY Grow Light Stand

After you assemble your lights, you’ll need to start thinking about other supplies, like which seed starting mix to buy. I’ve learned many important lessons about purchasing a high quality seed starter. I share them all here and walk you through some of the critical ingredients to look for when you’re out shopping at your local nursery.

How to Choose the Best Seed Starting Mix

When you’re ready to start planting those seeds, you’ll want to make sure you understand exactly what the different types of seeds need to germinate. Some like warm soil, other prefer cooler temperatures, and moisture is a very important factor. In this article I outline five essential things you need to know to get great germination.

5 Ways to Getter Better Seed Germination Every Time

And speaking of germination, peppers can be extremely stubborn seeds to coax into growth. I struggled with them for a few years until I learned some of the most important determining factors in growing peppers plants at home successfully. Learn about them in this article.

Behind the Scenes Secrets to Starting Peppers Indoors

And finally, there are lots of mistakes I see gardeners making in their seed starting operations every year. I compiled the most common into this article so you can avoid them this season.

10 Seed Starting Mistakes to Avoid This Year

vegetable seedlings

Super Easy Seed Starting Masterclass

My online Masterclass, Super Easy Seed Starting, invites you into my seed starting laboratory (a.k.a. my guest room) to lead you step by step through the process of growing your own organic plants at home. The videos will help you skip over frustrating and costly mistakes and grow high-quality seedlings that produce an abundance of colorful and healthy produce for your family all season long.

Read more about it here..

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 hand planting kale seedling

Seed Starting Resources from Garden Friends

As a garden educator I’ve met lots of amazing gardeners who expertly write, speak, and teach about growing food and starting seeds. Here’s a round up of some of the most useful posts from around the gardening community.

Making Newspaper Pots
Last year I decided to make some newspaper pots for my rapidly growing tomato seedlings. I always give a lot of plants away to friends and neighbors and I like to hold on to my own pots and cells so I can use them over and over again. I had a lot of extra tomato plants, so I decided to follow this tutorial by Lovely Greens for making newspaper pots and they turned out great!

Two Ways to Make Newspaper Plant Pots

Soil Blocking
The farm where I first learned to garden 20 years ago used the soil blocking method for starting seeds. I’ve moved away from it because I find it much easier to use plastic trays and cells, but I don’t love that even with care the plastic supplies I use break after several years of use and have to be thrown away. If you like the idea of getting away from plastic in your seed starting process, check out this article explaining how to use a soil blocker.

Soil Blocks to Grow Seedlings

Starting Seeds Too Early
I’ve been guilty of starting some of my seeds too early. This is usually a result of impatience. The winter is long here in WI and sometimes I just want the gardening season to hurry up and start already. But, this mistake can lead to some real inconveniences and even heartbreak later in the spring. This article on Savvy Gardening describes three reasons why you might regret your impatience.

3 Pitfalls of Starting Seeds Too Early 

Leggy Seedlings
Being tall and leggy might be a great thing if you’re a fashion model, but if you’re a vegetable plant, it’s not a desired characteristic. This is one of the most common mistakes I see gardeners making over and over again. This article by Homestead and Chill explains what “leggy” means, how to avoid it happening to your seedlings, and how to attempt to remedy the situation if it strikes your seedlings.

How to Prevent and Fix Leggy Seedlings

Podcast Episodes With Seed Starting Resources

Ken Greene, owner of Hudson Valley Seed Supply, and Margaret Roach, former garden editor of Martha Stewart Magazine, chat about all things starting seeds with the intent of helping you get over your fear and just do it!

Conquering Seed Starting Fear

The All Things Plants Podcast dives into everything you might be asking about the seed starting process in this episode.

Seed Starting & More

Onions are the first vegetable I start every year and one of my favorites to grow. I usually start about 700 seeds and plant around 500 plants. The way you grow them indoors is a little bit different from other vegetables. Get the lowdown in this episode of the Encyclopedia Botannica Podcast.

Starting Onions from Seed

Seed Starting Books

Garden Alchemy:80 Recipes and Concoctions for Organic Fertilizers, Plant Elixirs, Potting Mixes, Pest Deterrents, and More by [Stephanie Rose]

Garden Alchemy: 80 Recipes and Concoctions for Organic Fertilizers, Plant Elixirs, Potting Mixes, Pest Deterrents, and More

I’ve met Stephanie Rose, the author, at a conference a few years ago and have been a guest on her blog. In this book she shares lots of DIY recipes for everything from seed starting soil to garden teas and pest traps. It’s a fun book for those who like to experiment in the garden. Grab a copy here.

 

 

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This is the classic seed starting bible! I’ve had it on my gardening bookshelf for many years.

Grab a copy here.

 

 

 

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Seed starting is a valuable and exciting tool to add to your garden toolkit. It also opens a whole world of interesting and colorful varieties that can’t be found at your local nursery. If you’re new to seed starting, try it this year! I bet you’ll fall in love with it as much as I have.

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Learn how to get better results.

Let's starting with talking about the top 5 mistakes most gardeners are making.

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