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

best vegetable seeds to start indoors

This is the time of year when we gardeners are starting to feel the pull of the garden again. Mine is under snow right now in Wisconsin, so it’s going to be some weeks before I get to sink my hands into the soil again.

Luckily, seed starting season begins just when most of us are starting to get restless.

Not only does starting vegetables indoors give you a jumpstart on the gardening season, but it also saves money, allows you to grow unique and colorful varieties you can’t find anywhere else, and is way more fun than buying your plants at the big box store.

Seed starting can feel overwhelming if you’re a newbie. But, trust me, once you get the hang of it you’ll soon find yourself filling up your house with seedlings of all shapes and sizes year after year!

To get you started, here are five of the easiest plants to start from seed.

onions are one of the best vegetables to start indoors

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Starting Vegetables Indoors: The 5 Best for Beginners


Forget about buying onion sets from the garden center this spring! Growing your own onions from seed often results in bigger and better onions. Each year I grow 300-500 onions in my garden for winter storage. In fact, we’re still eating last year’s onions right now.

In order to store onions, you need to grow storage varieties, which are difficult to find as sets or plants at the garden store. So, you’re better off ordering your own seeds from a catalog. My favorites: Pontiac, Patterson and Redwing for storage, Ailsa Craig for fresh eating. Find my tips for growing great onions in the garden here.

You can’t start seeds successfully in front of a window. Learn about a simple DIY rack you can assemble quickly with a tour of mine here.

starting vegetable indoors is easy with kale


Kale is the new trendy vegetable and at $3-5 a pop for a bunch, it’s a much better deal to grow your own this season. I love kale because once you plant it in early spring it continues to grow and produce all the way into late fall and early winter.

There have been years that I’ve harvested kale for Thanksgiving dinner! It also freezes easily for winter smoothies, soups and stews. My favorites: Lacinato, Winterbor, Scarlet.

Want to join me in the excitement of growing your own organic plants at home? Check out Super Easy Seed Starting, a how-to video series about creating a personalized planting calendar, how to build your own grow light rack, and what to look for when shopping for seed starting mix. Find out more here.

Lettuce is one of the best seeds to grow indoors


Have you looked at the lettuce section of a seed catalog recently? The number of varieties and stunning colors will blow your mind! You could paint your garden like a canvas with pops of lettuce colors in every bed and make gourmet salads for dinner every night.

My picks: Butterhead, Marvel of the Four Seasons, Oakleaf.

tomatoes are easy seeds to start indoors


Tomatoes are the beloved vegetable of many gardeners and the best varieties are hotly debated. One of the reasons I start my own tomatoes is so I can make sure I have access to the varieties I think are the best.

And talk about payback! One tomato plant will produce pounds and pounds of delicious fruit. My favorites: Moonglow, Green Zebra, Amish Paste and Sun Gold Cherry Tomato.

zinnias are one of the best seeds to start at home


A rainbow of colorful flowers bopping their heads in the wind is the quickest way to elevate your garden to a work of art. I liberally mix in lots of flowers with my vegetables and the effect is stunning.

Some flower seeds are difficult to start at home, but zinnias are as reliable as they come. My favorites: State Fair, Peppermint Stick, Queen Red Lime.

This year as you find yourself wistfully thinking about the upcoming gardening season, jump into the process of starting vegetables indoors with both feet (hands!). Once you try it, I guarantee you’ll fall in love with it just like the rest of us.

Don’t forget to check out the video series focused on helping you have more success when starting seeds. Check it out here.

Find more seed starting posts here:

Vegetable Seeds: What You Need to Know About Different Types

Seed Starting Soil for Home Gardeners

Favorite Seed Starting Resources





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