If you want to get a head start on your garden and start your own seeds, you will need the proper set up. I am sharing the best seed starting set up that I have found for home gardeners like myself.
Best Seed Starting Set Up
How I am starting all my seeds early
Learn all about my seed starting set up from the video below!
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Starting Seeds Indoors
After failing at starting seeds indoors last year, I’ve done a lot of research to figure out what I need to grow strong and healthy seedlings. This year I invested in a seed starting set up that is affordable and efficient for starting hundreds of seedlings indoors year after year. I will share what my set up looks like and where you can find everything you need to create the same set up. If you are looking to start seeds indoors, I hope you find this helpful!
I am also using my set up to propagate hardwood cuttings, including nearly 50 concord grape cuttings.
Why you should start your own seeds
I live in Upstate NY, which means we have a shorter growing season (around 120 days). In order to harvest food like tomatoes and peppers, it is essential to have plants that were started early. Direct seeding tomatoes and pepper plants won’t likely have enough time to produce veggies before the first frost. One option is to buy started plants from a local greenhouse or garden store. If you are doing more than a few plants, this can get very expensive! Seeds, on the other hand, are a much more affordable way to get plants for years! For example, one package of tomato seeds is about $3 and contains enough seeds to plant for several years (seeds will last years when stored properly).
Another reason to start your own seedlings is that your options for varieties significantly increases! Garden stores tend to carry the typical plant varieties, but when you grow your own seeds your options are endless. Did you know you can grow green (when ripe), orange, and even purple tomatoes? There are so many unique seed varieties that you can grow. I will be sharing all the seeds I plan to grow soon, but until then check out some of my favorite farms to source heirloom seeds; Baker Creek and Fruition Seeds.
The Best Seed Starting Set Up
Last year I attempted to grow seeds next to a window. I had false hope when they all germinated but soon realized they were not growing strong and healthy. Despite all my hard work, majority of the plants died once I moved them out to the garden. Why did this happen? I didn’t have the proper set up. Seedlings need more than window light to grow strong. After doing a lot of research, I found what I believe to be the best way to start seeds indoors. I will share my set up and all the links so that you can replicate my exact set up. If you are looking to start fewer seeds, you can simply use smaller versions of the products I’m sharing. For example, a smaller shelf, fewer lights, and a smaller heat mat.
Everything you need to create your own seed starting set up
- 5 Tier Shelf
- Heat Mats
- 72 Cell Trays
- Seedling Trays (no holes)
- Fox Farm Organic Soil
- Organic Miracle Grow soil
- Garden Tags
- Garden Marker Pen
How to set up the seed starting station
Once you set up the shelf, you will have room for four trays per shelf. This more than doubles the number of plants you can start if you buy the more common size shelving. Then line your shelves with heat mats. I bought four, but you could probably get away with just two and move plants off as they germinate. As a temporary solution I just have fishing string tied around the lights and secured with a clip. This makes them adjustable as your seedlings grow. Eventually I plan to replace this set up with a chain. This pack of 8 lights allows for two per shelf. The best part is that they all connect so you can have them all on with one switch. You can also easily detach the cords to adjust how many lights are on (in case you don’t need all 8 at first). That’s about it! Once you have your shelves, heat mats, and lights set up, you are ready to start filling your trays and planting!
I hope this has been helpful to you if you are interested in starting your own seeds or propagating plants. I have found this seed starting set up to work great and love that it keeps so many plants conveniently in one compact space until they are ready to move out to the garden.
Thank you so much for visiting me on the blog!
What a great way to get a jump start to Spring. Looking forward to following your process.