Seed Starting Essentials


Have you ever grown seeds indoors? Most of us have planted a bean seed in a cup at school, placed it near a window, watered and watched it sprout. Did you take it home, plant it outdoors and grow beans? My friend did and it led to his career in horticulture. So, what are the benefits of starting seeds indoors?

– The selection of seedlings or transplants at garden centers is limited. Yet, there are thousands of plants – flowers, vegetables and herbs – that can be grown from seed. Growing from seed gives the opportunity for diversity and personally selected varieties in your garden. You could grow something that you’ve never had in your garden. That would be fun, so speaking of fun.

– Growing plants from seeds is fun and rewarding. Planting seeds, tending and watching them grow indoors takes time and patience, but the process is enjoyable, educational and gratifying. You get to literally taste the fruits of your labor or feast your eyes on your own beautifully grown flowers.

– Growing seeds indoors is cost saving because transplants are more expensive than seeds. In the long run, growing seeds indoors is cost saving. There is some expense to purchase seeds, lights, seed starting mix and other essentials. But in the end, is it about money? For me, it isn’t and I suspect that is the same for so many that enjoy the challenge and experience of starting seeds indoors. 

With the right supplies, seed starting indoors is convenient and more successful. Here are some essential supplies that you need for seed starting indoors. Find them in my Amazon shop – click the link for any item.


Seed Starter tray kits with humidity domes are like mini-greenhouses. It is a 3 part system that includes a base tray to hold water, a multi-cell seed tray for seed mix and seeds plus a cover to manage humidity and aid seed germination. Because seeds germinate at different rates, it is best to plant all the same seeds in a tray. That is why I prefer to use trays with a smaller number of cells to start a large variety of seeds all at the same time.

These are 3 of my favorites.

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Seed Starter Tray Kit 60 Cell

This 60 cell seed starter tray is convenient for small gardens when seeding a number of different seeds. With 6 cells per tray, it can be re-used, has a dome with vent to control humidity that improves germination and a water holding tray.  This set can produce 60 seedlings.

Seed Starter Tray Kit 120 Cell

With 12 cells per tray, this 120 cell seed starter tray is convenient when seeding a lot of different seeds. It fits a small shelf unit, can be re-used, has a water holding tray and the dome has a vent to manage humidity. This set can produce 120 seedlings

Seed Starter Tray with Humidity Dome

With 8 trays, this seed starter tray set is ideal for starting a number of varieties of the same plant, like tomatoes or sweetpeas. It has 144 cells in all, a water holding tray and a high humidity dome to accommodate taller seedlings. It is overall 14x11x7 inches, but still easy to carry and is re-usable.


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Watering Can

This watering can with a long spout makes refilling empty water trays easy and convenient. The ½ gallon capacity is ample to fill a number of trays all at once. It is plastic with a detachable nozzle.

Wash Bottle Set

Occasionally, an individual seed cell can get dry. A squeeze bottle is convenient for watering a dry cell to keep water off seedlings and prevent damping off, the nemesis disease of seedlings. Also, for mixing liquid fertilizer to apply after seedlings develop their first set of true leaves. A squeeze bottle is inexpensive, but convenient and useful.


My Favorite Media for Seed Starting Plus More Essentials

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Fiskars Micro-Tip Pruning Snips

Fiskars Non-stick Micro-Tip Pruning Snips are easy on the hand with a spring action soft grip. The very sharp tips are perfect for thinning seedlings. I have many pairs and have used them for years. 

Miracle-Gro Cactus, Palm, & Citrus Potting Mix

Miracle-Gro Cactus, Palm, & Citrus Potting Mix for seed starting? Yes, because it gets the best results, and is easier to work with than any labeled “seed starting mix” I’ve used. It is composed of natural products, peat, sand, perlite and a tiny amount of nitrogen. It drains wells, is lightweight, sterile and most importantly easy to moisten, unlike many traditional seed mixes. I learned of this use for the product from a professional propagator in my social media community. Yeah for network learning and sharing. This is 2 bags, 8 quart each.

Seed Storage Container

This is my favorite seed storage container. After trying jars, shoeboxes and large envelops, I finally found ideal seed storage. Yes, it is intended for photos, but this 12x15x5 inch box with 16 cases perfectly holds about 100 packages of seeds. Easily store seeds by type or variety in a see thru case. A snap tight closure and handle makes for convenient storage and handling.

Seed Starting Essentials That Increase Success

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LED Lights

LED Bbounder linkable lights provide 4000 lumens for optimal light. A set of 4, easy to connect 48 inch lights that are integrated and energy saving. Chains included for hanging. Adequate lighting is key to getting a high percentage of seed germination.

Seedling Heating Mat

A seedling heat mat increases seed germination. This professional heat mat maintains sweet-spot temperatures around 68-86 F, which is just right for seed starting. It is made of high-quality PVC material, wear-resistant and durable.

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