Start Seeds Indoors or Direct Sow?

Melissa Shelly

Ah, springtime – the perfect time to get your hands into the dirt and get growing some plants from seed! It’s not just a fun activity that provides an opportunity for restorative outdoor time, but can also be incredibly rewarding when you watch your plants come to life. From wildflowers to veggies and herbs, planting seeds is a great way to add color and sustenance to your garden. Let’s explore some helpful tips on how you can make this planting season even better.

Growing Your Own Vegetables: Start Seeds Indoors or Direct Sow?

When it comes to vegetable gardens, the real magic takes place before you ever set foot outdoors. Before you can enjoy a juicy tomato in your salad or harvest sweet carrots for dinner, choices need to be made about how to start your garden – do you start seeds indoors or sow them directly into the soil outside?

Introduction to vegetable garden planning

Choosing between starting seeds indoors vs direct sowing: Understandably, many gardeners opt for direct sowing as it frees up precious patio space and creates an easier path from seed to kitchen table. However, there are many compelling reasons to take the extra effort of starting seeds indoors.

Benefits of starting seeds indoors

Long season vegetables: The earlier you begin growing vegetables that have a long season such as tomatoes and peppers indoors, the sooner they will be ready to bear fruit when moved outside.

Protection from late frosts: Furthermore, protecting the delicate young seedlings indoors allows gardeners in colder climates avoid the risk of late frosts damaging their crops.

Preparation for starting seeds indoors

Gathering supplies: If starting seeds indoors, plan ahead and make sure you’ve dug through your gardening supplies for soil organizers and grow lights that will help ensure success for your crops.

Space for young seedlings

Make sure you are providing plenty of space between little sprouts so each plant can establish its own root system without competing with others.

Providing food and water: Additionally, give young plants plenty of food and water since they don’t have roots deep enough yet to scavenge moisture from the ground outside.

Choosing containers: When choosing containers for indoor plants remember that larger ones with proper drainage may provide less maintenance over time versus skimping on size while purchasing several smaller containers.

Transitions seedlings outdoors

Protecting from wind: When its time to transition seedlings outdoors protect them from wind by keeping them in a cool location during the day and returning them inside if needed at night until temperatures begin to remain consistently warm throughout the day and night.

Feeding outdoor plants

Compost or organic matter: Feeding your outdoor plants compost or other organic matter is ideal since chemical fertilizers break down faster in warm air than cooler temperatures can handle requiring more frequent applications than necessary.

Natural pest deterrents

Neem oil sprays: In addition utilizing natural pest deterrents such as neem oil sprays on plants is a safe solution that won’t harm beneficial insects like bees which play an important role in pollination of flowers that turn into fruits enjoyed at harvest time!

Creating the Perfect Environment for Your Seeds to Flourish!

Struggling to get your garden off to a good start each spring? Want to give your seeds an extra edge before it’s time to plant them outdoors? Many of us choose to start our seeds in our homes in order to get a head start on the gardening season. But, creating and maintaining an environment suitable for seed germination is no small feat! Here are some of the most important things to keep in mind for success.


Adequate light is essential for sturdy and healthy plants. Give your seedlings at least six hours of direct sunlight per day by placing it near a south-facing window. East- or west-facing windows can also work but need more light help like fluorescent tubes about 6-12 inches away from the seedlings once spring hits.


Soil temperatures need to be in the range of 70-75°F for most kinds of seeds in order for them to have the best chance at germination. If you have larger amounts of soil you can use heating cables but it isn’t typically necessary when using small containers on windowsills! Keep air temperatures at 60-65°F during the daytime and drop it down to at least 55° at night, this helps stop the seedlings from getting lanky or stretched out over time!


No one likes a dried out seed but over watering is also bad news! Check on them daily by touching the soil to see if it is moist but not soggy. If a plastic cover came with your seeding medium it is fine to use it here but once they have sprouted up, open up that lid to help avoid damping off disease.


Your seedlings need consistent humidity levels but too much can cause damping off disease so once they have germinated leave off that plastic cover! The best way to get air circulation and keep some of that humidity in is by another method like spraying with water mist or installing small fans nearby! but keep original text

How to Get a Jump Start on the Season by Planting Seeds

Understanding the Basics of Seed Starting

Seed starting isn’t all that complicated but it can seem daunting to those of us who have not done it before or for those of us who have had mixed results in the past. At my farm, I start all of my own seedlings for my garden and for sale. Initially it can seem really complex but once you get into it you see that it’s actually quite simple. It is also much cheaper to start your own seeds than to buy plants at a big-box store come spring. Let’s look at what we need to consider when starting our own seeds – light, soil moisture/air circulation and temperature.

Creating a Schedule for the Season

At the end of February it can seem like it is too early to begin planning for seed-starting but in reality it is not! I have set aside two months for seed-starting in my seasonal schedule and I think it is essential to give your vegetables or plants enough time to mature before deploying them in the garden. For example, it can take up to four to six weeks to grow a good-sized tomato plant from seed so there is no rush! Let’s look at how best to start out on plan this season.

Planting Seeds in Containers or into Raised Beds in Your Yard

I’m no expert on seeding but I have gained numerous tips over my ten years of doing it at my farm. Let’s use the idea of growing tomatoes as an example: Look at the back of the packet of tomato seeds you want to use and look for ‘days to maturity.’ This is important as it can help you plan ahead by looking on a calendar for March – look at each week for dates up until when you put them in your garden, which for me is normally at the end of April after all chance of frost has passed by! Use graph pencils or other markings on calendars help guide you through tracking your seeding over time!

Giving Seeds All They Need To Thrive

Once all your seeds have been planted into their pots with new soil, give them extra help by mixing in some good quality worm compost before adding one seed per pot with tweezers. Keep track of all stages of growth- i.e., when should warm weather veggies like tomatoes and peppers go outside- once all this is clear use a heat dome over all trays so to keep in heat up the temperature- this helps all your babies germinate quickly!

Final Thoughts

My journey of planting seeds has been one of trial and error. After some research, I now have a better understanding of the differences between direct sowing and starting seeds indoors. Each method has its advantages and disadvantages, depending on what best suits you and your garden. I still have a long way to go in fully mastering the craft, but I can’t wait to see what kinds of wonders this growing season will bring me!

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