Gardening 101 Day 22 ~From Seed to Sprout: How to Tips and Tricks for Successfully Starting Seeds Indoors

“The lesson I have thoroughly learnt, and wish to pass on to others, is to know the enduring happiness that the love of a garden gives. ” Gertrude Jekyll

If you’ve been following me for any amount of time, you know my passion for gardening & cooking. Of course in mind, they go hand in hand. Recently on both my Facebook & Instagram I shared starting my seeds! Well, here is the blog to go along with it! 

Whether you’re a novice or experienced gardening enthusiast, you know that starting seeds indoors is a great way to get a head start on the growing season, although if you’re new to this process, it can seem overwhelming. There are so many different brands of seeds, seed starting soil mixes, and containers to choose from, where do you even begin? 

Fear not, fellow green thumbs! Today, I’ll take you through the basics of starting seeds indoors, from selecting the right seeds to caring for your seedlings as they grow. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener looking to refine your skills or a newbie looking to dip your toes into the world of gardening, I’ve got you covered. So, roll up your sleeves, grab some dirt, and let’s get started on our journey from seed to sprout!

Now lets chat about how to successfully start your seeds indoors!

1. What are the benefits of starting seeds indoors?

There are several benefits to gardeners when starting seeds indoors. 

  • First, it allows you to get a head start on the growing season, and who doesn’t want that! When you start your seeds indoors, you provide them the optimal conditions they need to germinate & grow before the weather outside is warm enough for outdoor planting. This allows you the opportunity to enjoy fresh produce earlier in the season.
  • Another benefit of starting seeds indoors is it gives you more control over the growing conditions. When you plant seeds outdoors, you’re at the mercy of the weather and the soil, & if you live in an area with cold winters, you know this is definitely a benefit. By starting seeds indoors, you can control the temperature, humidity, and light levels to ensure your seedlings get off to a good start.
  • Last, but certainly not least, starting seeds indoors can save you money. Buying seedlings from a nursery can be expensive, especially if you need to buy a large quantity. By starting your own seeds, you can save money and have more control over the varieties you grow.

2. What materials do I need to start my own seeds indoors?

Before you get started, you’ll need a few basic materials. Here’s a list of what I suggest you start with:

  • Seeds: Choose the seeds you want to start indoors. Make sure to choose varieties that are well-suited to your area. Like I always say, be sure to read the package instructions and guidelines for planting.
  • Seed starting containers: You can use plastic or biodegradable pots, trays, or cell flats. Make sure they have drainage holes. I save all my plastic salad, grape tomatoes, and even carry out containers to make great containers to start seeds in. 
  • Soil mix: Use a soil mix that’s specifically formulated for seed starting. It should be light, well-draining, and nutrient-rich.
  • Watering can or spray bottle: You’ll need a way to water your seedlings. Be sure all your containers, no matter what you use, have proper drainage holes & a tray of some sort to catch water under the container.
  • Grow lights: If you don’t have access to natural sunlight, you’ll need grow lights to provide your seedlings with enough light. If you have your containers in a window, be sure to turn them everyday once they sprout to avoid becoming leggy due to ‘reaching’ for the sunlight.
  • Thermometer and humidity gauge: If you want to go the whole nine yards, you can invest in a way to monitor the temperature and humidity levels in your growing area. I personally don’t use this.

3. How do I know what seeds to choose for indoor planting?

Unfortunately not all seeds are well-suited to indoor planting. Some seedlings require more light and space than you can provide indoors. If you have a four season room, this would make a great grow house, but it must be heated. 

Here are some tips for choosing the right seeds:

  • Choose seeds that are well-suited to indoor growing conditions. Look for varieties that are compact, disease-resistant, and can be grown in containers.
  • Consider the space you have available. If you have limited space, choose seeds that can be grown in small pots or trays.
  • Think about the amount of light you have available. Some seeds require more light than others. If you don’t have access to natural sunlight, choose seeds that can be grown under grow lights.

5. You really need the right soil for seed starting!

Soil preparation is key to successful indoor seed starting. Here are some tips:

  • Use a soil mix that’s specifically formulated for seed starting. These mixes are light, well-draining, and nutrient-rich.
  • Moisten the soil before planting. Use a spray bottle or watering can to moisten the soil mix before planting your seeds.
  • Avoid using garden soil for indoor seed starting. Garden soil is too heavy and can contain diseases and pests that can harm your seedlings.

7. Proper watering and fertilization are important for the health of your seedlings.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Water your seedlings regularly, but don’t overwater them. Overwatering can lead to root rot and other problems.
  • Use a spray bottle or watering can with a fine rose to water your seedlings gently.
  • Fertilize your seedlings with a diluted liquid fertilizer once they’ve developed their first set of true leaves.
  • Follow the instructions on the fertilizer package for dilution rates and frequency of use.

4. Now it’s time to prepare your seed starting containers!

Once you’ve chosen your seeds, it’s time to prepare your containers. Here’s how:

  • Clean your containers: If you’re reusing containers from a previous growing season, make sure to clean them thoroughly with soap and water.
  • Add drainage holes: Make sure your containers have drainage holes in the bottom. This will allow excess water to drain away and prevent your seedlings from sitting in water, otherwise they will rot, or seedlings will drown. Watch my video for a simple how-to.
  • Fill containers with soil mix: Fill your containers with your chosen soil mix, leaving about 1/2 inch of space at the top. I always recommend an organic blend.
  • Label your containers: Use plant labels to identify the type of seed you’re planting and the date you planted it. Don’t believe you will remember… you won’t! Trust me!

6. Sowing your seeds properly is crucial to success!

Now the fun begins, it’s time to sow your seeds. Here’s how:

  • As I constantly say, be sure to read the seed packet for specific instructions on planting depth and spacing both when direct sowing, and when you transplant out to your garden.
  • Plant your seeds at the recommended depth. This is usually two to three times the diameter of the seed.
  • Space your seeds according to the instructions on the seed packet.
  • Cover the seeds with soil mix and gently ‘tamp’ down to ensure good seed-to-soil contact. I use a similar sized container so I don’t accidentally get a seed stuck to my hand! Yes it can happen!
  • Water your seeds gently using a spray bottle or watering can.

Lighting and temperature are crucial factors!

Light and temperature are critical factors for successful indoor seed starting. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Place your seedlings in a location that receives plenty of natural sunlight. If you don’t have access to natural sunlight, use grow lights.
  • Keep the temperature in your growing area between 60 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • If you have one, or choose to purchase one, use a thermometer and humidity gauge to monitor the temperature and humidity levels in your growing area.

8. Let fun really begin~ How & when to transplant your seedlings outdoors!

Once your seedlings have developed their second set of true leaves, they’re ready to be transplanted outdoors. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Harden off your seedlings by gradually exposing them to outdoor conditions over the course of a week.
  • Choose a location that receives plenty of sunlight and has well-draining soil.
  • Dig a hole that’s slightly larger than the root ball of your seedling.
  • Gently remove the seedling from its container and place it in the hole.
  • Backfill the hole with soil and water your seedling gently.

Indoor seed starting can be tricky, and there are several common problems that can arise.

Here are some tips for solving them:

  • Damping off: This is a fungal disease that can cause seedlings to wilt and die. To prevent damping off, make sure your containers have good drainage and avoid overwatering.
  • Leggy seedlings: If your seedlings are growing tall and spindly, they’re not getting enough light. Move them to a location that receives more sunlight or use grow lights.
  • Mold or mildew: If you see mold or mildew growing on your soil or seedlings, it’s a sign of too much moisture. Reduce watering and improve air circulation.

Starting seeds indoors can be a rewarding and cost-effective way to get a head start on the growing season. By following these tips and tricks, you’ll be well on your way to growing healthy, productive seedlings.

If you enjoyed this blog, please LIKE, Follow, Share & leave me a comment! I love your feedback!

If you aren’t following me on Facebook & Instagram go on over & give a LIKE & Follow me for daily tips & tricks for your home & garden! 

Added bonus: You can go to my blog at to purchase my original cookbook, Lovingly Seasoned Eats and Treats in either a spiral bound soft cover OR NEW, a Downloadable PDF version. The cookbook has almost 1000 recipes on almost 500 pages! Check out the Cookbook Testimonials while you’re there!

Until next time remember to,
Eat fresh, shop local & have a happy day,

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Gardening 101 Day 18 Part 2~ How to Create a Vegetable Container Garden YOUTUBE VIDEO

“I love things that are indescribable, like the taste of an avocado or the smell of a gardenia. ” Barbra Streisand

Welcome to Day 18 of my Gardening 101 Part 2 on how-to create a container garden. In Part 1 I discussed how to create an herb container garden, today let’s look at how to incorporate veggies into containers. 

Many of the elements will be similar, especially in the types of containers, making this post a bit shorter. If you missed Part 1, just jump on over for an informative recap!

If you are a novice gardener you may be wondering how you can grow veggies in containers. You may be an experienced gardener who is considering the option of moving your veggies from a standard tillable garden to downsize or just utilize space more effectively. 

If you are a novice gardener you may be wondering how you can grow veggies in containers. You may be an experienced gardener who is considering the option of moving your veggies from a standard tillable garden to downsize or just utilize space more effectively. 

If you’ve been eyeing up container gardening lately, then you’re probably wondering what it has to offer you. After all, growing in a garden doesn’t really work like that. As you all know I am a huge advocate for container and raised bed gardening. Raised beds are in reality just another form of containers, as I showed in Part 1. You can grow herbs and vegetables in a standard tillable garden, but that type of gardening takes so much more effort and planning. With container gardening, everything becomes simpler and more accessible than it is with other methods. 

If you missed my two part series on the benefits of raised bed gardening, click these links. Part 1 and Part 2.

Have you been wondering how to get started with a vegetable garden, or just want to be able to grow your own vegetables at home? Well, a vegetable container garden might be just the answer you’re looking for. A vegetable container garden is essentially an easy way to extend the space of your yard so you can grow plants more effectively. 

With this guide, I’ll be showing you everything you need to know about creating successful container gardens as well as the many benefits they have to offer. After reading through the following tips, you will understand why having a container garden is one of the best ways to enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables all year round.

If you enjoyed this blog, please LIKE, Follow, Share & leave me a comment! I love your feedback!

If you aren’t following me on Facebook & Instagram go on over & give a LIKE & Follow me for daily tips & tricks for your home & garden! 

Added bonus: You can go to my blog at to purchase my original cookbook, Lovingly Seasoned Eats and Treats. The cookbook has almost 1000 recipes on almost 500 pages! Check out the Cookbook Testimonials while you’re there!

Until next time remember to,
Eat fresh, shop local & have a happy day,


Copyright Policy

All text and images on this site are copyright of For Dragonflies And Me. Unless otherwise noted, you may not use this content.

Homemade "Flower Fresh" Recipe, More Garden Tips & Simple Cuttings & yummy Mini Farmers Market Pizza’s

The daffodils, forsythias & magnolias are all in full bloom~ it is absolutely magnificent! It is about 9Pm right now and the rain just started coming down~ it sounds like a calm and steady straight down rain.  Evan, Ryan & I got several things planted in the raised beds & the kitchen garden today and this rain is such a blessing for all those little seeds and soon to be us 🙂 ! Ryan wanted to pick his teacher a bouquet with the daffodils for tomorrow, he is so sweet.  He loves to make bouquets and plant things.  We were planting beets in a few of the raised beds after school today and all of a sudden he was gone.  I called after him and he was getting ready to till up the spot he had worked in last summer.  “Too wet yet” I told him.  Raised beds are different then regular gardens, they dry out quite a bit quicker and you can get lots more stuff in them faster. One more reason why I am all about raised beds!  We all love those first spring bouquets and they never seem to last long enough.  You can add some vase life to them with a really simple homemade ‘Flower Fresh’ fresh recipe~ all ingredients you are sure to have right in your own home!

*Homemade “Flower Fresh”
Put 1/2 tsp. of regular household bleach and 1 tsp. sugar to every 1 cup of room temperature water.  Change water every 5-7 days.
If you snip just a 1/4 inch off the bottom of the stems each day, this will also help.
You will be able to keep your bouquets looking nice for about 2-3 weeks.  

*More Garden Tips
There are so many things that I have read & picked up over the years that it seems I could write on & on about this stuff forever… so here are a few more tried & true tips! Have fun…
*If you have trouble with flies coming in the house, try putting a potted Basil on the step or porch by each of your doors and if you have a window ledge outside you kitchen window or any other put a few there. Not are they only helpful here, just think how easy it will be to make Brushetta or Pesto now…. oh now that is sooo yummy!
*If you have shrubs or trees that need pruned in the spring, lay a tarp under the area to be pruned; then when you are done, simply fold up the tarp and dispose of in your compost or burn pile… easy as pie!
*It is seed planting time and some of those seeds are soo tiny! Lettuce & carrot to mention just a couple.  Try using a large holed salt or sugar shaker~ simply put your seed in it and then shake them out in your prepared row!  So easy!
*Weeding can be a trying experience even for the gardener who loves to garden. If at all possible, weed after a rain, everything comes out easier.
*Mulching is a time & back saver!  If you know a farmer that has cows, horses or sheep they will have hay & straw.  Bales often pop open and there is always loose straw around.  Ask if you clean up the loose straw & hay if you can have it.  I lay newspaper down my isles in the garden and even in the raised beds between the rows, and then cover with straw.  Some people will say then you will be planting the seeds~ it’s green manure!  Plus I rather deal with the very minimal seeding as opposed to the hours of hoeing, tilling and hand weeding!   I will be touching more on mulching & it’s importance in coming posts!
*Simple Cuttings
are very easy to do. Here are instructions on how to start your own Rose & Forsythia. 
~ For a new rose bush all you need to do is cut a stem with a full bloom rose on it.  Stick the stem into the ground.  Leave a few of the leaves at the top with the bloom.  Water the ground thoroughly and put a clear glass jar over it- like a mason jar- if you have a 2 quart jar that would be best, but a 1 quart works well too- and anchor it into the ground by twisting it until the jar is in the ground up to its shoulder; place a rock on it.  Keep the soil watered around jar every day until frost.  don’t remove the jar until next spring.  You will then have a new rose bush growing!  I have tried this and it worked~ I got 2 out of 6 new roses.
~ Forsythia is super easy too!  If you have a friend with a bush you are all set~ I am sure she/he will let you have a start.  Forsythia branches will tend to ‘bend’ down and when the tips meet the ground they root on their own!  Go to the shrub and you will see gobs of branches that appear to be separate bushes, but in actuality they are branches rooted down.  All you need to do is cut the branch from the actual mother plant and carefully dig up the ‘rooted branch’.  Put in a bucket of water with the flower fresh in it and transplant into the location you have for it at home! Presto~ your own forsythia!

Mini Farmers Market Pizza’s

These nifty little pizza’s are so much fun for the children because you can let each one of them create their very own masterpiece!  Not to mention they can put whatever toppings they like best. Here is one way, but be creative and have a yummy fun time!

6 Pita Rounds
1 1/2 cups pizza sauce
1 cup fresh Spinach from Garden Gate Farm, washed & snipped into bite size pieces
1 medium Red Onion from Garden Gate Farm, chopped 
2 Roma Tomatoes from Willowridge farm, sliced thinly with seeds removed
2 cups mixed shredded cheese- choose two types for a more interesting flavor
Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1/2 cup fresh Parsley from Garden Gate Farm, snipped

1.  Place pita rounds on an ungreased baking sheet and spread each with 1/4 cup of pizza sauce.
2. Top with cheese; put tomato, spinach & onions on top.
3. Drizzle 1/2 tsp. oil over each pizza; sprinkle 1 tsp. parsley over each;
4. Sprinkle lightly with Parmesan cheese over each.
5. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly!

Happy Day,