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How to Start Plants from Seed

Start plants from seeds: Seeds are the beginning of life for all the plants, even the weeds.  Seeds are the plants’ embryos.  Little miracle packets of nutrition and energy for the young plant.  They will provide everything the newly sprouted plant will need for the first few weeks of life.  Everything but the water. Mother nature or you will need to provide the water.  

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How to start plants from seeds:

Let’s set up a SIS (simple is smart) indoor seed starting grow table.  


  1. Adjustable shelving unit.   Remember that the shelves may get damp, so PVC or plastic shelves are the most durable.  
  2. Shoplight(s) with full spectrum or grow bulbs.  You will need a way to adjust the height of the lights as the plants get taller you will need to be able to adjust the light upward.  The shoplights come with chains for hanging that work well.  Full spectrum LED grow lights are now more readily available.  So shop around and you may decide the something like these will work better for you. 
  3. Power strip to plug the shop/grow lights into.
  4. A timer to plug the power strip into.  The plants will need about 17 hours of artificial light a day.

If you have limited space use a countertop or bookshelf.  Make sure you protect it from moisture. You will only need the setup for about 6 weeks. 



Save those plastic clam shells that you buy strawberries in.  They make great mini greenhouses for starting your seeds.  Wash them out thoroughly with a little bleach water and let them drip dry.

Purchase organic seeds from your local garden center.  If you can’t find them at the local garden center, I recommend Johnny’s selected seeds.  Their catalog has a lot of great information about each variety of seed they sell.    

What exactly are organic seeds?  Organic seeds are seeds that are grown on seed farms that don’t use any synthetic fertilizer, harsh pesticides or herbicides. 

Read over the instructions for the planting of each variety of seed.  Tomatoes, for example, are started indoors 6 to 8 weeks before the last frost date.  Seeds that need dark to germinate are covered with dirt.  Seeds that require light to germinate are not covered.

Fill that clamshell about half full of moistened organic seed starting mix or potting mix.  Plant the seeds according to the directions on the package.  

Don’t forget to write on the clamshell what is in each one. If you are planting only a few seeds, you can split the clamshell with a line across the top and then write on the top what is in each half.  Just make sure the growing and light requirements are similar.

When you start your plants from seeds you can enjoy watching the miracle of growth as your  seeds sprout and grow.  Once they have 4 leaves (the 2 leaves they were born with and the 2 true leaves), it is time to move them to some new digs.  

Once the seedlings are ready to transplant learn to its done at  How to transplant seedlings.

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This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    This is wonderful

    1. Doctor Jo

      Thanks, I am glad you enjoyed it.

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  3. growwithdoctorjo

    So glad you stopped by. Thanks for posting.

  4. Anonymous

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    1. growwithdoctorjo

      Thank you for your comment.

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