Indoor Transplants: Part 1

I just got my first batch of seeds for indoor transplants in. Yea! I had a request for a how-to. There is actually a lot of methods and variations in steps. Google can tell you more (or if you are more old-school you can actually look in a book).  I’ll just share how I do mine, and say why as well.

Step 1:

Find a place. An extremely sunny window might work. But usually even sunny windows really aren’t getting that much light. So you will need artificial light. I made my setup two years ago with old metal shelves and shop lights. It is currently shoved into my laundry room. The laundry room is actually a happy place because it is equipped with a drain for water spills,  it stays warm and more humid due to the dryer and heater/water heater, and it is the only place in the house that is off limits to the kids. One little guy likes to eat anything he can get his hands on, so this was a must. I did it in my bedroom before, on the carpet (which was protected by plastic). If you aren’t in a smallish rental, you probably have more options.

set up

You do not need to buy more expensive grow lights. It won’t help that much. If you are only doing a few, a compact fluorescence bulb and lamb might work. Just stay away from incandescent because they produce too much heat.

Step 2:

Get some seeds. Most of mine are from Johnny’s, Burpee’s and the grocery store. I’m not opposed to cheap seeds, but mail order certainly has more and cooler varieties.

Step 3:

Prepare the seeding mixture. I use a seeding/cutting mix because it has a finer texture and is excellent for new roots to grow in. It was very dry, so I added lots of  water in a bucket and mixed.


Then I spread it out in a tray and let it drain.


Step 4:

Label the row, and then make a furrow for the seeds. The seed depth is listed on the package, or about twice the diameter of the seed.


Step 5:

Sprinkle seeds in furrow. Cover. 

seeds in

Step 6:

Ensure the soil is moist, but not sopping wet. A spray bottle is much better than a watering can, because you want to mist the seeds, not drown them.

watering 2

Step 7:

Put a cover on. I used a garbage bag. They make cool plastic covers. A garbage bag is much cheaper.


If you have a heat mat, use it. Seeds will germinate better in warmer temperatures. I’m too cheap at the moment to get one.

So this might be a bit different than other methods, because I just sowed about a hundred seeds in a single flat. My rationale behind this is a) it is a lot easier to prepare one flat at the moment, b) I only have to worry about one flat and germinating seedlings need special care, c)I am more sure to not have gaps when I transfer to a larger container, and d) I remember doing it when I worked in the greenhouse forever ago.

I will leave them in this set-up until they produce one true leaf, and then it is transplanting time.



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