Indoor Farmer Seed Starting Tips - Indoor Farmer

Seedling Grow Tips

Starting seeds is stressful for many new grower's, but it doesn't have to be! We all want to get our plants off to the best possible start so they are healthy and vigorous for planting. Here's a few tips we put together to get things off to a good start and avoid the most common pitfalls of seed starting.

1. Adequate Light is your plants right
If you don't have access to a south facing window, you are going to want to use grow lights to make sure your seedlings have adequate light and don't get stretchy or "leggy". We recommend two T5HO or LED Sunblaster strips lights about 8-12" above your seedlings for best results. Use a timer with your lights set to 18hours on and 6 hours off so they have time to rest.

2. Old Soil makes a poor first Home
Do not start seeds indoors in old/used soil or garden soil, you are taking a risk it could contain mold/disease and cause damping off or other issues for your sensitive seedlings. Compost free mediums work best like Jiffy Pellets, Rockwool Cubes or Compost Free Potting Mix.

3. Easy on the Watering
Let your seedling soil, jiffy pellets or rockwool cubes dry a bit between watering. Do not let them sit in standing water! They will be too wet and risk root rot and damping off. Seedlings are sensitive, so we don't ever want them to dry out, but overwatering is a risk too!

4. Don't Jump the Gun
Your seeds should indicate the best time to start them indoors on the package. This is usually around 6-8 weeks before the last frost date. In Southern Ontario last frost date is typically Early/Mid May, so we would be safe to start 6-8 weeks seeds at the beginning of April. "Direct Sow" plants prefer to be planted directly outdoors.

5. Ease your Seedlings into the Great Outdoors
Harden your seedlings by gradually introducing them to outdoor conditions. Start with a partially shaded spot during the day, and bring them in at night. Doing this for a week should build up their strength for a permanent outdoor home with less stress during transition.

6. A Dome is not a long term Home
Propagation tray domes are popular for starting seeds, but shouldn't be kept on for long. Cuttings love the excess humidity when rooting but seedlings should be just fine without it. Keep the vents open and take the dome off completely within a week or so of seeds sprouting. Be careful to ease them into natural humidity when using domes by opening the vents, offsetting the lid, or leaving it off for short periods before removing it completely.
Grow tips