There are many reasons for starting seeds indoors: to grow varieties that are rare or expensive to buy; to get a head start on the season – this is especially important when dealing with long season plants; its great therapy for beating the winter blahs; it’s an economical way of producing large numbers of plants; children are easily encouraged to get involved and most of all, its great fun.
To assist you in getting organized, here’s a list of supplies that will help you get great results from your indoor gardening efforts.
Containers ranging from seed starting inserts to individual 10cm (4”) pots for larger plants such as geraniums. Plantable fibre pots and strips and Jiffy 7 compressed peat pellets are great for growing plants that don’t transplant well. Waterproof plastic trays (known as 1020’s) hold inserts and pots and act as a water reservoir. Clear plastic humidity domes are useful for keeping the growing medium moist and the humidity up around seeds and tender seedlings.
Soil-less Seed Starting Mix. They drain well and help prevent the establishment of both seed and seedling destroying diseases. Perlite, vermiculite and peatmoss for those gardeners who like to make their own soil-less mix. Sterilized potting soil for growing-on long term seedlings such as geraniums and peppers.
Misting Bottle. A must have! It’s great for gently watering the growing medium – especially useful when working with tiny seeds.
Heating Mat. A useful addition for starting seeds of those plants that need a growing medium temperature higher than the ambient air temperature of your growing area.
Light. It’s very straight forward – either you will have enough or you won’t. Where south facing windows are unavailable, to supplement what natural sunlight you do receive or to increase the amount of indoor growing you can do, artificial light is the answer.
Light Garden. The answer to cramming a ton of growing into a small space - and you can do this anywhere in your home!
Rooting Hormone. Helps to increase the speed that cuttings root which can ultimately help to increase your success rate.
Water Soluble Fertilizer- Root building formulations such as 15-30-15 or 10-52-10 are ideal for helping to develop solid seedlings.
Labels. Using them is the best way to keep track of what you have and where it is. White plastic or wood labels with a grease pencil or Jiffy marker are an ideal combination. Keeping a record book is quite handy for jogging the memory for what did work, what didn’t, which plants were started when etc…
Oh yes, and the ultimate, a greenhouse complete with heater, growing shelves, supplemental lighting, plumbing and automated vents!