How to Start From Seeds

How to Start From Seeds

Starting your garden from seeds doesn't have to be rocket science, and in most cases it can lead to a more fruitful harvest because it gives you a head start on the growing season.

Plus, there is a much wider range of varieties available as seeds than we could ever hope to carry in our garden center as young plants.


A couple terms to know before we dive in:

sowing - a process of planting seeds into the soil

thinning - the selective removal of seedlings or young plants to allow adequate space for the remaining plants to grow effectively

germination - the sprouting of a seed after a period of dormancy

frost date - the average date of the last light freeze in spring

Start Indoors or Outdoors?

Plant Indoors Outdoors




Brussels Sprouts








Green Beans














Squash (Summer)

Squash (Winter)

Sweet Potatoes

Swiss Chard



When to Start

It's important to time the sowing of your seeds just right. Sow them too early and the plants might outgrow your indoor pots before it is warm enough to plant them outside. Sow them too late and they won't reach maturity by the end of the growing season.

As a general rule, most annual vegetables should be sown indoors about 6 weeks before the last frost date. For more detailed information on the specific variety you plan to grow, consult the back of your seed packet.

Click on the appropriate button below to see the earliest dates to plant vegetables in the spring based on average frost dates for your loaction.


  • All-Purpose Potting Mix (Seed-Starting Mix for small or delicate seeds)
  • Pots, Plug Trays, or Recycled Containers (great way to use old food containers!)
  • Plastic Wrap or Propagator Lid
  • Labels
  • Grow Lights
  • Heating Pad (optional)

The potting mix you choose should be sifted through a screen to make sure it is fine enough for seedlings' delicate roots.


  1. Fill your chosen container to the brim with potting mix, then tamp down to a firm level. Top off with a little bit more of the mix.
  2. Use your finger to poke a hole where the seed will be planted. Consult your seed packet to sow seeds at the proper depth and to see whether or not to cover with soil. Some seeds need to be covered, while others need the light in order to germinate.
  3. Label your sowings with their name and the sowing date.
  4. Water carefully as not to disturb the placement of the seeds.
  5. Done!

To speed up germination:

  • Cover your containers with a layer of plastic wrap or a specially made lid to keep in the moisture.
  • Place a heating pad underneath your planted seeds making sure to leave a bit of space between your seeds and the pad so that it doesn't bake them.
  • Place them underneath a grow light for roughly 16 hours a day. Plants need a period of darkness too, so don't leave them on continuously.

Ready to Start Your Seeds?

See? That's not so scary!

If you're ready to try it out for yourself, you can get everything you need to get started at our Hartland store (open now!) or our Macomb store (opens April 1st).

Or click the button below to shop our selection of seeds from the comfort of your own home!

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.