How to Start a Vegetable Garden Indoors


In most areas of the country, except for the Deep South, home gardeners start their vegetable seeds indoors to get a start on the available growing season. Most vegetables, other than legumes, can be easily started indoors in a warm area of your home. Starting vegetables indoors doesn't require special skills, only a desire to start your vegetable garden early.

Step 1

Fill enough peat pots for the desired number of plants with potting soil until the soil level is 1/4 inch from the top of the pot.

Step 2

Water the filled peat pots until the soil and the pots are moist to the touch.

Step 3

Place one to three seeds in each filled pot, if the seeds are small, such as those for peppers and tomatoes. For larger seeds, such as squash or pumpkin, place a single seed in each pot.

Step 4

Cover the seed in the peat pots with 1/8 to 1/4 inch of potting soil. Place the peat pots into growing trays to keep the pots stable as the young seedlings grow in the pots.

Step 5

Cover the pots with a single layer of plastic wrap and place the trays in a warm area.

Step 6

Remove the plastic wrap when the seedlings emerge. Move the trays to a sunny window of your home.

Step 7

Water enough to keep the soil in the pots moist to the touch at all times.

Step 8

Thin the seedlings to one plant per peat pot after the two primary leaves of the plant appear.

Step 9

Transplant the seedlings to larger 6-inch pots filled with potting soil, using a garden spade to dig a hole slightly larger than the peat pots. This step may be unnecessary if all danger of frost has passed in your area, or the type of plant is intended for early spring planting.

Things You'll Need

  • Seeds
  • Peat pots
  • Growing trays
  • Potting soil
  • Plastic wrap
  • 6-inch growing containers
  • Garden spade


  • University of Minnesota: Planting the Vegetable Garden
  • Ohio State University: Vegetables
  • Alabama Cooperative Extension System: The Vegetable Garden Season Begins Indoors
Keywords: vegetable gardening, starting vegetable seeds, starting vegetables indoors

About this Author

G. K. Bayne is a freelance writer, currently writing for Demand Studios where her expertise in back-to-basics, computers and electrical equipment are the basis of her body of work. Bayne began her writing career in 1975 and has written for Demand since 2007.