How to Start Garden Plants Inside


Starting your garden plants inside is a good way to get a head start on the growing season. This is especially beneficial for gardeners who live in colder climates with a shorter growing season. And some plants are too delicate to be exposed to the cool spring air until they have had time to establish themselves. Garden plants are relatively easy to plant inside and, in general, need four to 10 weeks of indoor growth before they are ready to be transplanted outdoors when the temperature rises.

Step 1

Line the bottom 1/2 inch of a 4-inch pot with sphagnum moss to prevent soil from falling through the drainage hole in the bottom.

Step 2

Fill the pot to within 3/4 inch of its rim with moist, sterile seed-starting soil. Firm the soil with your hands.

Step 3

Plant your seeds at the depth recommended for the plant variety. Plant two seeds per pot. Later, when the plants are 2 to 3 inches tall, get rid of the weaker one by snipping the plant off at the soil line with sterilized pruning shears.

Step 4

Moisten the surface of the soil with water from a spray bottle.

Step 5

Place plastic wrap over the top of the pot to help the soil retain moisture.

Step 6

Place the pot in indirect sunlight.

Step 7

Remove the plastic covering and move the pot into direct sunlight (near a south-facing window if possible) as soon as the seed germinates.

Step 8

Fill a shallow pan with gravel and water, and place it close to the pot to keep humidity levels high.

Step 9

Water the seedling whenever the top third of the container is dry.

Things You'll Need

  • Seed-starting potting soil
  • Plastic wrap
  • Pot
  • Water


  • University of Missouri: Starting Plants Indoors from Seeds
  • Purdue University: Starting Seeds Indoors
  • Iowa State University: Starting Seeds Indoors
Keywords: plant seeds, garden seeds, start seeds indoors

About this Author

Emma Gin is a freelance writer who specializes in green, healthy and smart living. She is currently working on developing a weight-loss website that focuses on community and re-education. Gin is also working on a collection of short stories, because she knows what they say about idle hands.