One of the most basic, down-to-earth projects you can take on is growing your own vegetables. It can be a pretty easy endeavor, if you live in one of the southern states with a temperate climate. If you live in a location that has definite seasons, including a cold and frosty winter, it can be advantageous to start your vegetable seeds indoors. When you have a shorter growing season, you can get a jump start on your vegetable garden from starting seeds inside.
Choose between seeding trays, peat pots or reused food containers. Seeding trays are specifically made for planting seeds inside, whether it's in your home or a greenhouse. Separate indentations are offered within a tray, for planting. Peat pots are biodegradable.
When you are ready to plant your vegetable seedlings, these containers can be put directly into the ground. However, your vegetable seeds will grow just as easily in reused yogurt, cottage cheese or sour cream containers that have been washed thoroughly. Paper cups are another viable alternative.
Fill your containers with commercial potting soil, up to ½ inch from the top. Spray the soil with water from a bottle mister and stir the soil around.
Follow the manufacturer's suggestion for planting depth for each type of vegetable seed. Seed planting depth can be different for different seeds. Plant beets ¾ inch deep, carrots ¼ inch deep and cauliflower 3 inches deep, for example.
Move soil over each of the seed holes after planting the vegetable seeds.
Place all of the seeded containers onto a tray. Cover the tray with a piece of plastic wrap. Place the tray by a sunny window. A southern window is best, if it's available, as it gets sunshine for most of the day.
Check the soil daily. If it begins to dry, spray it with the water mister, but not too much. You just want to moisten the soil, not create puddles.
Remove the plastic sheet from the top of the tray as soon as the seeds begin to germinate (sprout). Continue to mist the soil as it begins to dry, while the seedlings grow.
Harden off your vegetable plants, when all danger of frost has passed in your location. Start by placing them in a protected area for a few hours and then increase the time each day. When your vegetable seedlings have spent an entire 24 hours outdoors, they are ready to plant in your prepared garden site.