How to Grow Vegetable Seeds Indoors


Starting seeds indoors can give you an advantage over starting them outside because you can plant six to eight weeks before the last frost in your area. This is especially useful when it come to growing vegetable seeds indoors because after transplanting outdoors you'll see a harvest sooner. Another benefit is that when you grow vegetables inside you can ensure your tender young plants don't get eaten by any four-legged friends or killed off by frost during their most vulnerable weeks. Following a few key steps will make your indoor plantings more successful.

Step 1

Choose the location to start your vegetable seeds. Set up grow lights over the area where you will place your pots, whether it's the floor or on a tabletop, if the location you've selected doesn't receive strong sunlight during the day. The lights must be adjustable so you can raise them as the plants grow taller.

Step 2

Set your pots and containers in place. Cover the bottoms of larger pots by pouring in an inch or two of small rocks or broken pieces of terra cotta, but don't worry about adding gravel to the smaller pint-sized pots. Fill in the rest of the containers with potting soil up to just below the rim.

Step 3

Place a seed or two in the center of each pot, following the planting depth specifications on the packaging. Cover the seeds lightly. Adjust your lights to about 8 inches above the top level of soil.

Step 4

Add enough water to each pot to make the soil moist or damp, but not soaking wet. Too much water can lead to disease and potentially kill your plant before it has a chance to grow.

Step 5

Maintain a moist soil for the first four to six weeks, watering only as needed after that without allowing the pots to go completely dry.

Step 6

Transplant your seedlings outdoors according to the spacing needs of the vegetables you are growing. Water well and regularly for the first month. When you see new growth after transplant, you'll know the plant is established and watering can be done more deeply once or twice a week.

Tips and Warnings

  • Keep any pets or small children away from the garden. They can unknowingly destroy your plants quickly and some leaves may be poisonous when ingested.

Things You'll Need

  • Grow lights, if needed
  • Seed trays or flower pots
  • Small rocks or gravel
  • Potting soil


  • "Success with Seeds;" Chris Wheeler and Valerie Wheeler; 2004
Keywords: how to grow vegetable seeds indoors, starting seeds indoors, growing vegetable seeds indoors

About this Author

Margaret Telsch-Williams is a freelance, fiction, and poetry writer from the Blue Ridge mountains. When not writing articles for Demand Studios, she works for as a contributor and podcast co-host.