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  • Sow Much Fun! Starting Vegetables from Seed

    Growing your own vegetables from seed can be FUN and rewarding!  It's a great way to get kids involved in gardening too. It’s also a great way to save money!

     What you’ll need - Shopping List

    • Seed-starting containers – Peat pots work great and they are biodegradable so you can plant the entire pot in the garden which also helps keep the young root system in tact.
    • Seed-starting soil – Organic is best. Armstrong recommends Edna’s Best Potting Soil.
    • Seeds of your favorite veggies and flowers, of course.
    • A sunny window or sunny patio, porch or balcony.

    Getting started

    • Fill pots with soil, level with top. (It will compact slightly when you water.)
    • Following the direction on the seed packet, make an indentation with your finger or a pencil to the desired depth.


    • Place one or two seeds in the hole.
    • Fill the hole with additional soil, and press down gently with your fingers


    • Water thoroughly. (You may need to soak, two or three times, making sure water is draining out of the bottom of the pots.)
    • Keep the surface of the soil damp, (not soggy) but never let the pots stand in water.
    • Place in an area that gets at least 6 hours of sun daily and air movement


    • Seeds will germinate in a week to 10 days depending on the plant you choose - the back of the seed packet will give you specific germination rates for each type of seed.
    • Once they sprout, reduce watering. Let the soil surface dry to the touch between watering.
    • For tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants, remove all but one plant after secondary leaves form. Gently pull out or just pinch off at the soil line extra plants. Tweezers come in handy for this job.
    • For flowers, (except low, spreading ones like alyssum or lobelia) do the same.


    • Seedlings should have four sets of true leaves before transplanting. (This does not include the new “baby” leaves that appear first - all plants have similar oblong leaves that are the first set of leaves - these are what we refer to as the baby leaves). 
    • Easy! Plant into well-amended soil in a location with the light requirements listed on the seed packet for the plants you've grown. The soil in the pot should be even with the soil in your garden.
    • Be sure to keep the soil moist and don’t let your seedlings dry out while they are establishing.

    Soon you will enjoy your own home-grown harvests or bouquets!


    Video IconCheck out our video on Seed Starting for more tips on getting started >

    Video IconLooking for tips on planting vegetables, view our How-to Video >

    See more articles about: Vegetables, Gardening for Beginners, Gardening with Kids