Care and How To
Mid-March is the best time to start many vegetables and annual flowers indoors for transplanting outside once the threat of frost has past. Below are resources available to help with the process.
Regardless of what type of seed you're growing, to have the best success follow these basic tips:
- Start with fresh seed and clean materials.
- Consult the package to determine how early to start the seed indoors - do not start seed too early.
- Provide abundant light.
- Do not over or under water.
- Raise the humidity during germination.
- If possible warm the germination mix/soil.
More details about starting seeds indoors can be found below.
Guides & Articles | FAQs | Addressing Problems | Related Resources
Guides & Articles About Seed Starting
Frequently Asked Questions About Starting Seeds Indoors
Planning and Selecting Seed FAQs
- What are some good sources of flower and vegetable seeds?
- What perennials are easy to grow from seed?
- I have some leftover vegetable seeds from last year. Will they germinate and grow this spring?
- What is the best way to store left-over flower and vegetable seeds?
Set-ups and Care for Germinating Seed FAQs
- Which types of containers can be used to start seedlings indoors?
- Will a fluorescent light fixture provide sufficient light for seedlings?
- What type of germination medium should I use to start seedlings indoors?
- What is the optimum temperature when germinating seeds indoors?
- Do I need to purchase a heat mat to successfully germinate seeds indoors?
Addressing Issues or Challenges with Seed Starting FAQs
- The flower and vegetable plants that I started indoors getting tall and spindly. Why?
- Some of the seedlings that I start indoors collapse and die shortly after germination. Why?
- The seeds that I start indoors germinate poorly. Why?
- The seedlings that I have started indoors are yellow-green in color. What should I do?
- Will the whitish mold that appeared on the surface of the peat pots harm the flower and vegetable seedlings?
- Are gourd seeds difficult to germinate?
Hardening-Off and Transplanting Outside FAQs
- Do annual flowers and vegetable plants need any special care before planting?
- I have started several tomato plants indoors. Can they be planted directly into the garden?
- I've started some flower and vegetable seedlings indoors. Can I plant them directly outdoors in spring?
- Planting and Harvesting Times for Garden Vegetables (pub)
- Suggested Vegetable Varieties for the Home Garden (pub)
- Planting a Home Vegetable Garden (pub)
- Where to Put Your Vegetable Garden (pub)
- Small Plot Vegetable Gardening (pub)
- Container Vegetable Gardening (pub)
- Annuals (pub)
- Growing Annuals in Containers (pub)
- Tips for Shopping and Selecting Quality Plants
- How to Harvest and Store Seeds
- Frost Dates in Iowa
Teaching Youth About Seeds
- Watch Me Grow (pub)
- Watch Me Grow – On the Go Lesson (pub)