Seed Starting for Beginners

f you’ve been wanting to start a garden, now’s the time. Place an online order, or head to your nearest home store or nursery if it’s still open and let’s start your garden journey! First check if the seeds you buy are direct sow (like carrots) because that means you need to sow them directly into the soil and not seed start. This post is for seed starting but please come back to the blog soon for a guide on how to start your garden.

Seed starting is a great way to not only save money, but also depending on when you grow, means you can start gardening early moving up your harvest date!

My friends at Gardener’s ( sent over some seed starting supplies for me to encourage me to start germinating my own seeds. Use code XNET0342 for free shipping for orders over $99 right now. I put together a Bamboo LED Grow Light Garden they sent, and it fit perfectly on our French Keepers bookshelf I was trying to sell online. So thankful it didn’t sell! This is in our laundry room.

If you don’t have a budget for lights, you can use desk lamps, LED or incandescent is fine, just make sure it’s on for about 15 hours and it turns off to give your seedlings rest, they do need to sleep too. Window light might not be strong enough so don’t depend on that. You can put them on a timer, I used our old Christmas lights timer.

bamboo LED for seed starting

I didn’t realize the importance of new soil – Gardener’s sent over Organic Seed Starting Mix and I used my cute garden pail from Daiso and added some water and mixed it. I used the garden scoop my friends at Fiskars sent me which is so perfect for soil. Don’t use outdoor soil and bring it in, it can be infested with who knows what (bug eggs). Plus, seed starting mix usually has nutrients that help the seeds so they have enough food as they grow.

When you get soil, it’s usually dry. You add water to the soil so it’s damp enough like a wrung out sponge.

Place the mix in the cells, the Organic GrowEase Seed Starting Kit has everything you need, You also need this Gardener’s Mini Trowel. It’s so cute, and really, necessary. If you don’t have a little trowel, use a spoon.

Tap the soil down with the mini trowel so it’s more compact, and add more soil on top.

seeding starting

Now the seeds.

Gardener’s noticed I was collecting artichoke seeds, hollyhocks, snapdragons and more from my own garden. So they sent over the Galvanized Seed Saver Kit and I kept my seeds in there.

I have been a long-time customer of since 2013 (they create the metal garden box corners we love). I have been truly blessed by their support of my gardening journey and friendship starting last year. Our friendship has allowed me to learn and grow as a gardener and share what I love and what I’m learning with you!

seed keeping kit

I’m also excited to start seeding indoors because I’m a little tired of feeding the birds all the time wondering if a single sprout will happen after emptying the seed pack.

These are my own artichoke seeds I collected!

seeds from the garden to start seeding

Earlier, seeding was suggested to me but I didn’t feel ready or have an interest just yet. Then, after seeing my excessive seed collecting I thought about it again and realized I wanted to try it. I want to get better at gardening, try new things and it’s OK if I’m not good at it. Remember, gardening didn’t come naturally to me, and the interest of it has taken years.

I think so much of our life has to do with personal timing. When we’re ready it’s due to the opportunity or what presents itself and curiosity can be depending on so many outside things! That’s why I think if we’re not ready, we’re just not and when we are ready to pursue a new hobby or tackle a new project, do it!

I also decided I needed some actual packs of seeds since I don’t know how to collect seeds from lettuce.

seed packets and starting to seed with Diana Elizabeth and gardeners

Here are a few IG stories about how setting up my seed area went –

*If reading from RSS or email, click to open full post.


Check out this article on how to start seeds – germinating seeds.

Important Seed Starting Tips

  • You should buy fresh sterile potting mix that makes sure your seedlings are healthy and disease free – (I had NO idea!) Like this organic seed starting mix. Do not use soil you already have like from your garden or potting soil from your houseplants. (source: Gardener’s article)
  • Seeds need 15 hours of light – you can use a timer to turn the lights on or off. Seeds also need rest like we do, so let it be dark.
  • You need your seedlings to adapt to the outdoors gradually. The process is called hardening off. A week before you plan to set the seedlings into the garden, place them in a protected spot outdoors (partly shaded, out of the wind) for a few hours and bring them in at night. Gradually, over the course of a week or 10 days, expose them to more and more sunshine and wind. You could also use this Active Air Clip-On Fan 6″ I have one on a timer (with my lights) and it mimics wind.

After putting the seeds in their cells, some more than one seed (just in case), I sprayed water, and used the clear lid to cover them.

It reminded me of my elementary science experiment I did about plant and their perspiration under different sources of light. Anyway!

After you see sprouts, remove the clear lid. It took only 5 days.

Hello new friends.


And within a few weeks, it was time to use my indoor Fiskars Micro-Tip Pruning Snips to trim down one of the sprouts, because it was getting too crowded.

Ta-da, now more room!

If you love gardening, or plants, check out the products I used, I’m listing them all below. It’s been so fun and I also have the lights and fan on a timer for hours a day, remember they need to rest too, so night time is also good for them!

I like seed starting because I can start earlier on my harvest, it saves money for me from buying starter plants that only have 1 or 2 veggies in there, and it’s enjoyable! The initial set up of products might seem pricey, but you can also substitute items that still work (a desk lamp if you can’t afford a growing light system). Seed starting also almost gives a better guarantee you’ll grow something instead of throwing in the seed and it ends up in a bird’s mouth.

Also, you can start your seed starting anytime.  So grab your kit and let’s grow some veggies and flowers together. Coming up next on the blog, sowing the seeds directly into your garden beds, and how to set up garden beds!

Products referenced

Use code XNET0342 for free shipping for orders over $99 right now on

Article reference:

*This post has been updated, it was originally published on September 17, 2019.

seed starter lifestyle blogger garden blog Diana Elizabeth holding tray of starters

Diana Elizabeth is about to head out of town for a week and she’s hoping Mr. Wonderful remembers to keep the water levels high in them or else her science experiment is over.  Thankfully it is self-watering, but a week is still a long time and so she will make sure she waters everything in the house before she goes!

Diana Elizabeth is an author, photographer, and obsessive thrift shopper. You can typically find her in the garden wrist deep in dirt, at a local estate sale or planning her next epic party. She continues to blog weekly.


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