How to Use a Seed Starting Kit

by | Mar 3, 2021 | Seed Starting, Spring, Tools | 0 comments

Last week I wrote about the keys to successfully planting seeds for spring. In it I mentioned my preference for seed starting kits. Not long ago I used one of these  kits, compliments of Gardener’s Supply. Below are some shots of the process.

Seed starting kits are about the size of a sheet cake or lasagna pan, as you can see below. They should have a watering tray, a grid of growing pots, and a clear plastic cover to help seeds get going.

I used a brick of coir, made from shredded coconut shells for these seeds. Once it is moistened, this brick will triple in volume.

I recommend you use a formulated seed starting mix to assemble your pots. These are formulated to be lightweight and loose, allowing roots to shoot down quickly. Here you can see I tried a brick of coir mix. Coir is a fine shredding of the outer husks of coconuts. They work well for this job and can easily be incorporated in the ground soil or a container.

Below you can see the lower elements of this kit (reservoir, raised grid, and capillary mat) assembled with the seed tray in my right hand before it goes on top. The capillary mat is wider than the raised grid so the ends dip into the water below and wick up moisture. Not all kits have this mat but it is a nice feature if you can get it.


Essential Planting Guide For Herbs

Get your FREE copy of Ann’s

Once you have the tray in place, fill each cell with damp seed starting medium, leaving an inch of room at the top for watering. Make sure the seed medium is thoroughly moistened so it can provide a steady supply of water to the seed.

Now comes the fine detail work. Here I’m sowing basil seeds which are quite small. It is nearly impossible to plant just one in each square so I’m trying to spread them out a little and sow no more than two or three in each potting cell.

Seed07

Once they germinate I’ll eliminate the extra seedlings, NOT by pulling them out and disturbing their neighbors, but by snipping their stems down to the surface.

The final step is to place the plastic cover on top and place it in a location with artificial light or indirect sunlight. If you put it in direct sun, the air inside the cover will superheat and kill the young seedlings.

Seed08

Now comes the fun part – watching to see the new seedlings emerge, usually in about 10-14 days. Once they have all germinated, it is time to remove the clear cover and begin watering as needed as they grow to a size where they can be out in your garden. Good luck!

If you want to order from Amazon, here is a great kit (affiliate link). It includes everything you would need with the exception of the seed starting medium and seeds.

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Top 10 Posts

Bogus Gardening Advice, Part II

Bogus Gardening Advice, Part II

Here, ladies and gentlemen, is my second helping of bogus garden hacks from an article I found online. The offending article was on one of those sites that claim to give the reader the “real facts” hitherto hidden from the average reader. It offered ten “gardening...

Bogus Gardening Advice, Part I

Bogus Gardening Advice, Part I

My beloved husband is always on the lookout for garden articles on the Internet that I might find interesting. Most of his discoveries are worthwhile. Recently however he forwarded a link to a page that had my blood boiling within minutes. The offending article was on...

Making a Rosemary Garland

Making a Rosemary Garland

With the cooling fall weather, herb gardeners are busy harvesting and prepping the garden for winter. This includes some trimming of the shrubs that may have exceeded their alloted space. If one of those shrubs is rosemary, don't toss the clipped branches. Instead...

Cinnamon Pecan Scones

Cinnamon Pecan Scones

Here in Texas the pecan tree is a native so nearly everyone has a source nearby for pecans. I the spirit of the Lone Star State here are some classic scones with cinnamon and pecan to add a flavor kick.

Adding Herbs to Tea

Adding Herbs to Tea

There's nothing quite as annoying to a confirmed tea lover as living in a Coffee Nation. Coffee is the default drink everywhere you go. This is never more obvious than when attending a banquet. Near the end of the meal, almost every waiter you see will be smiling and...

Snickerdoodles – the Original  and Five Variations

Snickerdoodles – the Original and Five Variations

Snickerdoodles contain cream of tartar, an item I never used in anything else. A little digging on the Internet revealed that cream of tartar was first discovered as a by-product of wine making. Crystals of cream of tartar (aka potassium bitartrate) form on...

Fall Garlic Planting – Do It Now!

Fall Garlic Planting – Do It Now!

By the end of October the gardening year is winding down to the quiet months of winter. There are a few tasks left to do but most gardeners are thinking fondly of the coming long winter's nap. But wait...there's just one more thing to plant. Now is the time to get...

Adding Herbs to a Fall Wreath

Adding Herbs to a Fall Wreath

At last, the grip of summer is loosening and the daytime highs are settling down. Next week I plan to bring out my fall swags and candles. The other day I was at my local craft store and bought a vine wreath to add to the fall decor. It's nice as-is but I just know I...

Seven Herbs For Tex-Mex Foods

Seven Herbs For Tex-Mex Foods

Those of us living in the Southwest know it's always time for cool drinks and the fiery flavors of Tex-Mex foods. Many of the ingredients can easily be grown in your garden, even if you don’t live in the Lone Star State. Here are...

Herb Roasted Vegetables

Herb Roasted Vegetables

Roasting vegetables is a technique that is simple in execution and wonderful in results.  Most of us cook nearly everything at the moderate 350. This is fine for most baked goods and some casseroles but not for vegetables.  High heat carmelizes the outer layer of...

About Ann McCormick

I Believe

Books I Like