Which Veggie Seeds Begin Indoors?

Back in pioneer days gardeners started their seeds by direct planting. Once the soil was prepped and the freeze was gone, the seeds went directly in the ground in uniform rows.

Direct Seed is my favorite ways to start a garden, it’s simple and there’s something wonderful about watching a plant burst through the mix of well fertilized soil.

This was always how I began my garden; it wasn’t until a few years ago that I started planting specific seeds indoors.

Which Seeds do I Begin Indoors?

I germinate the smallest seeds indoors because our spring rains have a tendency to wash them away.   The last couple of seasons heavy rainfall has been plentiful and the idea of reseeding wasn’t on my agenda.

By beginning the small seeds indoors I saved a great deal of replanting prep.  So let’s dive in and see which small seeds are best to germinate indoors.


The following seeds are best started indoors:

The list of smaller seeds is long and it’s normally those seeds that are smaller than a bread crumb that would be best started indoors.

  • Herbs
  • Lettuce
  • Radishes
  • Carrots
  • Spinach
  • Peppers
  • Tomatoes
  • Green Onions
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower

Getting Started

I like to begin planting these seeds early in February using natural seed start soil,paper pots and a simple cookie sheet.

This is done indoors so I decided to keep the potting soil dry and water towards the end keeping my mess to a minimum; for the most part I succeeded.

  • Label each square of the container with the name of the seed, “Carrots”
  • Place the paper containers on a cookie sheet.
  • Fill each one about halfway with soil.
  • Drop in three seeds, place them in a small dish so they’re easier to grab first.
  • Cover with more soil.
  • Once all the pots are completed use a measuring cup and slowly water.

Beginning a garden by seed is exciting and to take this journey one step further get your garden ready using my book Startle Garden. This is such a neat resource filled with colorful images and all the information you’ll need to begin a simplified garden.

The cookie sheet catches the additional water so there’s no clean up or water waste.  Water slowly because it will go right through those containers fast.

Which means you’ll repeat the process a couple times and allow those containers to soak of the moisture.

Remember to lay down a clean plastic garbage bag underneath the tray in case you spill between watering.  Check on your plants daily to make sure they stay moist and before long you’ll see some beautiful green approaching the surface.

The final step is to move the tray in front of an indoor window for natural light.  On warmer afternoons take the tray outdoors and place in a protected area in direct sunlight.  For me this was in the backyard on our picnic table.

Starting a few seeds indoors is a fun way to remind us gardeners that spring is right around the corner.  I can hardly wait, how about you?

How to Start Smaller Seeds Indoors. #StartingSeeds, #gardenseeds