How to Start Seeds for a Vegetable Garden

It’s Spring and our garden is in full swing here in North Central Florida, Zone8b. As I post pictures and videos of my garden on Facebook and Instagram, I’ve received many requests for more YouTube tutorials on the topic. I did a similar video about 8 years ago but wanted to give you an updated version. So, I made this video tutorial to share how I start my seeds for the vegetable garden.

As you’ll see I grow a lot of different vegetables, and herbs so, I plant A LOT of trays full of seeds. I always like to have extras in case some don’t germinate, the critters get to them. Or when I need to barter for something with other local gardening friends. If you only need a few plants for your balcony or a small yard, then you can scale down my process quite easily so, it’s still worth watching.

There are a few basic supplies you will need no matter how big or small of a garden you want. If you only plan to grow a few things in containers, then this seed-starting technique will work fine for that too. Just cut back on the number of cells you plant. If you live in a cooler area of the world, then you can always start seeds indoors until it’s warm enough to set them outside. Give it a try this year! Happy growing!

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  • Pots or Trays for growing seedlings. There are probably over 100 ways to start your seeds from making your own paper cups and pots to using soil blockers. You can use whatever method you prefer. I like to use simple 6-cell plastic units that I place in a larger tray and can be reused for many years. I start A LOT of seeds so this works for me.
  • Seed germinating mix. I don’t recommend grabbing soil from your yard or making your own if you are a beginner. Any soil that is to dense or too wet will cause germination problems or can have weed seeds in it that will compete with your veggies. You want to get a bag of a sterile germination mix from your local garden or feed store.
  • Seeds. At the time I wrote this blog post many of the quality seed companies I order from are closed due to very high demand and an influx of orders. But you can pick up quality seeds at a local garden store or feed shop also.
  • Plant Label or Marker. Use a plastic, metal or wooden plant label so you can remember what seeds you are growing in that pot or tray. Trust me. We always think we will remember but the more varieties you grow the less you’ll remember!
  • Water.
  • A warm spot for your seeds to germinate in. I use my small greenhouse but you can also use a sunny south-facing window in your home, a turned-off oven with just the light on, etc.

If you enjoyed this video and want to watch more of my gardening tutorials and updates you can view the full video playlist here. Enjoy!

2 replies on “How to Start Seeds for a Vegetable Garden

  • Janet Kiessling

    Thank you for your posts. I have a question about seeds. We live in Reno Nv. We have been looking for plants/seedlings. And the nurseries just have flowers. Do you think it’s too late too start seeds? There is still plenty of snow on the surrounding mtns. And still in the 30s at night.

    • Vanessa Vargas Wilson

      Sounds like it’s just the right time for you to start seeds indoors. They usually say to start seeds 4-8 weeks before your last frost. So you can use that as a rough guide. I’ve seen veggie seeds at Home Depot, Lowe’s, and even Dollar General.


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