How To Start Seeds

Starting seedlings indoors takes just a few essential elements: the right soil, heat, light and moisture. Greenhouse manager John Lenz shares his methods for nurturing the thousands of plants we grow at Baker Creek each year.

First, give your seeds a good growing medium. We use Pro-Mix, to which we add one pound of gypsum and one ounce of dish soap (it acts as a surfactant, to distribute moisture more evenly). Use a heat mat and know the temperature at which the seeds like to germinate. If you don’t have a heat mat, choose a sunny windowsill, or even place seed trays on top of the refrigerator. Keep the seeds damp but not soggy. A good-draining media helps to ensure this. Use the size of the seed as an indicator of how deep to plant them. Surface sow tiny seeds like poppies or lettuce. Plant bigger seeds like squash a half-inch deep. Watch this video for more pro tips!