Get a Jumpstart on Your Garden: Start Growing Indoors

Kevin Maryott from McCoard's Garden Center tells us how to grow seedlings indoors during the winter.

10 Common Garden Flowers that Grow Well From Indoor Seeding
Plant Variety Sun or Shade Days to Germination Weeks to Transplant
Alyssum Sun to Part Shade 7-10 5-7
Cosmos Sun 7-10 5-7
Impatiens Shade 3-14 8-10
Marigold Sun 4-7 7-8
Nasturtium Sun 7-14 3
Petunia Sun 6-10 8-10
Salvia Sun 12-18 6-10
Snapdragon Sun 7-14 8-10
Verbena Sun 14-28 8-12
Zinnia Sun 3-5 4

14 Vegetables That Grow Well From Indoor Seeding
Plant Variety Sun or Shade Days to Germination Weeks to Transplant
Broccoli Sun 4 5-7
Brussel Sprouts Sun 4 5-7
Cabbage Sun 4 5-7
Carrots Sun 6 4-6
Cauliflower Sun 5 5-7
Cucumber/Melons/Squash Sun 4 3-4
Eggplant/Peppers Sun 7 6-8
Green Beans Sun 7 4-6
Lettuce Sun/Some Shade 3 5-7
Radish Sun 4 4-6
Tomatoes/Peppers Sun 6 5-7

Materials Needed
• Indoor, table-top greenhouse, clear plastic bags or clear plastic wrap
• Start trays or peat pots
• Soil mix that is sterile, rich, loamy and that contains a water retention feature such as perlite
• Preferred seed varieties
• Old heating pad (optional)

Planting Instructions
Review information on seed packets or contact your local garden center for growing information.
1. Fill start trays or peat pots to within a quarter-inch of the top with moistened seed-starting medium.
2. Sow seeds according to the depth and space directions on respective packages.
• Plant the largest seeds into deeper containers (e.g. melons, squashes).
• Start trays: plant seed in rows sparsely.
• Start pots: two to five seeds per pot depending on seed size.
3. Save leftover seeds in a cool, dry place for the next season.
4. Watering.
• Check daily.
• Keep soil moist; watering with a spray bottle is recommended.
• Do not over water.
5. If a table-top greenhouse is not being used, place the growing container in a large, clear plastic bag and seal it or cover growing container with plastic wrap and seal around the edges.
6. Place the bagged/covered container in a warm spot until seeds germinate. A light can be used and should be placed as close to the surface as possible without melting the plastic. To speed up the germination process, you can use a warming tray underneath or heating pad on low.
(Note: optimum soil temperature averages 80 degrees for most seed germination.)
7. After germination and after primary leaves appear, remove plastic, water gently and place containers under a light source never more than six inches above plant tops. Plants should receive 16 to 18 hours of light per day.
8. After secondary leaves appear and as plants grow, pinch the tops to make them bushier.
Avoid the shock of transplanting by introducing seedlings to outdoor environments prior to garden planting.
1. Place starts in a shaded/cool place on a porch/patio near the house and out of the wind for ten days prior to transplanting.
2. Move starts to a shaded part of the garden for four more days.
3. Transplant seedlings to desired locations at dusk or on a cloudy day.
(Note: during this introductory phase, move seedlings indoors if frost is expected)

You can get more information here.