Starting your own plants from seeds offers benefits; you are not tied to whatever the nursery has to offer and the whole process is a lot less expensive than buying plants which are already well along. Imagine, for the price of one plant you can buy two or three seed packets and from each packet you can grow dozens of plants. It is very exciting and rewarding to watch the seeds you have nurtured grow into beautiful plants that can be set in your outdoor garden.
To make all of this happen there are a few things you need to buy, none of it is overly expensive and most everything you buy can be used over and over. Some of the equipment you will need is:
- LED Growing lights: Grow lights are available in a number of variants; some are designed to hang over a single pot while others can cover a number of pots or a flat. What is really important is that your lights are suspended in such a way that they can be raised as the plant grows. The best way to do this is hang the LED growing lights from a chain and hook, the light can be raised by simply fitting the hook into a different chain link. You need to keep the lights about 2 to 3 inches from the top of the plant so adjusting the lights is important.
- Starting mix: Just because you are starting the seeds inside does not mean you have to change from the process used when starting them outdoors. The key to a successful germination is the starting mix. There are many different mixes available, the common denominator is that they are sterile; they contain no weed seeds or insects. In many cases, there is actually very little soil, vermiculite and peat is ideal as they drain well. Do not use garden soil, it is too heavy and contains pathogens which are unhealthy for your plants.
- Containers: Many indoor gardeners find that pressed peat flats are ideal when you are starting a large number of seeds. When you are planting fewer seeds there are individual pots made from plastic or peat. Although these commercial products have their place, you can also get just as good seedling if you use old yogurt cups or egg cartons.
You will also need a few things that are bound to be found in the house; plastic bags, watering can or bottle and Popsicle sticks for plant markers.
The best LED growing lights are those that duplicate the complete spectrum of the sun; these lights are available online from Growblu.