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Seed Starting: The Complete Seed Starting Guide

When it comes to growing plants and trees, you usually have two choices: either from seed or from a transplant. It’s no secret that seed starting is a longer and more delicate process.

But some would argue that growing from seed is an even more rewarding process because you are truly accompanying your plant through every stage of life. It’s the most ancient connection that humans have with nature.

So if you’re interested in seed starting, roll up your sleeves, and learn everything there is to know!

white seeds on soil.


So you’ve decided to take the longer road and start your plants from seed. Congratulations! It is the oldest connection that mankind has with the earth, and you’re bound to draw a lot of satisfaction from it. If this is your first time starting this adventure, take advantage of our guides for beginners. If not, then go ahead and skip to the next section!

Indoor Gardening for Beginners
Indoor Gardening Plants to Grow

Harvesting Seeds

Harvesting seeds is the most natural way to acquire seeds for planting. And if we’re being honest, it’s also how mother nature intended for plants and trees to propagate! It can be a delicate process, however, so take your time in reading these guides. 

How to Harvest Zinnia Seeds
Deseeding Pomegranates
How to Harvest Tomato Seeds
How to Save Tomato Seeds

Apple Tree Seeds

Purchasing Seeds

Purchasing seeds is the most reliable way to acquire them, because you know exactly what you’re getting (as opposed to collecting seeds from hybrid plants—they might not even be fertile!). Plus, they usually come with instructions, or you can ask the staff at your local nursery. 

Where to Buy Seedlings
Where to Buy Daisies
Cucumber Seeds

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Planting Seeds

Now comes the fun part! You have your seeds, so it’s time to start planting. Learn all about the basics of planting seedlings, and everything else you should be doing.

How to Plant Specific Varieties

Planting certain seeds might seem more daunting than others (what do you even do with an avocado seed?!), but they all have one thing in common: you need care, attention, and lots of patience. If you’ve got that down, take a look at the specific growing techniques for your variety of preference.


Brussels Sprouts
Summer Squash
Swiss Chard
Winter Squash





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Planting pumpkin seeds

Seedling Care

Your seedlings are planted, hurray! But remember that there is still some work to do. First, start out with our general care guide for seedlings, then use the other posts to get into the specifics of everything you want to learn.

Recommended Products

If you’re a first-time seed starter, you may be overwhelmed at the thought of having to build your gardening tool arsenal from scratch. Or maybe you’re a veteran gardener whose go-to tools are starting to get a bit rusty. Either way, it’s tough to distinguish good products from scams in today’s oversaturated market.

So if you’d like some advice, take a look at my suggested brands for all the tools you’ll need to start your greenery from seed! First, take a broader view by reading the Kinds of Indoor Gardening Tools to Get You Started, and then take a deeper dive into specific categories. And if you’re really looking to treat yourself, choose a seed organizer to stay on top of things!

Racks and Shelves

Indoor Gardening Shelves
Seed Starting Racks


Seed Starting Mix for Indoor Gardeners
Seed Starting Mix for Vegetables
How to Use Seed Starting Plugs
Seed Starting Pots
Seed Starting Trays for Indoor Gardeners
Reusable Seed Starting Trays


What Color Light is Best for Seedlings?
Grow Lights
Grow Lights for Indoor Gardening
Grow Lights for Indoor Plants
Where to Buy Grow Lights

Heat and Humidity

Heating Pads
Humidity Domes

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Cooking with Seeds

I thought I’d add this section to this comprehensive guide on seeds because the truth of the matter is that you can do more than just plant certain seeds. You can also eat them! Here are some great recipes and information posts about the consumption of seeds. 

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pumpkin seeds.


Last but not least, you might still have some lingering questions about starting your garden project from seed.

How can I create an indoor garden?

If you need a little inspiration to get started, learn all about Indoor Gardening for Beginners and cool Indoor Vegetable Gardening Ideas.

Can Dogs Eat Pumpkin Seeds?

If you have four-legged friends in the house, chances are that you’ve wondered whether it’s dangerous for them to eat seeds. Our pet posts are rapidly expanding, and in the meantime, check out my post Can Dogs Eat Pumpkin Seeds?

Hint: in moderation, yes!

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Take the Long Road!

I hope you are now inspired to take the long road: growing a plant or tree from seed, instead of buying the transplant. While both methods are tried and true, there’s just something beautiful and satisfying about accompanying a plant or true through every stage of their live. 

Next, learn how to take care of some fruit trees after you’ve planted their seeds!