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7 Lessons I Learned Starting Seeds Indoors

Are you interested in learning how to start seeds indoors without a greenhouse? I am doing just that and learned some lessons while starting seeds indoors.

In Part 5, of this informative series, I’ll share some tips and mistakes I’ve made and learned from.

If you’ve been following along my seed starting journey, today we are chatting all about how my seed starts are doing. the good, the bad, and things I’ve learned while sowing seeds indoors.

In cased you missed Parts 1-4 of this series:

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Update on Starting Seeds Indoors

It’s been a few weeks now since I started my sweet peas, snapdragons, iceland poppies and larkspur.

So here’s a quick update on how they are all doing and what I’ve learned.

What You Need to Know About Sowing Seeds Indoors
What You Need to Know About Sowing Seeds Indoors

Sweet Pea Seed Starts

So far, almost all of the sweet peas I planted took and seem to be doing well.

I’ve been keeping them hydrated and started cutting them back after they grew 3 sets of leaves to encourage a bushy growth habit.

Since these are the first seeds I sowed, I am really hoping they all make it to planting day outside.

Starting Sweet Pea Seeds
These are my sweet peas today. I can’t wait to start hardening them off!

Iceland Poppies

The iceland poppies are also doing pretty well. Most if not all are growing.

After sowing the seeds in trays, I read that they are not fans of being transplanted.

This raises an issue because, at some point, these will get transplanted to the garden.

So I’ll need to research best practices to accommodate these fussy seedlings and have low expectations that they’ll take outside.

Sad I know, but you live and you learn.

Let’s hope for the best!

Starting Seeds
The iceland poppies are doing well. I hope they take after transferring.


So far, I’ve had great success starting my snapdragons.

They all germinated and seem to be doing very well.

Since the seeds were so small, I planted a few in each pot, so I’ll need to thin these out soon.

Note: If you start snapdragons from seed, they do not need to be started on heat mats as they prefer cooler temps. My seeds sprouted within a few days.

Starting Seeds Snapdragons
The Snapdragons are doing really well. I plan to thin these out this week.


I started my larkspur two weeks ago and they are just starting to germinate.

In hindsight, I should have researched this one more before sowing these seeds indoors.

The seeds should have been chilled in the freezer prior to sowing to promote faster germination.

But I also read these seeds can take about 2-3 weeks to germinate.

So we wait.

Lesson learned.

Starting Seeds Larkspur

Next Up On my Seed Starting Journey

Zinnias, Phlox, Cosmos and Sunflowers are the next seeds to be sowed.

I’ve decided to direct sow both the sunflowers and cosmos outdoors in early May.

I’ll need to keep an eye on the weather though since a late frost can be an issue.

Where Will These Seed Starts Be Planted in the Garden?

This week, I dismantled the existing vegetable bed that is located in front of the garden shed.

This will become the new location for the cutting garden and all of my seed starts.

Dahlias are the best fall garden flowers

But what about the vegetable garden?

We are completely moving and renovating the vegetable garden as raised beds in the middle of the backyard.

It is the best location for receiving full sun, closer to my kitchen, closer to a water source, and will be easier to access.

More on the new vegetable garden later.

How to Release Ladybugs in the Garden
The shed garden housed the vegetable garden. But this year, it will be the new cut flower garden.

7 Lessons I Learned From Sowing Seeds Indoors

  1. As much as I love using biodegradable pots, they stayed really moist early on and grew a little mold around the outside of them. They are doing OK now, but I prefer using recycled and reusable plastic moving forward. It’s less risky.
  2. I wish I paid attention to the number of seeds in a packet and how to sow them. I should have bought more seeds of sweet peas and snapdragons – I wanted a lot more of those. Since my suburban garden can only fit so much, I bought only one seed packet of each variety.
  3. Turn heat mats around so the cord hangs down in the back of your shelving. Seems kind of obvious, but apparently not to me. I was so excited to start and get my sweet peas on the mats that I set it up without really thinking about it.
  4. If you use the seed starting kits, I was not a fan of dealing with the pellets. I wound up tossing those and using seed starting mix instead.
  5. Calculate the most heat mats you will need at one time. I overbought heat mats and need to return a few.
  6. Not all seeds need to be started on a heat mat.
  7. Read each seed packet before sowing AND research best practices for that particular seed. Different seeds need different accommodations before and after sowing.
Starting Seeds the new garden
It doesn’t look so great now, but this garden will get some fencing. The shed needs to be cleaned up now that the old fencing is down and the climbing hydrangea isn’t leafed out.

My good friend Kim from Shiplap and Shells grows gorgeous flowers in the Pacific Northwest and has the most amazing garden!

She starts all of her seeds in this beautiful greenhouse.

I can’t wait to see how her seed starts are doing so far this year!

Want To Get More Organized to Start Seeds?

CLICK HERE to get my FREE DOWNLOADABLE PRINTABLE that will help you get organized to sow seeds this year.

Print as many pages as you want and add them to your gardening journal for ease of reference during the growing season.

Gardening for Hummingbirds

How to Start Seeds Indoors Without a Greenhouse Series

Shop for Seed Starting and Garden Supplies

Get a jump on the gardening season and shop for seed starting and garden supplies now. Here are my faves.

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  1. Stacy thanks for this great information! I need to cut some of my plants back to keep them from being so leggy. Great tips.

    1. Thanks Rachel! I can’t wait to see your gardens this year! It is going to be so fun growing stuff together! xo

  2. Loved your post, Stacy! I’m going to direct sow my sunflowers too. I made the same mistake with buying too many heat mats. What I didn’t take into account was that you sow the seeds in batches and once they germinate, they can be moved just in time for the new batch. I was curious how the biodegradable pots would be, thanks for the feedback! Your snapdragons look amazing by the way!

    1. Yes! I have a few extras that I’m going to return or exchange for something else. That’s what I did not take into account either! I love those biodegradable pots and they are ok but I had to battle them in the beginning. I think recycled plastic is better. And thank you!!! xo

  3. It’s a bit of work, isn’t it? My seedlings were doing quite well until I went out of town last week. I put them outside because I didn’t want them to die while I was gone. Sadly, we had several frosts, so they don’t look too great now. Your seedlings look mighty happy.

    1. Oh that’s too bad! Yes I’m noticing they need care just about every day! I’m hoping we get a warmer spring so I can get these out sooner than later. Do you plan to sow anything else? I still have some to start indoors but also plan to sow some seeds outside too.