Elevate your indoor seed-starting experience with these practical tips for organization and efficiency. Learn how to plan your seed-starting schedule, gather necessary supplies, and create a designated workspace to cultivate seedlings with ease.

Spring is just around the corner, and for avid gardeners, that means it’s time to prepare for the upcoming planting season.

There’s something magical about starting plants from seeds – watching those tiny specks grow into flourishing greenery is a reward unlike any other.

However, to ensure a successful and stress-free seed starting experience, getting organized beforehand is an absolute must.

Today, we will review how to organize your seed starting schedule, gather the necessary supplies, and create a designed workspace to cultivate seedlings with ease.

Oh and be sure to grab your FREE downloadable printable at the end of this post that will help you organize your seed starting schedule.

(Posts on stacyling.com may contain affiliate links. Click HERE for full disclosure.)

Seed Starting Success: Getting Organized Before You Sow

Starting seeds can seem like a daunting process but once you get organized and chart it all out, it’s pretty easy to do. If you are unsure where to start, this post is for you!

As a gardener, the day Christmas is over, I’m already planning my projects for the new growing season, which includes planning my spring garden.

Starting seeds indoors and winter sowing outdoors is a great way to get a jump on the next season. It’s also a great way to grow flowers, vegetables, and other plants that may not be readily available at your local nurseries.

If you are preparing to undertake seed starting this year, it is super important to get yourself organized before you begin so you are all set to go before you sow.

How to Start Seeds Indoors Without a Greenhouse

From Seed to Plant: Prepare Your Seed Starting Schedule

Creating a seed starting schedule might seem like a small task, but it’s a crucial step that can make all the difference. If you are starting several different types of seed, it’s a good idea to make a when to start seed indoors chart to help you see what seeds to plant and when.

Start by noting down the average last frost date in your area – this will be your guideline for when it’s safe to transplant seedlings outdoors.

Then, work backward from that date to determine when to start each type of seed indoors. Different plants have varying germination and growth periods, so having a charted schedule helps you sow seeds at the right time for optimal growth.

Organizational Supplies Needed Before Starting Seeds

  1. seeds
  2. notebook or journal
  3. pen or pencil
  4. calendar
cottage garden flowers with fountain in potager garden. Cut flowers shown include calendula, larkspur and snapdragons

Directions for Organizing Before Sowing Seeds

The purpose of getting organized is to help you know how many supplies you need and when to start germinating seeds. I don’t know about you, but if I don’t organize myself, the task seems daunting.

Charting it all out on paper is helpful to see what the sowing schedule will look like. So organizing, journaling, and calendaring is a huge help when starting seeds.

Here’s how to get yourself organized.

  1. Grab your seed packets, pen, and a notebook or a garden journal. Have your calendar handy. (I just use my phone.)
  2. Organize seed packets by plant.
  3. I like to make it look like a spreadsheet, so make columns for Days to Maturity, Seed Germination, Sow Date, Flower Color, Overall Size, and Amount of Sun. The information is on the back of each seed packet.
  4. In the rows, start with each plant then name each variety underneath.
  5. Grab the information from each seed packet and drop it into your list.
  6. Calendar the sow dates for each plant and variety. You will need to know your last frost date to calendar this.
  7. When complete, clean up the list and add it to a spreadsheet or garden journal so it’s easy to make changes during the growing season.
close up of seed packets from floret flower farm

Gather Your Necessary Supplies

Nothing halts the momentum of seed starting like realizing you’re missing essential germinating seeds supplies midway through the process.

Before beginning, take inventory of your seed starter supplies before diving in.

Here’s a quick checklist to get you started:

cut flower patch: strawflowers in the potager garden

Notes About Your Seed Starting Supplies

  • Containers: Whether it’s seed trays, peat pots, or recycled containers, ensure they’re clean and have proper drainage.
  • Seed Starting Mix: Invest in a quality, well-draining seed starting mix to provide the best environment for seedlings.
  • Seeds: Check the viability of your seeds and organize them by planting dates.
  • Labels and Markers: Don’t underestimate the importance of labeling your seedlings – it’s easy to forget what’s what once they start growing.
  • Watering Can or Spray Bottle: Gentle watering is key in the early stages of growth.
  • Light Source: If natural light is scarce, invest in grow lights to provide adequate illumination.
  • Heat Source: Some seeds require warmth for germination, so get a heat mat or two.
Hardening Off Plants After Starting Seeds Indoors

Create a Designated Workspace

Designate an area in your home specifically for germinating seeds. Ideally, this space should have access to natural light (or grow lights) and be easily accessible for daily checks and care. Whether it’s a dedicated corner in your living space or a shelf in a well-lit room, having a defined workspace helps in staying organized and focused on nurturing your seedlings.

When I germinated seeds in the basement of our former home, I used to work in my kitchen and then move the trays down to the basement to keep them under the lights. But here at the new house, I have a designated workspace in my garage for seed starting, potting, and other small DIY gardening projects.

Wherever you decide to sow seeds indoors, keep in mind that you’ll be making a bit of a mess. So you may want to keep a dust pan, broom, or vacuum on hand to clean up messes as you go.

Cosmos flowers

From Seed to Plant: Why Organization Matters

The journey from seed to seedling is delicate and requires attention to detail. By getting organized before you sow, you set yourself up for success:

  • Efficiency: Following a “when to start seeds indoors chart” or seed starting schedule and having all necessary supplies on hand saves time and prevents stress while you work.
  • Optimal Growth: Sowing seeds at the right time ensures they have ample time to grow strong before transplanting.
  • Prevention of Mistakes: Labels and good organization prevent mix-ups, ensuring you know exactly what you’re growing and how you’ll execute it.
How to Save Money at the Garden Nursery

What I Learned After Organizing My Seed Starting Schedule

After charting my seed schedule, my sweet peas are the first seeds to be sown. They had the earliest sow date of 10-12 weeks before the last frost date. So the earliest I can sow them here in my gardening zone 6a is February 20.

From there, I realized I’d be sowing seeds almost every other week until just before the last frost. Here’s what I am growing this year.

close up of first sweet pea flowers from the garden
Sweet Peas

Seed Starting Organizational FAQs

What Is the Best Container to Store Seeds In?

Since you’ll likely have leftover seeds, it’s a good idea to think ahead to how you want to store the extras so you can sow them the following season.

The best container to store seeds is made from glass, plastic, or metal. It’s important to keep them in an envelope or paper bag in a cool, dry place that is kept out of direct sunlight.

I keep mine in a card catalog in the library but you can also keep them in the back of the refrigerator. I keep some seed packets in the garage fridge.

Sunflowers in the flower patch

Where is the Best Place to Store Seeds In?

The best place to store seeds is a place that is not in direct sunlight and maintains an even temperature, like a cold closet, basement, or room on the north side of your home.

How Do You Organize Garden Seeds?

Similar to a card catalog, I like to keep them in a container with dividers between the seeds and organize them alphabetically. This makes it much easier to find the seeds I’m ready to sow when I want them.

How to Sow Seeds Indoors

Next in the series, we’ll cover what you need to know about sowing seeds indoors without a greenhouse and the lessons I learned along the way.

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.

Home and Garden Blogger Stacy Ling

More About Getting Organized Before Sowing Seeds

Are you starting seeds this year too? Do you have any organizational tips you’d like to share? I would love to know more in the comments below.

zinnias in the potager by the cottage

How to Start Seeds Indoors Without a Greenhouse Series

how to set a cozy fall harvest table
Bricks ‘n Blooms

If you like this post, please share and pin it on Pinterest. (If you hover over the image, the Pinterest button will be in the upper left corner.) I’ve created the below-custom pin for this post.

Seed starting larkspur, snapdragons and calendula

Thanks for stopping by the blog today!

Enjoy your day! xoxo

Stacy Ling bricksnblooms logo
cutting garden in my gardening zone 6a backyard border
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7 Simple Tips to Getting Organized for Starting Seeds Indoors
7 Simple Tips to Getting Organized for Starting Seeds Indoors
7 Simple Tips to Getting Organized for Starting Seeds Indoors
gardening zone 6a summer flowers
How to Start Seeds Indoors Without a Greenhouse
Starting Seeds Indoors

To quickly recap Parts 1 and 2 of my seed starting series:

In Part 1, I shared an overview detailing how to start seeds indoors without a greenhouse.

And if you do have a greenhouse, I’ve got you covered there too.

In Part 2, I shared how I set up an indoor seed starting system in the basement.

Doesn’t it look so cool?

I successfully started over 1400 flowers here!

In this post, I reviewed all the supplies that I used to sow seeds in my basement.

Now that we covered both the overview and supplies, let’s talk about how to get yourself organized.

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  3. Hi.Treacy I enjoy getting your blog and the.advice is very good I get your email always I.like.the organise your seeds

  4. I noticed a multiple plug with surge protection. Did you know these only last 10 years? Put a notice on the last day of your calendar like, “replace multi-plug in office 2031” or “Garden plug needs replacing 2030” I’ve heard this on Pinterest or somewhere like it, and I know from personal experience. My niece lives in a 100 year plus year old house and had a housefire. It wasn’t from anything old in the house, it was from a surge protector; one of the newer gadgets we all seem to have.

  5. I noticed a multiple plug with surge protection. Did you know these only last 10 years? Put a notice on the last day of your calendar like, “replace multi-plug in office 2031” or “Garden plug needs replacing 2030” I’ve heard this on Pinterest or somewhere like it, and I know from personal experience. My niece lives in a 100 year plus year old house and had a housefire. It wasn’t from anything old in the house, it was from a surge protector; one of the newer gadgets we all seem to have.

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  9. These are great tips Stacy! I’d like to be more organized with my spring planting this year and I think this will help.

  10. Stacy,
    This post is so inspiring! We will be landscaping a ton this spring, so I’m taking notes about starting my flowers! Thanks!