11 Must-Have Indoor Seed Start Supplies
Do you want to start flower and vegetable seeds but don’t have a greenhouse? No problem! Follow along with Part 2 of this informative Grow With Me series that details your must-have seed start supplies.
In Part 1, we covered the basics and provided a general overview of how to start seeds indoors without a greenhouse.
And today, in Part 2 of this Grow With Me series, we will cover the supplies you’ll need and what I use to start my own seeds indoors without a greenhouse.
While you can purchase a pre-made seed start system, it’s pretty easy to DIY your own as well.
Wait until you see how we made our seed starting system in the basement and sunroom.
So let’s get started!
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11 Must-Have Indoor Seed Start Supplies
I’ll deep dive into specifically what we did to DIY our own system, but in general, you need to buy the following items to successfully start seed indoors.
- Seed Starting Potting Soil
- Seed Trays
- Bottom or Drainage Trays
- Clear Dome Lids
- Grow Lights
- Table or Shelf System for Seedlings
- Heat Mat
- Plant Labels
- Oscillating Fan
- Programmable Timer
Since I have some space to work with, we chose to work with 4′ grow light systems. But there are smaller options available so design a system that works best for you and the space you have.
My DIY Indoor Seed Start System
In my old house, I started seeds in my basement. Here in my newer home, I start them in my sunroom.
While it’s brighter in my sunroom than the basements, I still use the grow lights because there’s not enough daylight here to get the seeds started effectively without them.
Whatever system you choose, you’ll want to make sure that you have the ability to adjust the grow lights. Because as those seedlings grow, you’ll need to move the lights to keep them about an inch away from the tallest seedling.
There are a few ways you can design a seed starting system, but here’s how we did ours and I love it.
The Seed Starting Shelf System
While I initially wanted to purchase a pre-made shelf system, they were a little more expensive than we cared to spend. And looking back, I don’t regret DIY’ng our own.
When I first started with this system, I was planning to start 21 seed trays. I needed more more space than those pre-made systems could provide without spending a ton of money anyway, so DIY’ing our own was the way to go.
Chris considered building shelves with wood. Which is a great option. But for us and how we use our indoor living spaces the rest of the year, that would be more difficult to move around or put away when we are done starting seeds.
So we ultimately decided on these tiered wired chef shelves.They are perfect for starting several seed trays. It’s easy to hang grow lights on them. The shelves are adjustable.
Plus we can use them for more than just growing seeds. So this was a no-brainer.
To accommodate roughly (21) 10″x20″ seed trays, we bought 2 sets of shelves.
Next up was purchasing the grow lights.
Home Depot did not have 4 footers in the store, so we bought as many 2 foot ones that they had in stock. And then I just purchased more online.
You can also find these at other big box stores like Lowes or Amazon too, but we went instore at Home Depot to find everything.
These lights are pretty easy to use, came with a wire to raise and lower the lights, and will work well with the chef shelf system.
Since I couldn’t find more 2 footers online, I purchased a few 4 foot grow lights. And because I needed so many supplies, I had a feeling I would have to piecemeal some of them together.
It should all work out in the end, but of course, I would rather have all of the same supplies.
Seed Starting Trays, Clear Domes, and Irrigation Trays
Home Depot did not have much aside from the complete systems like these. But I found the larger ones with 72 cells that have a self-watering tray and peat pot cells.
I’ve worked with them before when starting seeds, so I bought a bunch to use.
And as an aside, let me tell you, if you can buy the self-watering tray ones, get those. It’s much easier to bottom water your seedlings this way.
Because there was little in-store stock, I purchased what was available based on my needs and purchased other items online.
In addition to the complete systems, I’m using some containers I have from last year. If you want to reuse containers you already have too, make sure you properly clean them.
And, I ordered 4″ deep biodegradable cells, clear plastic dome and irrigation trays too. The reason I purchased the 4″ deep biodegradable cells is because there are a few seeds that need deeper cells to start and grow in.
Seed Starting Soil and Vermiculite
For the cells/pots that do not have a seed starting mix in them, I purchased seed starting soil so I’m ready to go when its time to sow.
Some growers recommend using vermiculite to cover seeds after planting instead of soil. It’s not necessary if you don’t have it, but the seeds have an easier time growing through it.
And after having done this several times, I prefer the vermiculite. Here’s what I’m using.
Soil quality can make or break any garden, so I can’t stress enough the importance of good, healthy soil.
I couldn’t find any heat mats in-store at Home Depot. So I just ordered them online. This is what I got.
Keep in mind that you don’t necessarily need the same number of heat mats as you do cell trays. Figure out how many heat mats you need based on the most seed packets you’ll be starting at one time.
I did not do this and totally overbought heat mats.
Plant Labels and Sharpie
I can’t stress enough how important it is to label EVERYTHING you plant right after sowing. You’ll never remember the name and variety later so do yourself a favor and label it when you sow.
These are the plant tags I’m using. To write on them, I’m just using a sharpie. But a pencil would work too.
Ultimately, you want to use something that won’t rub off too, so keep that in mind.
Because we are starting seeds indoors without a greenhouse, it’s important to make sure the seedlings are getting the proper amount of light.
In general, grow lights will be on for 14-16 hour days.
I don’t know about you, but I’ll never remember to turn them on and off every day, so a programmable timer is essential.
I’m using one like these and I bought two – one for each shelf system.
Since I am starting several shelves of grow lights on two separate programmable timers, I need to use a power strip for each shelf system.
This is what I’m using – but you can use anyone that you have on hand.
To help promote good air circulation in your seed starting space, it’s best to run an oscillating fan on low.
It’s almost time to start planting certain flower varieties, so I already have my seeds.
If you don’t have yours yet, check with your local nursery, big box store, or reputable online retailers like Floret Flowers, Johnny’s Selected Seeds, Renee’s Garden, and Burpees.
Next up in the series, we’ll be chatting about how to get organized before starting seeds indoors. CLICK HERE to read the post.
Seed Starting Supplies Wrap Up
Have you ever started seeds indoors before? What supplies did you use or would recommend? I would love to know more in the comments below.
And don’t miss joining my Gardening DIY and Decorating Community on Facebook for more chatter. And follow along there and on Instagram as well. There are behind the scenes daily things that I share on Instagram that don’t make it on the blog. Would love to see you there too!
If you prefer to binge watch Bricks ’n Blooms on TV, we go more in-depth with tours and posts on my YouTube channel. Would love to hang out with you there!
In My Good Friend Kim’s Garden in the Pacific Northwest
My good friend Kim from Shiplap and Shells is also starting her garden from seed and shared how to grow sweet peas. Wait until you see her amazing cut flower garden in the PNW.
Wait until you see how she grows her sweet peas from seed!
They are the first seeds I’ll be sowing and I’m starting them next week!
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 to your gardening journal for ease of reference during the growing season.
How to Start Seeds Indoors Without a Greenhouse Series
- Overview of How to Start Seeds Indoors Without a Greenhouse
- Supplies for Starting Seeds Indoors Without a Greenhouse (you are here)
- 7 Simple Tips to Getting Organized Before Starting Seeds Indoors
- What You Need to Know About Sowing Seeds Indoors
- 7 Lessons I Learned Starting Seeds Indoors
- What You Need to Know About Hardening Off Plants
- How to Plant a Garden After Starting Seeds Indoors
- 7 Lessons I Learned From Growing a Cut Flower Garden
- How to Keep Fresh Flowers Longer
- Cut Flower Gardening for Beginners
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