Starting Seeds Inside

by David Schulze


Starting seeds inside can mean not enough sunlight. These seedlings will die soon because they do not have enough light.

When reading directions for planting seeds, some packs say to start indoors three to six weeks before planting out. So you plant your seeds inside, they germinate and start to grow. But they grow tall and thin, then fall over and die. You then send me an email telling me I sent you bad seeds (which we do not do).

So I will ask for you to send me pictures. As soon as I see the pictures, I know what is wrong. I will ask, "Are you growing these inside?"  You will say, "Yes." I will ask, "Are you using grow lights." You will say, "No. I have them sitting in a window sill or (sitting on a table that gets sunlight)." I will tell you that you need more light. At least 12 to 18 hours a day when grown inside and with a grow light.

When the pack of seeds states, "When starting inside..." they assume you know what you are doing and that they are in a warm greenhouse or inside with grow lights.

Without proper lighting, the plant grows tall and thin, then falls over and dies. Even if it does not fall over, you will need to replant.

I have seen videos posted on Amazon and YouTube where people have planted their seeds and they are germinating.  The poster is excited.  Only in several cases, they were growing tall and thin, and had fallen over.  Obviously the poster was new at gardening.  Don't believe everything you see on the web. You can believe what you see us post.  We show the success as well as the failure.  And you can tell sometimes I am on a roll and other times I am trying to write something and I am struggling with it.

When starting seeds inside you need to make sure you have proper lighting and heat. Too much heat will stall or kill the seeds. If starting inside, use only a grow light or heating pad with no cover. Using a grow light and heating pad together produces too much heat for the seeds. Add a grow cover and you get too much moisture as well as the heat. This will kill most seeds.

Putting on a window sill does not, usually, work. The sun rays are concentrated when striking the window and can overheat, killing the seeds or seedlings when they start growing. You will not believe me because there are some, a very few, who have had success doing it this way.

The best thing to do is to have a heated greenhouse of some kind. Shelves for the seeds to sit on. Single row once they start to germinate and turn into seedlings. If there are plants stacked on top of each other, then we have the issue with the light. Herbs will grow with less light, but vegetables need full light.

I hope I have explained what is meant when the package instructions state, "When starting inside...."