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How to Start Seedlings Indoors for the Vegetable & Herb Garden + Video

The hot topic today is How to Start Seedlings Indoors for the Vegetable & Herb Garden, and this was a fun show to film with Mom.

How to Start Seedlings Indoors for the Vegetable or Herb Garden - cookingwithkimberly.comIn this day and age, where every food item you wish to purchase costs so much, it is beneficial for you to start a veggie garden and herb garden in your own yard, so you can have fresh vegetables, and as many as you want when they ripen.

Many crops can be frozen to enjoy during the Winter months when produce is very expensive and lack luster at the grocer.

oreganoAn herb garden is not only beautiful, but easy to cultivate and fresh herbs are the best – again, most herbs can be frozen or dried for winter use.

Seedlings started indoors during the cool days of Spring give you small plants ready to plant outdoors after the 24th of May – in our zone, which is Southern Ontario.

It takes some babysitting to get the results you want but it is well worth it.

How to Start Seedlings Indoors for the Vegetable & Herb Garden:

Firstly, some planting trays, which are inexpensive, and potting soil are needed. Secondly, the seeds which you have saved from last years crop or packaged seeds are needed. Soil from last years potted plants is okay to mix with the potting soil.

The tools needed & instructions are listed below the video for directions. Please enjoy this webisode of Cooking with Kimberly:

Tools Needed:

  • Green Pepper Seeds from 'Cooking with Kimberly' Kitchen Garden - CookingWithKimberly.complanting or seedling trays – these are very inexpensive
  • potting soil
  • seeds – purchased or saved from last year’s crop
  • skewers or sticks for labels
  • spray bottle of water


  1. While wearing gloves, fill the seeding trays about half to three quarters full.
  2. Gently pat down and make furrows about 1/2 inch deep, in which to line up your seeds. Spray a bit of water over soil.
  3. Place seeds in furrows according to instructions on back of seed packet for seed spacing.
  4. Shore up each side of the furrow to lightly cover the seeds.
  5. Be sure to spray the trays daily or when the soil feels dry to the touch or looks cracked, checking at least twice a day to begin with.
  6. If your seedlings have reached about 4 or 5 inches by the 24th of May, you could plant them directly outdoors, but if it is earlier, they can be individually transferred carefully, so as not to break the stem or roots, into individual pots or small seedling holders as shown.
  • Tips:
    • We cut cardboard separators just to keep the rows straight and the different seeds separated and labelled.
    • Cut your packages of seeds, opening the bottoms so you can place the identifying labels on a stick and see what it is – right side up.
    • Do not over-water to the point where mold starts to form on the top of the soil. This will kill your plants.
    • Until the time the plants reach a couple inches in height, it is best to only water without fertilizer. After this point you could mix a very diluted mix of miracle grow with water and spray very sparingly.


Let me explain a few examples of what we did for a few different types of vegetables we planted.


How to Roast Radishes, Scapes, Beets & Parsnips - cookingwithkimberly.comFor example, we are planting beets – they need to be about 1 inch apart. Then, label those rows as being beets. When the plants are about 4 or 5 inches high, you can gently shore up the soil on each side of each plant – not on the plants. This holds true for all the seedlings we are planting.

Turnip & Broccoli:

BroccoliNext, we planted turnips and then broccoli – making sure to separate and label. These seeds look like tiny poppy seeds and overall, they will likely be the last plants to poke through the soil.


Basil Plant - CookingWithKimberly.comOur second tray was prepared in exactly the same way, filling the tray halfway with soil, making furrows, spraying with water, planting the seedlings and closing the furrows. In this tray, we planted our dill, sunflowers and parsley.

In our third tray was home to basil, melons, pumpkins and our fourth held the beans & tomatoes.

Outdoor Planting Instructions:

  1. Web Chef Review: Harvest Barn Country Markets Tomatoes on the Vine - cookingwithkimberly.comWhen transplanting to the outside, make sure you remove any winter debris from your garden – i.e. last years plants.
  2. Turn the soil with a shovel and rake it out, so the soil is soft and fluffy, much like the potting soil was.
  3. Make furrows to transplant your seedlings and gently take the small plants and shore up the soil on each side of the plant to cover the roots – not the stem.
  4. Keep watered to be sure your soil stays moist.
  • Tip:
    • I still like to spray with a diluted mix of water and Miracle Grow until the plants make the transition from tray to garden and look like they are thriving. I mix it with twice as much water as what the package indicates. Then, I apply fertilizer as per indications on the Miracle Grow package.

Now that you know how to start seedlings indoors for your vegetable & herb garden, you’re taking steps towards eating healthy, organic produce of your own.

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Author: Kimberly Turner

Kimberly Turner is the web-chef behind CookingWithKimberly.com.

Food writer, food consultant and general lover of the delicious treats on our planet, Kimberly brings you hearty content, delicious offerings, fun antics, and some down-home cooked love with her mom making cameos.

Internet entrepreneur and marketer, International model, and Editor-in-Chief of a number of online publications.

Be a Champion in Your Kitchen & Eat Deliciously!

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