Seed Starting Indoors to Save Money – A How To

This is a Seed Starting Indoors to Save Money post.  It shows you how I plant and grow my young annual and perennial plants indoors while it is below freezing outside.  This allows me to get a head start on my heirloom plants that I can’t find in the box stores later in the spring.

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Seed Storage

I store my seeds in plastic coffee cans.  This keeps them dry, out of the light, and I keep them in the basement, which keeps them cool.  These are the three things that seeds like for long term storage.

Seed Starting Indoors to Save Money - Coffee Can

Seed Starting Indoors to Save Money – Coffee Can

I actually have several different coffee cans, each labeled with the month that I plant them.  February, March, April, and May.  I also have a can labeled as “stratify”, which is the practice of wetting and refrigerating certain seeds for a period of time.  Only certain seeds need to be stratified and they will be labeled as such if they need this process.

Each type of seed is stored in its own package or if it is seeds that I harvested from a previous year, they are stored in a labeled sandwich bag.

Seed Trays

I use 72 cell seed trays that I pick up from Walmart for around $4.  I do recycle my trays from last year and use them year after year, but they must be cleaned with a bleach and water solution before you re-use them.

Seed Starting Indoors to Save Money - Seed Tray

Seed Starting Indoors to Save Money – Seed Tray

Label the Trays

I use a “Sharpie” marker to label the trays.  Each tray will have a different number and then I will label the rows from left to right from 1 to 12 with each row having 6 cells.  So, for tray 5, I will write 5-1 on the left side and 5-12 on the right side.

Keep Track

I then use a piece of paper and label it 5-1, 5-2, and so on until I get to 5-12.  Then I write next to each one what I planted in that row.  Let’s say I planted Black Beauty Egg Plant in row 5-1, and Love Lies Amaranth in 5-2.  Then I would simply right it down as follows:

5-1 Black Beauty Egg Plant

5-2 Love Lies Amaranth

until I’m done planting.


I then put soil in the cells and LIGHTLY press it in.  This is simply to remove large air pockets.  Do not compress the soil into the cells.

Plant Seeds

Now plant the seeds in the cells based on your paper that you wrote above.  Plant the seeds based on the directions on the package.


I water all of these trays from the bottom and never from the top.  I do this by just submerging the bottom of the cells in water in a flat tray.

Put Under Light

I then put the trays under a full spectrum fluorescent light.  I put the light on a timer from 6AM to 10PM.  Then I keep an eye on the plants every couple of days to make sure they don’t dry out.

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The Video

Check out the Seed Starting Indoors to Save Money video below.

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