Farm Update | Essential Supplies to Prepare for Seed Starting

In Zone 8b, seed starting is just around the corner. To prepare, I’ve been taking stock of my seeds, organizing my planting calendar, and gathering/cleaning all the essential supplies. This year, I’ll be growing all my favourites from past seasons, in addition to trialing a few new varieties to add texture to arrangements.

Time to take stock of your seeds! This is the time to finalize what you’re planting and where. There are a few questions to ask yourself: Do I have extra seeds on hand in the event of damping off or a slug attack? (I lost several hundred zinnia seedlings last year!). Do I have enough seeds to fill my space, as well as succession plant? Once these decisions are final, think about your plan for creating a growing space that blooms all season long!

Develop your seed starting timeline. When determining your planting schedule, start with your last frost date. This will help you figure out when to start your seeds simply using the information on the back of your seed packages. A Seed Starting Calculator (pop that into Google to find one you like) is also a great tool, as it automatically produces your planting schedule for you. I like to print mine out, so that I can post it in the office and refer to it easily!

It’s time to gather and clean supplies! I’m in the process of pulling out all my cells, trays, and domes from past seasons for assessment and cleaning. I use a diluted bleach solution for cleaning and allow everything to air dry. Below, I’ve provided a detailed list of all the supplies I use during the seed starting phase, and a few tips for sourcing them! Keep in mind that this list suits my space and growing conditions. Be sure to create a list that best supports your unique needs!

Seed Starting Supply List

  • Your Curated Collection of Seeds

  • Seed Starting Mix (I use Sunshine Mix 4 or ProMix)

  • Fine Vermiculite

  • Plant Labels & Sharpies

  • 1020 Trays (no holes)

  • Cells (I use 32/tray & 72/tray)

  • Tall Domes

  • Camera/Pocket Notebook

  • Waterproof Seed Starting Heat Mats

  • Growing Lights or Shop Lights & Bulbs (if growing indoors)

  • Hooks and Chain for lowering and raising lights

  • Digital Thermometer *with humidity*

  • Your Planting Schedule

Some of these supplies can be found on my Amazon Storefront. Items such as soil, vermiculite, trays, cells, and domes are best purchased at your local nursery! Lights and bulbs can be found at Hardware Stores.