How to - Gardening Basics

Seed starting essentials

The basic tools you'll need to get your seeds growing

So, you’ve successfully completed the first step of growing from seed: browsing through your stack of seed catalogues and placing your order. But now what? Seasoned seed starters are eagerly anticipating the arrival of their orders, but for first timers the wait may be mixed with a little anxiety. To ease your nerves, here’s a list of some seed starting essentials to help get you started:



Make your own starter pots
The N.ViroPotter is an eco-friendly tool that allows you to make your own starter pots using strips of newspaper. When the seeds are ready, the pots can be planted directly into the garden. Though it may be a little pricier than store-bought starter pots, the N.ViroPotter tool can be reused every season and will actually end up saving you money!

Available at:
Price: $13.95 to 24.95

seed-tray.jpgPlant tray and lid (sold separately)
Once you’ve planted your seeds in starter pots—such as the ones made using the N.ViroPotter—you can use trays, such as these from Canadian Tire, to hold them. The plastic bottom keeps excess water from leaking, and the lid helps to hold in the moisture needed for germination.

Available at:
Canadian Tire and other retailers where seed-starting products are sold.
Price: $1.49 each (11x21in)




Plant markers
It’s easy to lose track of what you’ve planted and which container it’s growing in, so make things easier for yourself by grabbing a package of garden markers. Using a waterproof pen, write the names of your seeds on the markers and stick them in the appropriate pots. When choosing your labels keep in mind that they need to be short enough so you can still close the lid of your plant tray—Lee Valley has a smaller set of markers (1”x3-3/4”) perfect for seed starting.

Available at:
Lee Valley Tools
Price: $4.50 to $11.50 (pkg of 50)

seed-spoons.jpgVintage spoon plant tags
Even if you don't need help identifying your transplanted seedlings, you'll still want to make use of these pretty garden markers! Handmade from vintage spoons they can be custom-made for your garden or given as a gift to your favourite green thumb. 

Available at:
daisychestnut’s shop on Etsy
Price: $6 to $ 9 each or $12 to $24 for a set (custom orders available, and prices are in US dollars)




Seedling sprayer
You probably don’t need to be told that your seeds need water to grow, but be careful of over-watering, which can lead to a fungal disease called ‘damping off.’ A seedling sprayer, such as this one from Lee Valley, allows you to gently mist your plants without damaging the delicate stems or roots.

Available at:
Lee Valley Tools
Price: $16.50

Plant marker and seedling sprayer images courtesy of Lee Valley Tools.

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