Get a head start on your outdoor gardening season by starting your plants indoors.

Some plants require being started indoors 8 to 10 weeks before last frost to be able to obtain a decent or even make it to harvest depending on where you live. This is very beneficial in regions with short growing seasons. Which is most of Canada. In warmer areas with longer growing season you may be able to get 2 harvests in 1 growing season. Tomatoes, peppers, lettuce and cabbage are popular vegetables that are recommended to start early indoors. We like to start everything from seed. This ensures we have a good solid plant that is disease and pest free.

Required Items. Click on smaller images to purchase items through

1. Seeds. Pick a type of plant that does well in the region where you live. We will be planting Thai Chili Pepper.

2. Seed Starting Tray with dome. These usually come with peat pellets or a tray with cells to hold soil.

3. Soil or Peat Pellets(usually come with tray kit)

4. Light source.

A. Table that gets good sunlight. Use of a heat mat recommended.

B. A table lamp with a normal 100W equivalent daylight(5000k)LED bulb. These usually are only 15W. Keep on for 24 hrs and a few inches away from dome. Do not need heat mat. The light keeps the heat constant. Adjust height of light.

C. LED grow lights. Don’t really need to use this big of a light. A small clip fan works good on the edge of a table.

5. Watering Can and Spray Bottle.

Getting Started

Soak peat pellets in water or start filling seed tray with soil. Fill soil to top and pour a small amount of water. Tray cells should be about 80% full and packed.

Put seed in peat pellet and push down gently. Spray side of peat pellet with water so that it pushes peat into the area that you pushed the seed in to fill hole. If using soil cell tray place seed on top of the wet soil and place more soil on top. Then give it a spray with the spray bottle.

Thai Chili Pepper Seeds Day 1

Spray the inside of the dome with a fine mist of water and put on top of tray.

Place in area with Light Source(see section 4. of required items) and ensure a warm temperature and high humidity is maintained. Your seeds are now starting to germinate.

Remove dome for a small amount of time daily so that there is new air in dome tray. Germination usually takes 1 to 4 weeks or sometimes even more. It depends on the type of plant. Maintaining warm temperature and high humidity speeds up the process.

Thai Chili Peppers Day 3

As plants start to develop keep dome lid off for a bit to drop humiduty. Keep around 70 for a day then around 60 the next day

After plants are more developed and more used to the lower humidity a dome is not needed. Spray seedlings with a fine mist of water as needed

Thai Chili Pepper Day 7

Transfer plants into a small pots. Peat pots are popular. A plastic disposable drinking cup with holes pocked in the bottom and side also works and is low cost. We used 3.5″ square pots and a tray. We watered coco coir and used two fingers and pushed down to make room for the seedling plug.

Day 14
Day 28. These have been sitting on a table with good amount of sun the past 2 week.
Day 49. Ready to be put into larger containers or start to harden off if proper outdoor temperatures are met.
Day 49

After plants are more mature and last frost has past you will have to harden off your plants. This is getting your plants used to the harsh realities of the outside world. First start off by putting them in a protected area outside. An area with shade and protection from strong winds. We like to bring them inside over night the first few days. Over the next week or so gradually increase and amount amount of sun and wind the plants are exposed too. After 7 to 10 days the plants are finished hardening off it is safe to plant in garden.

It is very important to match plants to the plant hardiness zone where you live. Zones Range from 1 to 11. Zone 1 being the coldest and zone 11 being the warmest. Plants matched to their zone will grow well. If not grown in their zone will not survive or produce very little. Canada is mostly zone 2 to 4. Some areas up North are zone 1 and some areas in BC go all the way to zone 8. A quick search can tell you what plants are best suited for your area. If there is a plant that you really want to grow that is not a good match for your hardiness area you can always grow it indoors.