Seed Starting Equipment

Seed Starting Equipment

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Planning what you need to start seed starting can be a bit overwhelming. Below is a list of products I use for our seed starting set-up:

Grow Lights

Grow lights are essential when starting seeds indoors. Grow lights will ensure you have healthy seedlings from the start! Direct overhead light encourages the seedlings to grow vertically with a strong, supportive stalk. If the light is too far away, the stems become "leggy" and appear to be stringy. This is because the plant is reaching for the sunlight.

  • If you’re new to gardening, you may opt for a smaller grow light such as this: Clip On Grow Light
  • If you’re experienced or looking for more lighting, I recommend these lights: 4 Foot Lights

I’ve used these large 4ft lights for several years now and absolutely love them! They are easy to set-up and provide plenty of lighting for our seedlings.

In additional to the actual grow light, if you’re looking for a set-up similar to ours, you’ll need a rack to mount the lights on. I purchased one new from Home Depot; however you could probably find something similar on FB marketplace. I also recently saw them discounted at Ollie’s Bargain outlet!

1020 Trays

1020 trays are large trays you place multiple seed starting containers in. They are called “1020” trays because the width of the tray is 10 inches and the length is 20 inches. You can also purchase 1010 trays as well.

Sturdy, durable 1020 trays are great for transporting seedlings and bottom watering plants. I switched to these several years ago and they have been a total game changer! They are much more durable than anything at the big box stores & will last for many years.

Seed Starting Containers:

The seed starting containers you use may vary depending on the plant you are growing and your own personal seed starting method. Below are a few of my favorites from Bootstrap Farmer but you can also get creative and use containers you already have on hand!

Here are a few of my favorites:

  1. 6-cell 

These are my personal favorite for starting seeds. They allow you to start many plants in a smaller area and require less growing medium at the beginning. As the plants grow, you will most likely need to pot them into a larger container before planting outdoors. 

  1. 4-cell

These 4-cell containers provide significantly more area for root growth and are great for starting seeds or transplanting from 6-cell trays. 

  1. 2.5” pots

This is a great intermediate plant. Depending on what you’re growing, you may be able to sow your seeds in these containers and keep the plants in these containers until going outdoors! If you aren’t a fan of transplanting from a small to larger containers, the 2.5” Seed Starter pots might be a better option for you!

  1. 3.3” Pots

The 3.3 pots are great for plants that have a longer growing duration and will need to be potted up before going outdoors. Tomatoes and peppers work great in these. You can either direct sow into these pots or transplant up from a 6 or 4-cell container.

  1. Air Pruning Trays

Air prune trays help produce healthier root systems and stronger transplants. These work great for when you plan to grow a lot of seedlings and plant directly outdoors soon after sprouting.

Optional Additions:

  1. Seed Starting Heat Mats 

Heat mats are great for seed starting! Place the mat underneath your 1020 tray full of plants. The heat will warm the soil and help the plants germinate quicker. Check your seedlings regularly to ensure the soil doesn’t dry out. 

Once the seedlings have germinated and you start seeing little sprouts, remove the tray(s) from the heat mat.

2. Humidity Domes

Humidity Domes are a great addition when germinating seeds. These humidity domes are heavy duty and are designed to sit on top of your 1020 trays. The domes help hold in moisture and prevent the soil from drying out. 

Humidity Domes can be used for several other homesteading projects such as growing mushrooms or propagating plants such as roses or hydrangeas.

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