"Garden as though you will live forever." William Kent

I thought it would be fun to journal this year's garden from start to finish. There are many different ways to grow and tend a garden, however, my plan for this space is to show you how I grow mine. I'm no expert and I don't have years of gardening experience under my belt, but I'm doing it and learning a whole lot along the way. I am in constant awe by the tiny miracles that take place in the garden on a daily basis.

Today, I'm gathering all of the supplies I need to start my seeds. Because I don't have much room in my house to dedicate to growing plants, I purchased a metal shelving unit that holds up to twenty cell plug flats. That will yield more than enough plants for my small backyard garden. I lined the top two shelves with propagation mats, then hung two, 4 foot long grow lights on each shelf. I made sure the height of each light was adjustable so I could keep them 2-3 inches above my plants at all times. I achieved this by hanging my lights with adjustable chains.

I purchased an array of seeds from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, Floret, Johnny's, and Botanical Interests. I also picked up a few seed packets from a local farmer. I plan to grow a variety of flowers, herbs and vegetables this year.

I bought my cell plug flats, trays, lids and seed starting mix at Johnny's (you can also find these items on Amazon or at your local garden store) and sourced the fine vermiculite locally.

Here is a list of the supplies I used:

metal shelving unit

propagation mat

grow lights

cell plug flats


clear dome lids

seed starting mix

fine vermiculite

flower and vegetable seeds


Seed Starting Indoors (what I do):

1.) Fill a large bucket or tub with a high quality seed starting mix. Add enough water to thoroughly moisten the mix. The key is to get it saturated like you would a sponge, but not so much so that it drips water when you hold up a handful.

2.) Now you want to fill your trays with the seed starter mix. Once you're finished, firmly tap the trays on a hard surface to settle the mix, and add a little more if needed. You want each cell nice and full.

3.) Plant your seeds. You'll want to follow the directions on your seed packet for proper seed planting depth, and then cover the seeds with a light dusting of vermiculite.

4.) Label your trays as you go so you don't forget what you've planted! (This part is important.)

5.) Set planted flats on a leakproof tray and cover with a clear dome lid.

6.) Place on heating mat and turn the temperature to 70°F for those needing heat for germination. Check your seed packets for growing details.

7.) You'll want to keep the soil nice and moist. Water from the bottom up by filling your tray with water every other day or as needed. Start with a half an inch of water and feel the soil to see if it needs more.

8.) Once 2/3 of the seeds in the flat have sprouted, remove from the heat mat and take off the lid. Place your seedlings under grow lights for 14-16 hours a day. Make sure the lights are always 2-3 inches above your plants. You will need to adjust the light length regularly as the plants grow fast!

9.) Water as needed