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Basic Seed Starting Instructions

By March 13, 2020January 30th, 2023Spring Gardening

We’ve been getting a lot of questions about seed starting, so we thought it would be helpful to put together a little cheat sheet for you. We’ll take you through the materials you will need, the steps you will take to plant your seedlings, and where to place your seed trays or pods once planted. As always, please feel free to reach out to us with any questions you may have. Our friendly and knowledgable associates will be more than happy to help get you on the right track!

Churchill's Garden Center - Seed Starting
Churchill's Garden Center - Seed Starting
Churchill's Garden Center - Seed Starting
Churchill's Garden Center - Seed Starting

What You’ll Need:

  • Seed Trays or Seed Pods
  • Seed Starter Soil
  • Seeds (Packed for 2020 will give you the best germination rate)
  • Labels to Label Your Seeds
  • Spray Bottle (Use for watering)


Germinate seeds in a bright warm location.


  1. Loosely fill seed trays and/or pots with seed starter soil.
  2. Moisten soil by spraying with water bottle.
  3. Place seeds in seed cells or pots according to seed packet directions.
    Example: Seed packet will say plant one seed per cell 1/4” deep or sprinkle three Seeds on soil surface. Spacing doesn’t matter until you transplant.

Exeter Area last frost date is May 15th – This is when you can plan on putting your plants in the ground. Refer back to seed packet for plant spacing.

Read seed packet info:

The seed packet will tell you…

  • When to start inside
  • When to start outside
  • Seed Planting Depth
  • How many days to emerge
  • When to transplant

Some seeds want to be directly sewn in garden and others can be started indoors And transplanted to your garden or containers.


Keep soil constantly moist while germinating.
Keep in a warm area.
A seed tray cover is a good idea to help keep the soil moist and warm.


When seeds start to emerge you’ll want to keep the soil moist and remove the cover. Keep in bright sunny spot being careful not to burn seedlings or let them dry out too quickly. Be sure to rotate the trays! The plants will be reaching for the light as they grow.

Happy growing!