Gardening - Seed Starting Inside Engineered for Simplicity

Successfully start seeds inside to produce plants for your garden using a method designed to minimize work and cost.
4.5 (14 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a
course's star rating by considering a number of different factors
such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the
likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
601 students enrolled
40% off
Take This Course
  • Lectures 34
  • Length 2.5 hours
  • Skill Level All Levels
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
Wishlisted Wishlist

How taking a course works


Find online courses made by experts from around the world.


Take your courses with you and learn anywhere, anytime.


Learn and practice real-world skills and achieve your goals.

About This Course

Published 2/2015 English

Course Description

Learn how to start seeds inside so you can enjoy the wonderful taste of heirloom vegetables that aren't available for purchase at the supermarket. From seed to plant ready for transplant outside, I will walk you through the process step by step showing you not only what I do, but why I do it so that you can not only successfully follow my method, but adapt it for your individual needs. This course can help you with your indoor seed starting regardless of whether you're planning an urban vegetable garden, a container garden, want to use the square foot method in raised beds, or want to go all organic with your gardening approach.

Easily Start Seeds Inside Successfully Using the Methods Described in this Comprehensive Course.

  • Discover how to take the work out of seed starting
  • Learn how to make watering easy.
  • Grow strong seedlings that succeed in your garden.
  • Take the guesswork out of lighting.
  • Avoid costly mistakes with fertilizer.

Seed Starting Inside is the Cornerstone of a Successful Garden - and the Only Option If You Want Access to a Wide Variety of Delicious Heirloom Vegetables.

I grow hundreds of varieties (yes - varieties) of heirloom vegetables each year, many of which must be started from seed inside if I wish to grow them - I can't go to a local store and purchase plants. Starting from seed not only allows me to save money on plants, but it also enables me to make sure I have strong healthy seedlings ready to plant out on my schedule. In a given year I'll start 45-60 different varieties of tomatoes, and 15-30 different varieties of sweet peppers inside - along with several other types of vegetables. Rest assured though that my methods will work for you whether you have a small container garden or a large three acre plot.

In my search to find solutions and improved methods to the various challenges gardening provides, I've taken a holistic approach to gardening. When searching for a solution or improvement to a current process, I heavily consider both related fields of study as well as related environmental factors. This has led me to researching things such as hydroponics, aquaponics, grafting, and vermicomposting to discover what principles have been learned there that I can leverage to improve my gardening methods. I've also become involved in fields that compliment my gardening needs such as beekeeping and raising chickens. All of this is experience you get to benefit from as you learn the methods I've developed.


I've used my skills as an engineer to design a method for seed starting that minimizes much of the work involved, reduces costs without cutting corners I'll regret later, and helps to ensure my success. You can benefit from my experience by taking this course which enables you to replicate my successes without the need to experience the failures I've discovered along the way.

What successes have I had? Taste is my biggest success, but I don't have any way of showing that to you short of you trying it for yourself. A great harvest is my second biggest success. Keep in mind I'm not a "professional farmer" - I have a day job, yet I easily manage a densely planted 1/4 acre garden producing more food than my family of seven could ever hope to eat. Everything in that garden I start from seed, and many of those seeds must be started inside each year to provide a long enough growing season for the plant. See my promo video for the course for pictures of some of what comes out of my garden every year.

If size is what impresses you, with no special attention (I'm not intentionally trying to grow "contest vegetables") I've had 3-4 lb tomatoes, sweet peppers easily 8 inches in length, pumpkins over 100 lbs, and muskmelons (cantaloupe) in excess of 35 lbs. Many of my tomato plants easily reach 7ft - some even having stems that look like miniature trees.

Starting your seeds inside correctly is the foundation for growing good healthy plants in your garden and having a successful harvest. How you start your seeds inside will help you avoid common gardening problems such as aphids and blossom end rot.

In this course I walk you step by step through the details you need to successfully start seeds inside. I utilize spreadsheets, video lectures, hands on demonstrations, white board sessions, PDF summary points, and pictures showing the principles we're discussing to provide you the details you need to be successful. In addition, I'm available to provide clarification and answer any questions you may have about seed starting inside to help you be successful.

Seed starting inside does not need to be a lot of work, and it doesn't need to be complicated or intimidating. Let me make it easy for you.

Udemy offers a money back guarantee on my course through their website allowing you to try it risk-free.

Sign up now for my course so I can start working with you to enable you to be successful starting seeds inside.

What are the requirements?

  • You should have already put some thought into what kinds of plants you'd like to grow in your garden before starting this course. You will also need to find the average last frost date for your growing region as that will be used to calculate seed starting and transplant dates. If you're a first time gardener, you'll need additional material beyond this course covering how to garden outside. Be prepared to take notes during the course. Summaries and notes are provided at the end of sections, but are not necessarily all inclusive of the points covered in that section.
  • The materials needed to accomplish the various steps of the process will be covered during the course, but a comprehensive list is not provided as my goal is to help you choose the materials best suited to your particular environment and needs - this is particularly important as many students will have a vastly different seed starting environment/needs in terms of space, temperature, lighting options, etc.

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Correctly determine which plants to start inside from seed.
  • Choose suitable containers for indoor seed starting.
  • Select appropriate soil for indoor seed starting.
  • Plant seeds at the correct depth in the soil.
  • Prevent less than perfect germination from disrupting their garden plans.
  • Provide water to their seedlings with a minimum of effort and no danger of over/under watering.
  • Choose correct and economical lighting for indoor seed starting.
  • Minimize the hassle involved with providing light for indoor seed starting.
  • Handle temperature needs for indoor seed starting making the best use of available resources.
  • Correctly determine when and how to provide nutrients for indoor seed starting.
  • Prepare plants started indoors for planting outside.
  • Economically automate indoor seed starting to minimize effort and expense involved in the process.
  • Start and grow plants inside in a manner designed to insure their success outside later in the year.

Who is the target audience?

  • This course is designed for those looking to start seeds inside for the first time, but contains tips and methods that would be useful to many who are already experienced with indoor seed starting.
  • This course is not designed to cover general gardening outside - it focuses solely on seed starting inside. The course is suitable for first time gardeners, though first time gardeners will need to obtain additional information covering how to garden outside.

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: How to Use This Course

Important points concerning how to take this course.

Section 2: Correctly Choosing What and When to Start Inside From Seed

Knowing what to start inside vs outside can be a challenge and will vary from one growing region to another. I address the decision points for this topic and include a worksheet afterward to help you determine which plants are and are not appropriate for your region and when to start them inside and when to plant them outside.

Summary and Notes - Choosing What and When to Start Inside
2 pages
Section 3: Keeping Things Contained - Picking the Right Pot for Your Seeds.

You need to start your seeds in something, and there are a lot of options for doing so. In this lecture, we discuss the container I recommend to keep things simple and inexpensive, as well as how to deal with potting up.

Summary and Notes - Choosing a Container
1 page
Section 4: The Dirt on Dirt

Here we cover the purpose of soil and how to choose an appropriate one to keep your seed starting as simple as possible.

Sweeping Up - Summary and Notes on Dirt
1 page
Section 5: Watering Simplified

Watering can be a lot of work if you don't know how to simplify it. Concerns about over and under watering are also very common. Here we discuss a method for watering that eliminates the majority of the work and makes over and under watering nearly impossible.


In this lecture, you get to see watering up close and personal so there are no surprises when you do it yourself. We discuss both how to start the watering system and then maintain it throughout your seed starting inside.

Summary and Notes - Watering
1 page
Section 6: It all Starts with a Seed

You can't be successful with seed starting if you don't plant the seed. Here we cover how to plant the seed, the appropriate depth, and why the planting depth is important to seed starting. I provide examples of some different seeds and discuss tips to help with germination.


This lecture shows a hands on demonstration of planting onion seed, a discussion of plant markers to use when planting as well as how to work with a partner when planting to make some of the logistics easier. Putting a seed in dirt may sound easy, but there's a bit more too it than might come to mind at first thought. By watching us do it, you'll be prepared to keep a dirty job as clean as possible when doing it.


Germination is rarely 100%. We cover some of the various germination issues here and how to handle germination in such a way as to not disrupt your garden plans. If you planned for 10 plants of type X in your garden, then you need 10 plants and you need them ready at the right time. Here we discuss how you can easily stick to your garden plans with germination. We also cover some tips for onions for those of you who may be struggling to have success with onions.

Summary and Notes - Planting
1 page
Section 7: Shining Light on the Subject

Lighting is critical to successfully starting seeds inside. If you get it wrong, you've got a sure formula for disaster. It doesn't help that the topic of light interaction with plants is complicated enough to warrant a sizable book by itself.

Here we discuss exactly what I've used that works and, if you need something different, we cover shortcuts you can use to choose a successful lighting solution without needing a degree in rocket (light) science.


Why do work you don't need to? Here we cover automating your lighting including equipment and settings you'll want to use to do so.


Given the changing market availability/pricing of different lighting options, this helps you better choose between T12, T8, T5 and other options such as HPS, HID, LED, etc.

Summary and Notes - Lighting
1 page
Section 8: Holding it all Together

Here we cover what seed starting frames are, why you need them, and some common materials used in frame construction.


There are many different ways to build a seed starting frame. The correct way depends on your resources, environment, and needs. We cover basic frame construction here.


Tables and benches can sometimes provide great opportunities for ready made seed starting frames.


Given that one of the main purposes of your frame is to support your lighting, you can't properly build a seed starting frame to meet your needs without considering how your lighting design will interact with your frame.


What is the downside to not using a frame for seed starting? Can you use multiple frames? What is another space saving option if you don't have room for a traditional frame? We cover all of that here.


Framing is still mostly about your lighting and your lighting needs change as your plants grow. We cover additional notes on how your framing can allow your lighting to be flexible enough to meet your plants needs.

Summary and Notes - Support Structure
1 page
Section 9: Keeping Warm in a Chilly Situation

If you're starting seeds inside, temperature is most likely what drove you to do so. Here we discuss the importance of temperature to seed starting as well as economical ways you may be able to provide needed heat to your seeds and seedlings.

Controlling your temperature is not only necessary to get your seeds started and keep your seedlings alive, but can be used to control the growth of your seedlings as well.

Summary and Notes - Temperature
2 pages
Section 10: Feeding your Food

Rarely does a topic inspire so many different opinions and controversy as does the topic of fertilizer. At the end of the day though, all you want is to successfully start your seeds and keep them healthy so you can have a successful garden when you plant them out later in the year.

If you incorrectly fertilize your seedlings, not only can you kill them abruptly, but it's also possible to do damage you can't see and won't impact you until much later in your growing season. Worse, when most people see the results of this damage, they often incorrectly blame something other than fertilizer.

Here I show you how to keep it simple with your fertilizer so you can avoid these painful mistakes.

Summary and Notes - Fertilizer
1 page
Section 11: Tough Love

When you plant out, nature may be inclined to blow your plants over, resulting in death or damage to the plant. Here are steps you can take to prepare your plants for the windy life outside.


Nothing is more discouraging than starting a plant from seed and carefully watching over it for weeks just to plant it out and watch it die almost overnight. The job isn't done until it's done.

Here we discuss how to prepare your plants for your garden and why things are very different for your plant in the garden vs inside. This step is known as "Hardening Off". If you understand why it's needed, then it's easy to determine how to do it correctly.

Summary and Notes - Hardening Off
1 page
Section 12: Important Last Steps
5 pages

Seed Starting Inside - the checklist. This will be missing many important details included in the lectures, but in a nutshell, here's what you need to do in the order it needs to be done. It starts with planning your garden and finishes with a few tips for after you've transplanted out.


Important last steps to take before finishing the course.

Students Who Viewed This Course Also Viewed

  • Loading
  • Loading
  • Loading

Instructor Biography

Gene Black, Gardener, Beekeeper, IT Infrastructure and Network Engineer

I have over 25 years of experience in the IT industry providing expertise in programming, storage, systems, and other facets of IT, though my focus has been in networking. My broad experience has allowed me to tackle issues involving multiple disciplines and provide successful solutions. I have designed networks for educational institutions, local governments, law enforcement, telecoms, ISPs, and large international enterprises.

I love the field of IT because it's constantly changing and there are always new things to learn.

As a child, I spent a lot of time working in the family garden, helping on my grandparent's farm, or helping on the farms of neighbors. Farming was hard work and helped me decide at an early age that I wanted to gain an education that would open other doors for me.

As an adult, I encountered farming again, but this time as an engineer. I recognized it not simply as hard work, but as a challenge - an opportunity to build a better mousetrap as I puzzled out one of the greatest mysteries our planet has to offer - Nature. That was over 10 years ago.

Heirloom vegetables were one of the wonderful early discoveries in home gardening for me - realizing there were far more options to what I could grow than what was available in the grocery store, or sold as seedlings at various garden stores. Heirloom vegetables opened up a whole new world of food and taste for me I had no idea existed. Once discovered, I set out with the intent to grow as many as possible to discover what I liked the best. My plan is that should I ever run out of new varieties, I will try breeding better varieties from the wonderful ones I have already discovered.

I still have much to learn and many challenges left to solve (where would the fun be if I didn't?) but I've learned much and found numerous ways to make the home gardening experience easier and more successful. My wife shakes her head at every new wild idea I have, but smiles as well realizing that behind every one of my forthcoming failures there will eventually be a success. A solution. A better mousetrap.

I love teaching and sharing with others the things that I've learned. It's never enough for me to teach how to do something, I always feel compelled to teach the "Why?" as well. What's the point of doing something if you don't know why you're doing it? If you know why you're doing something, then you can also recognize opportunities to improve it.

I look forward to seeing you in my courses so I can share with you the things I've learned and help you to enjoy some of the same successes I've enjoyed.

Ready to start learning?
Take This Course