Seed Starting in the New Greenhouse | Getting Warmed Up

| Prepare, Video


Each December I start to gather my supplies for the upcoming and very busy seed-starting season ahead. I’ve learned over the years, it pays to start getting ready while the pace is calmer and there’s still no real pressure to get the timing right, just yet.




But, Mother Nature waits for no one so far better be ready when the time comes to sow those seeds when it counts – especially when you are sowing about 3000 tomato and pepper seeds, for an annual seedling sale each year in April.

Preparation for the Seed-Starting Season

This year is the first full year in the greenhouse, with a chance to get my gear organized and go through a dry run or two with a few flats of cool-season lettuce seeds sown to germinate and grow up all in the greenhouse.

I don’t plan on going full on with sowing all my warm season seeds in the greenhouse this February, but I will allocate a few trays that will start and finish here in the greenhouse. I have heaters to keep the nighttime temperatures reasonable, but I’m not ready to put all my chips on the table quite yet. Not this time.


Bags of soil

My new greenhouse is a great place to store bags of soil to have at the ready for seed starting this winter. (photo: Tobi McDaniel)


The rest of the 60 seeded trays will be taken into my seed starting room inside my house where the conditions are consistently warm, the grow lights are set, germination mats are in place, and the racks are cleared to receive all the incoming trays. This has been my method of seed starting for all my life, and I’ve learned to master this system quite comfortably.


seed starting trays

Gathering and organizing my supplies in December allows me to get ready for the upcoming busy season. (photo: Tobi McDaniel)


The Next Phase in Seed Starting

But I am ready for the next big phase of my seed starting journey, utilizing this fantastic space to take it all to a new and higher level. Greenhouse growing is an amazing and very effective way of starting and growing seedlings and plants. But, it’s not automatic. There’s a lot to learn, and more variables at play that can wipe your inventory out overnight!


Joe mixing soil in the greenhouse

I’ve learned over the years, it pays to start getting ready while the pace is calmer and there’s still no real pressure to get the timing right. (photo: Tobi McDaniel)


So for now, I’m taking it in stride, and learning my way through this new and amazing opportunity, eyes wide open, and as prepared as possible. I will be bringing you along for this first full season from seed to mature seedlings, and beyond. So please be sure to follow along. One thing I am sure of, there will be curve balls coming my way, and I’ll be sure to keep you posted on all that and more. Stay tuned!


Links & Resources

Some product links in this guide are affiliate links. See full disclosure below. 

Episode 037: Starting Seeds Indoors: The Non-Negotiables for Success, Pt 1

Episode 038: How to Start Seeds Indoors: The Non-Negotiables for Success, Pt. 2

Episode 039: How-to Start Seeds Indoors: Digging Deeper, Pt. 3

Episode 093: Hobby Greenhouse Considerations: What to Know Before You Buy (and After You Do)

Episode 187: The Informed Seed Shopper

Episode 297: Seed Starting Essentials

Episode 336: What We Sow: The Significance of Seeds, with Jennifer Jewell

joegardener blog: How Do I Grow Lettuce

joegardener blog: The Best Soil Temperature for Seed Germination

joegardener Seed Inventory Chart & Seed Longevity Chart

joegardener Online Gardening Academy™: Popular courses on gardening fundamentals; managing pests, diseases & weeds; seed starting and more.

joegardener Online Gardening Academy Organic Vegetable Gardening: My new premium online course. The course is designed to be a comprehensive guide to starting, growing, nurturing and harvesting your favorite vegetables, no matter what you love to eat, no matter where you live, no matter your level of gardening experience.

joegardener Online Gardening Academy Master Seed Starting: Everything you need to know to start your own plants from seed — indoors and out. 

joegardener Online Gardening Academy Beginning Gardener Fundamentals: Essential principles to know to create a thriving garden.

joegardener Online Gardening Academy Growing Epic Tomatoes: Learn how to grow epic tomatoes with Joe Lamp’l and Craig LeHoullier. 

joegardener Online Gardening Academy Master Pests, Diseases & Weeds: Learn the proactive steps to take to manage pests, diseases and weeds for a more successful garden with a lot less frustration. Just $47 for lifetime access!

joegardener Online Gardening Academy Perfect Soil Recipe Master Class: Learn how to create the perfect soil environment for thriving plants.

Earthbound Expeditions: Discover South Africa with Joe Lamp’l

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joegardenerTV YouTube

Growing a Greener World®  


Pro-Mix BX Mycorrhizae Growing Mix 3.8 sq. ft.

Worm Castings from TerraThrive

Heavy Duty Utility Tub

Winstrip Seed Starting Trays from Neversink Farm

Dramm Watering Can

Plant Label Tags

Garden Markers

Seed Dispenser

Propagation & Humidity Vented Domes

Large Waterproof Seeding Heat Mat

Disclosure: Some product links in this guide are affiliate links, which means we get a commission if you purchase. However, none of the prices of these resources have been increased to compensate us, and compensation is not an influencing factor on their inclusion here. The selection of all items featured in this post and podcast was based solely on merit and in no way influenced by any affiliate or financial incentive, or contractual relationship. At the time of this writing, Joe Lamp’l has professional relationships with the following companies who may have products included in this post and podcast: Corona Tools, Milorganite, Soil3, Greenhouse Megastore, Territorial Seed Company, Earth’s Ally, Proven Winners ColorChoice and Dramm. These companies are either Brand Partners of and/or advertise on our website. However, we receive no additional compensation from the sales or promotion of their product through this guide. The inclusion of any products mentioned within this post is entirely independent and exclusive of any relationship.

About Joe Lamp'l

Joe Lamp’l is the creator and “joe” behind joe gardener®. His lifetime passion and devotion to all things horticulture has led him to a long-time career as one of the country’s most recognized and trusted personalities in organic gardening and sustainability. That is most evident in his role as host and creator of Emmy Award-winning Growing a Greener World®, a national green-living lifestyle series on PBS currently broadcasting in its tenth season. When he’s not working in his large, raised bed vegetable garden, he’s likely planting or digging something up, or spending time with his family on their organic farm just north of Atlanta, GA.

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