Biggest Mistakes Made When Starting Seeds Indoors

what is going on everyone welcome to

another very exciting episode right here

on the mi Gardner Channel I am so

excited about today's video because

we're gonna be talking all about seed

starting mistakes that's right we're

gonna be going through as many as I can

possibly fit in this video to help you

guys to help you guys not make these

same mistakes because learning from

experience as well as seeing so many of

these mistakes being made by other

gardeners I just want to save you all

the trouble and the hassle of failing

when it comes time to starting your

seeds indoors it can be extremely

rewarding to start your seeds indoors

but it can be extremely disappointing

and discouraging as well if you make

some of these mistakes so I just want to

save you all the trouble and and really

point some of these out because they're

so common and they're so easy to fix the

first mistake I see so many gardeners

making also is the biggest mistake and

that's your starting seeds indoors now

it sounds crazy that I even said that

because this video is about

troubleshooting starting seeds indoors

so I would want you to start seeds

indoors right wrong I actually don't

want you to start seeds indoors if there

is an if there that's why this whole

thing is gonna make sense I do not want

you starting seeds indoors if you do not

have enough space enough grow lights or

enough sunlight this is so important and

this whole video won't mean anything if

you don't have those three if you don't

have those three if you don't have

enough sunlight or enough grow lights or

enough space starting indoors is the

worst mistake you can possibly make I

see way too many gardeners thinking that

it is a prerequisite and a vital step to

having a successful garden and it just

is not it does give you a leg up it does

give you a benefit of having an earlier

harvest but it does not period give you

a successful garden every time

guaranteed because prime example if you

start seeds in a window without enough

sunlight your seedlings are gonna get

leggy and they're going to die that

means that the seeds that you spent

money on and the time that you spent

planting them had you just planted them

outside when the weather was warm

about three to five weeks behind

schedule but you would have at least had

a probably enough time for most things

to get a harvest starting from seed

directly outside and likewise if you

don't have enough grow lights say you

don't have enough sunlight you have all

the space well if you don't have enough

grow light so you don't have the right

type of lights your plants are gonna get

stressed and they're going to die and so

I see so many gardeners making this

mistake that I just feel like it has to

be first and foremost the biggest

mistake I see gardeners making is just

trying to make something work that will

never possibly work the second mistake I

see so many gardeners making when

starting seeds indoors is they don't

have enough sunlight you know a lot of

gardeners they see light coming in a

window and they put their plants in the

windowsill that that lights coming

through and then all of a sudden the

seedlings get super leggy they start

stretching and then they're dead and

they wonder why they said well I started

them in a windowsill they had lots of

sunlight well was it enough sunlight

your seedlings first and foremost should

be getting four to six hours of direct

Sun direct Sun does not mean filtered

Sun those two are vastly different just

because you can you know open up your

window and you can read a newspaper

without a light on in your room does not

mean that that is enough light that is

not direct light and a prime example of

this is like a north-facing window a

north-facing window is one of the worst

windows that you can have to start

seedlings in because yes you're gonna

get light that reflects and bounces in

but your plants that you do not need

that filtered light what they need is

that strong direct light that strong

direct light is going to allow them to

generate enough energy to

photosynthesize and not grow leggy so

the problem is is that a plant has one

of two options the Sun can come to it or

it can go to the sunlight and it will go

to the sunlight until it finds it and

that's one of the biggest problems is

that you know if you have light that's

just filtering around there's certain

plants that will do okay like certain

house plants but all of your vegetables

all of your herbs all of your flowers

stuff that you're gonna be growing out

in your garden all of those absolutely

must have direct sunlight now if you

don't have enough sunlight at all you

don't have those four to six hours of


what do we do well you need to get a

grow light and that's where we come into

the third biggest mistake I see

gardeners making when starting seeds

indoors is they don't get the right type

of grow light you need to make sure that

the grow lights you're getting is going

to have two things it needs to have

lumens and it needs to have Kelvin these

two things are in my opinion the only

important factors when it comes to a

grow light the lumens are how much light

energy is coming out of your light you

might have say an incandescent light

bulb which should never be used under

any circumstances for growing plants

because they don't give off any UV light

UV light is required to photosynthesize

incandescent light might put out say 500

lumens or maybe 700 lumens these grow

lights here that we're talking about

they put out 40,000 lumens

these grow lights are so bright and

that's because the energy that's

required to photosynthesize is really

high you need a minimum of 5,000 lumens

a minimum of 5,000 lumens is required to

start photosynthesizing and creating

energy if you don't have that amount of

lumens your plants are going to need to

be either far closer to the light like

really close or you just need to add

more lights you know you need to make

sure that your lumens are over 5,000

lumens and another thing is lumens can

be added so if you take to 2500 lumen

lights say like a look at t5 or t12 grow

light tube you can add two of those

together and you can get to 5000 so

that's not a problem but you need to

make sure you do have at least 5,000

lumens and that can be found on on any

box it'll tell you how many lumens come

out of the box the other thing to

remember is the Kelvin the Kelvin is

probably the most important thing

because like lumens I said you know you

can put the you can put the the grow

light closer to make sure that the plant

is obtaining all of that global energy

if you have less than 5000 you can still

kind of get by it's not preferred but

you can get by by putting them super

close but the Kelvin is a guaranteed

starter you have to have the right

amount of Kelvin and that

is the color of the light you see there

grow lights above me and this little

girl light here by fairy Morse these are

all 6500 Kelvin 6500 Kelvin is basically

a blue spectrum light that is the color

that the light gives off you know people

always say well I kind of want more of a

warm light for inside my house you know

I don't want to go with a really blue

light make me look like I'm in a

hospital that type of light that color

that we're talking about that color is

what is associated with the Kelvin and

the Kelvin needs to be at least 5000 or

higher these numbers can be found on the

light itself or the box that you buy it

in you're going to need to get something

has at least 5,000 Kelvin because that

is the color that plants can best

photosynthesize with if you get

something that is less than 5000 you're

entering more of like a warm daylight

color or like a like a warm color that

orange and red spectrum does not do good

for photosynthesizing it does not do

good for creating green growth and so

that's why we want to go towards more of

a blue spectrum light the fourth mistake

I see way too many gardeners making on

grow lights and one of the last ones I

see is their plants are too far away

from the girl light and this ties into

kind of that point I made with the the

lumens right so lumens are the amount of

energy being given off the amount of

global energy they're the amount of

light photons coming off of the the the

light and those photons are touching the

leaf right they're hitting the leaf all

over the place well if you have the

light up higher the chance of that

photon missing missing the leaf is far

greater right so it's like throwing a

dart if you're throwing a dart from 20

feet versus one foot what are your

likelihoods I'm hitting a bull's-eye

right if the leaf surface is the

bullseye you want to make sure that

you're as close as possible because

that's going to insure that the target

you're aiming for is being hit and

that's really about distance and how

much lumens are being given off if

you're at five thousand lumens you can

be about five to seven inches off the

plant if you're at ten thousand lumens

you can be about ten to twelve inches

off the plant if you're at thirty

to forty thousand lumens like our grow

lights are just unbelievably bright

there at forty thousand lumens plus the

small ones are at about twenty seven

thousand the big ones are at about like

forty three thousand lumens those you

can be five six feet away from the plant

because there's just so unbelievably

bright but if you're less than five

thousand you need to be about three to

four inches off the the top of the

plants there so that your plants have

the best chance of gathering as much

that energy as possible so the fifth

mistake I see way too many gardeners

making when starting seeds indoors is

they start their seeds indoors in too

small of a container now if you do not

know what you're doing this tray right

here can be a death trap and why I say

that is because if you start your seeds

indoors with too much time to till

planting time so for us we don't start

our seeds until early March and that's

because if we started our seeds in a

tray like this right now

we would have a bunch of dead plants and

that's because there's not enough

there's not enough space in these cells

to allow for the plants to fully mature

and grow properly until we plant outside

in early to mid April just not enough

time there's no way in a million years

we'd have enough space here and so

starting seeds in too small to container

is a huge mistake you know a lot of

people they say well I only have enough

space or I only have enough grow light

for say five or six normal sized

containers but if I downsize the

containers I can get more plans it's all

about space you know so this this right

here is 72 cells so I'm getting 72

plants in the same amount of space as

one of these basil plants here you know

I'm getting I I might have I don't know

five plants worth here so the idea that

you can simply downsize the container or

the volume of soil that you're planting

in and you can get five to ten times

more plants in that same amount of space

our inner greed kicks in and we think

man that sounds like a completely

winning proposition I don't know why I

wouldn't do that the problem is if you

don't have enough time or if you have

too much time I should say you're going

to have stress plants and they're going

die you know if I put a seed in this

tray here I know that from the time this

seed sprouts I have about a month to

move it from this tray into either a

bigger container or into the garden and

so if I have say two months time there's

no way I'm gonna be starting anything in

this and that's why I have to wait

because if I you know if I don't if I

just let agree to get the better part of

me and I plant seeds in here you could

have everything going right for you but

they cannot make the space bigger than

the space that is already allowed the

roots just can't it's not possible I

mean they can't go through plastic you

know the plastic doesn't it's not

permeable so it just is like this

confinement and they're going to get

stressed they're going to get root out

and you're going to have stressed plants

that are never gonna be able to recover

from that in my opinion the best thing

that you can possibly start your seeds

in are these three-inch containers I

absolutely am a huge fan of three-inch

containers they're by far the best size

for all your needs whether you're

starting lettuce whether you're starting

tomatoes if you're growing a plant

indoors this gives you the most amount

of time to get a plant started you can

grow a plant like a tomato plant or a

lettuce plant you can grow pretty much

anything in this for at least two and a

half months this gives you a lot of time

to get something up and growing before

you have to plant it outside and this

compared to this you're getting about

about three and a half times more

durable space in this than in these

small cells so I would much rather you

don't try to don't try to just cram

plants in a small space because you're

just gonna end up with stressed plants

the sixth mistake I see way too many

gardeners making is they're starting the

wrong types of plants indoors I can tell

you I see this every day if you tell you

this is probably one of most common

things that comes through our our inbox

I see people starting carrots and doors

I see people starting radishes indoors

beets and doors things like that you

cannot start these things indoors root

vegetables do not belong start it

indoors when you transplant them what

happens is you start the roots you know

the roots start developing in your

containers and if you have two or three

seeds and you have to separate them out

or if you pull them out and you you

Gammage the root system

you're damaging the crop that you're

harvesting now I do understand that

obviously there are people that that

have success and they have you know they

do get harvests from doing this but I

would say probably 90% radish matures in

25 to 30 days why on earth would you

need to start it indoors there's really

no benefit to it I would start them

outside the first crop I would start our

radishes and I'm harvesting them before

I'm even moving my tomato plants outside

that I started indoors I mean you're

getting such a fast turnaround that

starting them indoors is not going to

give you any type of benefit and I would

much rather you spend more resources

growing things that are trickier like

like you know corn or like tomatoes and

peppers and eggplants and things like

that and I also did kind of hint to the

corn that type of plant is not something

you want indoors they grow really tall

they grow really fast they do not belong

indoors crops like squashes pumpkins

melons stuff that vines they don't

belong indoors they grow so fast they

get so big and you're going to run out

of space and the seventh mistake I see

way too many gardeners making is they're

starting seeds way too early this is

also a big mistake you know this kind of

ties in a lot of different things that

we've talked about already if you start

your seeds too early the amount of space

that you need to continue to grow them

increases so this is good for a month

this is good for about two months this

type of container which is like maybe

like a half gallon container I don't

know it's a tomato sauce container so I

don't really know this is a 91 ounce

container so yeah this is maybe like a

half gallon or so and this type of

container here might be good for about

three to four months depending on the

plant obviously so if you start them

earlier you're going to need to

accomodate for more space a lot of

people don't have that space and you're

going to you're going to end up in


also if you start your seeds too early

sometimes your stuff can start flowering

before you even move it out

if you have your tomato plants flowering

before you move them outside that is a

big mistake that is not a good thing you

do not want your tomato plants flowering

that means they're mature if you're

moving a fully mature plant outside

what's going to happen is it's going to

go through a lot of transplant shock and

that transplant shock ultimately will

either kill the plant or set it back

further than had you just waited a

little bit I can tell you from personal

experience you can go back and find

videos believe me I have them on YouTube

where I started my seedlings indoors

I had tomato plants that were quite

literally this tall and when I moved

them outside

they were so stressed that they lost a

lot of foliage they dropped all their

fruits and flowers so I didn't really

gain anything there and then it took

about two to three extra weeks for them

to bounce back from that stress and by

then stuff that my mom had actually

bought and put in her garden from the

greenhouse was actually further along

and actually producing when mine was

just recovering so it's not necessarily

a benefit to have stuff so mature when

you put them outside so those are the

biggest mistakes I see so many gardeners

making there's a lot of other ones as

well maybe maybe make a part - I don't

know let me know in the comments box

below I have a ton more that I want to

talk about but they're not as big of

mistakes so they kind of cover like

watering and fertilizing and things like

that that a lot of people kind of have

unlocked but if you want me to and you

think it's value-added let me know in

the comments box below so as always I

hope you guys enjoyed I hope you learned

something new

and we'll catch you all on the next

episode grumpy cat go home bye