Welcome to Spring

A woman plants a seedling in a raised bed on a sunny day.

Welcome to Spring

The Spring Equinox is right around the corner and in our temperate West Coast climate, this marks a great time to get your seeds started.

Read on for some seed starter tips!

From seed to garden

As many gardeners will already know, it’s helpful to start your seeds inside before transferring them to your outdoor beds.

To start your seeds you’ll need:

  • Small containers (at least 2 inches deep)*
  • Potting soil (choose one specific to starting seed)
  • Water

*yogurt containers & milk cartons work well–just make sure you cut holes for drainage!

For those in other parts of the country, you can determine the best time to start your seeds by finding the average date of the last Spring frost in your area and working back 6-8 weeks. This provides the planting window for your starter seeds (though, with today’s tech you can really start seeds year-round if you want). 

Of course, there are some seeds that are best started outdoors, like beans or squash, because they’re quick to germinate (these are referred to as direct sow seeds). Hold off on planting these until you’re ready to move your garden to outdoor beds.


  • Check your seed packet to see how deep you need to plant your seeds! A good rule of thumb: large seeds need to be planted ¼-½ inch deep in your soil. Smaller seeds can be sprinkled on top. 
  • Place 2 seeds into each small container or seed-starting cell. The key to starting seeds is quantity and you want to increase your chances of success. If both seeds sprout, cut one back and let the other continue growing.
  • Water to ensure good seed-to-soil contact. You can speed up germination by covering the pots or seed-starting tray–this seals moisture in. At the first sight of something green, be sure to remove this cover.
  • Water, water, water. Keep your soil moist (but not soggy). Check out Jen Rashleigh’s video of watering tips via the Growing Together website for some helpful suggestions.
  • Ensure that your seedlings get lots of light! A south-facing window is best. Rotate your seedlings regularly and allow all seeds to get an even amount of light.
  • After ~4 weeks, your seedlings will be ready for the great outdoors. Check out Katie Underwood’s video on transplanting via the Growing Together website for some tips to consider.

Gardening is a skill just like any other. Don’t worry if you feel like your thumbs aren’t the greenest just yet.  With patience, consistency and generous watering, any thumbs can produce a delicious garden bounty. Good luck!

If you’d like to get your hands on some local seeds, consider joining the Victoria Seed Library! We have a great selection available for free to members. Becoming a member is easy: all you have to do is attend an online orientation.

Local seed suppliers include:
Saanich Native Plants, BC Eco Seed Co-Op, Metchosin Farm, Saanich Organics Seeds, Full Circle Seeds, Salt Spring Seeds and West Coast Seeds. All offer a wide selection!!