Ready, Set, Grow

Get an early start on spring gardening with an indoor seed starter.

With spring right around the corner, your green thumb may be starting to itch. But Minnesota’s growing season is short, and April’s wide-ranging temperatures can make it a particularly fickle month for gardening. Have you considered starting seeds indoors? If so, Midwest Hydroponics on Excelsior Boulevard (inside Midwest Home Brewing Supplies) has everything you need.

“Starting seeds indoors can have a big impact on yield and also save money versus buying small plants,” says Brian Clapsaddle, manager at Midwest Hydroponics. Although it may sound like a lot of expensive equipment, Clapsaddle says that seed-starting essentials can be easily bought for under $100. The bare essentials are a cube tray in which to plant individual seeds, humidity dome to regulate moisture and temperature, and a heat mat to ensure that seeds properly germinate. Once seeds sprout, they’ll be looking for water and light. Clapsaddle says that “full-spectrum or blue-spectrum lights work best for the growth and vegetative stage,” but seedlings don’t require much water, so elaborate watering systems aren’t a necessity.

Clapsaddle also notes that every type of plant is different, and some need to be started earlier than others to be ready for outdoor planting. “Seed companies want you to be successful, too, so they have good instructions on the packets,” he says. In general, he recommends to “just be patient, follow their instructions, and with a few tools, you can get ahead of the Minnesota growing season.”