How To Germinate Seeds for a Healthy Vegetable Garden

Seed germination is the first and most exciting part of the vegetable growing process. This is where our beautiful babies start to make their way out of the stagnant dry seed, into an amazing abundant gift we call food. This amazing process is the start of your gardening journey, and brings fulfilling rewards that you will thank yourself later for. Seed germination can be tricky! Especially when we are first starting out on growing our beginner vegetable garden. Seed germination is the first part of the vegetable growing process and can be done in multiple ways. I've tried to germinate seeds many different ways but I found that this one is the easiest and fastest! Certain seeds can take longer than others, which can cause delays or confusion.

I suggest checking out

2024 Vegetable Variety Guide - Every Species for Your Beginner Garden

which holds over 75 different seed varieties from Seeds of Change and Ferry Morse, to show the specific germination rates for your seed variety 


My Guide on How To Start Your Garden, which shows how to plan your garden with determining start and transplant dates.


Also, check out my youtube video for more information on a step by step video guide on how to quickly germinate seeds!

Tips and Tricks

Sometimes seed germination can be tricky because they are so young and small!

Seedlings require a lot of water! Make sure you are spraying them every day so they do not dry out!

Keep some seeds still in their bags and let them grow, to ensure that you have extra in case any die along the way.


Step 1: Label Your Bags

I first like to label plastic bags because we need to differentiate what seeds we are putting in the bag. We need to keep everything organized. I first either use a plastic sealed air tight bag, or sandwich bag. I label everything with a sharpie, something that will not come off from the bag itself. 

beginning seed germination

STEP 2: Wet Your Paper Towels

It's simple enough, just go and get some paper towels. Break each paper towel up into smaller pieces, by where they are deviate. On a freshly cleaned surface, place the paper towels onto the side of your clean workspace. We want everything to be sanitized because we do not want mold spores growing onto paper towels and get onto the germinating seeds. This will disrupt their growth cycle. 

paper towels for seed germination

Step 3: Place Your Seeds

Grab your seeds and place them on one side of the damp paper towel. Fold the paper towel over the seeds and spray again with more water. Fold up the paper towel, allowing the seeds to still slightly be seen. Place them into the plastic bag and seal the plastic bag by either folding it over or zipping it closed.

seed germination
seed germination

Step 4: Germination Period

Go to my 2024 Vegetable Variety Guide - Every Species for Your Beginner Garden to determine the germination rate of your specific vegetable variety. All varieties and produce have different seed germination rates which can help determine when you should be starting the germination process. I usually will germinate for around 2 weeks in a warm, dark area. 

seed germination basil bush spicy globe

Step 5: Transfer seeds

Two weeks later, open up the bags to make sure your seeds have germinated. If some of them have germinated, take out the seedling and place the root into a small biodegradable container filled with garden soil. This container will allow your seedling to grow and get ready for transplanting into either a larger pot or outside in the ground. Make sure to put about 2 in each container to allow them to grow or in case any seedlings die in the process. 

seed sprouts
basil seed sprout

Follow my Ultimate Guide to Beginner Gardening with Summer 2023 Journey to learn how to start your beginner garden journey! 

This guide shows you all the steps on how to start your begineer garden or summer garden with determination of start and transplant dates, how to grow indoors, step by step tranplant stages, and even how to figure out your zone! You dont want to miss this! Check it out. 

tomato sprouts