Seeds have three basic needs to germinate and grow successfully: light/warmth, water and food.
The first place to begin is to decide what type of plants you wish to grow in your garden. Most people find it the easiest to list the types of vegetables they eat most often. Then you will need to collect your supplies. You will need pots or other containers, a soil or seed starter mixture, some plastic bags or wrap and seeds.
Your containers can be anything from yogurt cups to purchased flowerpots. You will need to make sure they all have drainage holes in the bottom so your roots do not become water-logged. You should be able to place about 3” of soil medium in the container to encourage proper root growth.
For soil, having a good mixture is important. If you purchase seed starting mixture, be sure to check the package to see if it contains chemical fertilizers. Seed starting mixtures are different from potting soil. Potting soil is really too heavy to start seeds in, so if you purchase potting soil you will need to add in peat moss. Use the ration of two parts potting soil to 1 part peat moss, or 1 cup of peat moss to 2 cups of potting soil.
Before you add your seeds, be sure to moisten your soil mixture. Fill your pots with your mixture and press it down firmly in the container so your seed has a firm bed. Plant your seeds according to the package directions being sure to plant them at the proper depth. Cover the trays or pots with plastic bags or pots to help keep the moisture in and result in faster germination.
Now it is time to find a warm spot in your house! Unless you have invested in heat mats, you can use the top of your refrigerator to provide the needed heat. Once the seedlings start to emerge, having light is extremely important. In my house we use the sun from the windows and just turn them daily, as the seedlings grow towards the sun. lightly water your soil mixture when it feels dry. The plants react best to water at room temperature.
You don’t have to spend a large amount of money to successfully grow your own seeds. You can successfully collect many of the items you need from common household items. I found many great quality gardening items at my local Dollar Tree. From gloves to metal hand tools, terra-cotta pots to seeds, you can purchase what you need to get your garden started on a budget.