Step 1: Lights
A lot of guides to starting your garden seeds indoors jump right in with the obvious. You’ll need seeds and containers and soil. But I’m guessing you already figured out that those things were important. What you might have thought was that putting them in a window would work well. In my experience, attempting to grow from seed using only windows to light your little seedlings is a recipe for failure. You need to start with light fixtures.
Maybe you’ve looked in the back of the seed catalogs and seen the $150, $300, $900 + light setups and realized you couldn’t afford lights. Well, they’re way overpriced. Way. What you need is much more affordable.
Simple, cheap 4-foot long fluorescent fixtures with normal inexpensive shop light bulbs.
As this link will show you, Amazon.com has prices in the $15-$20 range per unit for these chain-hung fixtures. If you drive out to the hardware store instead, you can find them, brand new, for as low as $9 each. I have 9 of them and between the fixtures, the bulbs, a few extension cords and a timer I only spent around $140.
I use the first 2 or 3 fixtures when my seedlings are still small, growing in their tiny containers that I planted them in. I just hang them from the basement ceiling with the provided chains, and a little extra for more length when necessary.
After transplanting each plant into a larger pot, everything takes up a lot more room, so I turn on the lights over every table.
Every day or two, when you’re watering things, just raise the lights up a little bit so that they are constantly 2 inches above the leaves of your seedlings.
So step 1 is lights. Figure out where you can set up some tables and hang some lights. If you don’t have room to spread out, go vertical.
A rack similar to this little deal can be made to hold your hanging shop light fixtures, or you could make something out of PVC for not much cost.
The point is…without light fixtures, your seedlings will lean towards the window and grow too fast (get leggy) and then fall over and die, either while they are still indoors or on the day you move them outdoors and they experience the wind. Go to the hardware stores in your area or just shop on Amazon.