Starting Seeds Indoors

Tips and Tricks for Starting Seeds Successfully

Cabbage Seedlings

Starting seeds properly can make or break your entire growing season! Here are our best tips and tricks for starting seeds indoors.

Before You Start Seeds

  • Be seed savvy. Obtain seed catalogs from several companies and compare their offering and prices. Some of the regional companies may carry varieties better suited to your area.
  • Make a list of what you’d like to grow. A good rule-of-thumb is to imagine your garden one-quarter the size that it really is. This allows for good spacing practices! See our Growing Guides for inspiration.
  • Prepare for some losses. Though it’s good not to plant too much for your garden space, it’s also good to assume that some of your seeds won’t germinate, or that they will inexplicably die off later. Plant a few extra, just in case.
  • Team up with a neighbor and share seeds if you have leftovers!
  • Don’t start your seeds too early, especially tomatoes. Most annual flowers and vegetables should be sown indoors about 6 weeks before the last frost in your area. Check out our Planting Calendar to see when to start seeds (indoors and outdoors) in your area.
  • You may have to soak, scratch, or chill seeds before planting, as directed on packet.
  • Use clean containers. Most seed catalogs offer seedling flats, peat pots, and other growing containers, but egg carton compartments make good containers, too. Be sure to poke holes in the sides near the bottom of the containers you use in order to allow excess water to drain.
  • Label your containers now! There’s nothing more frustrating than forgetting what you planted.

Tomato seedlings

How to Start Seeds

  • Fill clean containers with a potting mix made for seedlings. Use soilless peat moss and mix in equal parts vermiculite and perlite to hold enough water and allow oxygen to flow. Don’t use regular potting soil.
  • Pour soilless mix into a large bucket and moisten with warm water. Fill your containers to just below the rim.
  • Plant your seeds according to your seed packet. Most seeds can simply be gently pressed into the mixture; you can use the eraser end of a pencil to push in seeds. When planting seeds, plant the largest seeds in the package to get the best germination rate.
  • Cover containers with plastic. Prick holes with a toothpick for ventilation. Water as directed.
  • Water newly started seedlings carefully. A pitcher may let the water out too forcefully. A mist sprayer is gentle but can take a long time. Try using a meat-basting syringe, which will dispense the water effectively without causing too much soil disruption.
  • Find a place in the kitchen where there is natural bottom heat—on top of the refrigerator or near the oven. (Move the tray if the oven is on, as it may become too hot.)
  • Seeds sprout best at temperatures of 65 to 75°F (18 to 24°C).
  • When seedlings appear, remove the plastic and move containers into bright light.
  • When the seedlings get their second pair of leaves, prepare individual pots filled with a potting mix with plenty of compost. Move the seedlings carefully to the new pots and water well. Keep pots out of direct sun for a few days.

Seedlings. Photo by Sergii Kononenko/Shutterstock
Photo by Sergii Kononenko/Shutterstock

Moving Seedlings Outside

Before transplanting seedlings to your garden, you’ll first need to do something called “hardening off.” This will prepare the seedlings for the harsh realities (i.e., climate) of the outside world! 

  1. During their last week indoors, withhold fertilizer and add water less often.
  2. Seven to ten days before transplanting, set the seedlings outdoors in dappled shade that is protected from winds for a few hours each day, gradually increasing their exposure to full sun and windy conditions. This is the hardening-off period.
  3. Keep the soil moist at all times during this period. Dry air and spring breezes can result in rapid transpiration. If possible, transplant on overcast days or in the early morning, when the sun won’t be too harsh.

Watch our video on hardening off for more info:

After the hardening-off period, your seedlings are ready for transplanting. Here are a few tips:

  • Set transplants into loose, well-aerated soil. Such soil will capture and retain moisture, drain well, and allow easy penetration by seedling roots.
  • Soak the soil around new seedlings immediately after transplanting.
  • Spread mulch to reduce soil moisture loss and to control weeds.
  • To ensure the availability of phosphorus in the root zone of new transplants (phosphorus promotes strong root development), mix 2 tablespoons of a 15-30-15 starter fertilizer into a gallon of water (1 tablespoon for vining crops such as melons and cucumbers), and give each seedling a cup of the solution after transplanting. 

Learn More

See when to start seeds in your area with our location-based Planting Calendar.

Here’s another “quick and easy” method to plant seeds. Also check out our video on the top tips for starting seeds.

Need more advice? See Vegetable Gardening for Beginners to learn how to plan your best garden yet, and use the Old Farmer’s Almanac Garden Planner to do so!

Reader Comments

Leave a Comment

My seeds germinated sooner than expected

I thought i did everything right. Two weeks ago I started my seeds indoors. I checked my "last frost date" (April 15), time til plant outdoors (6-8 weeks), days til germination (14 days average) checked it all on the calendar, grew with lights. I guess maybe i did it too well. My seedlings are HUGE! They aren't leggy, but are outgrowing their starting trays, How should i plant them up? What size peat pots should I use and then how do keep them well lit? Also can anyone advise on fertilizer after they are potted up?

Go Kelly Go!

You sure did everything right! Maybe you started a little early, but that sounds like a success story to me. The size of the pot depends on two things: what is in it, and how long before they go into the garden. I would suggest that with the great results you're having to use the biggest pot you can, because once the roots start poking through the peat they need to go into the ground - and at the rates your little babies are growing April 15th is a long way off. As far as lighting, if you can keep them under the same lights that would be best. Otherwise put them in a south-facing window. When you transplant them use good soil (personally I like Fox Farm's "Happy Frog") and you shouldn't have to fertilize them for a month or so.

Root Riot plugs

I have had GREAT success using Root Riot plugs for my seedlings. They keep moist but not wet - just the perfect moisture content for the seedlings. I also have the tray on a heat mat in a west-facing window so they get morning sun, but not all-day sun. Plus their initial waterings are made with a solution of diluted Mychorrizae (sp?). Even with seeds that are a couple years old, I still get strong germination rates.

Sprouting Tip For Hard Shelled Seeds.

Have you ever had peppers or tomato seedling leaves get stuck in their hard seed coat after germinating? I have, and it is not easy to remedy once it happens. My solution to this which I have been using for years is to plant the seed with the root tip UP, not down. When the seed root emerges, it makes an immediate U-turn downwards. What emerges above the soil is the middle of the seed stem in an inverted U shape. The leaves are still in the seed coat below the surface where it is still moist. Eventually the inverted U pulls the leaves up and out of the soil with the seed coat still buried. Works every time. Not so helpful on seeds that are difficult to tell which end is the root end (round seeds).

Planting seeds under plastic.

If I plant seeds under plastic do I take it off when seedlings appear? Also, do I have lights on only in the daytime?

When they reach about 1 inch

When they reach about 1 inch no more then 2 inch, take off the dome, the longer you keep the dome on, the taller and weaker the seedlings will grow, the longer they are the more apt they are to brake in the wind and such.


Hello I have planted my seedling they were planted Friday April 22. Of course they have not sprouted yet but I have accidentally over watered them and was wondering what I could do or if I could put them in the sun to absorb the water. Please help

watering seedlings

Does your seedling tray/pot have drainage holes? Make sure they are not clogged. (Stick a toothpick up the hole and wiggle around.) Are you using loose, well-draining soil? If not, you really have to repot. Don’t move the tray/pot to the sun until the roots are healthy again. Don’t water again until the surface of the soil is dry to the touch. However, do not try it out either or that’s just too much shock. Do not fertilize until the plant has recovered. We hope these tips help.


question about seed timing in chicago.

I was wondering if its still early enough to plant seeds for tomato plants in the chicago area? I started some seeds prior to this month but some had become leggy and dampening had affected some of them. so I was wondering if im able to still plant seeds and have decent size plants by the start of june or end of may?



I have old seeds and wanted to see if they are viable, so I started them indoors early. Some of them have germinated, but I am noticing blotches of mildew on the soil. Did I hear peroxide and water will take care of this? If so, what is the ratio? Thank you for your help.

mildew on soil

The most common cause of mildew on soil is high humidity. Increase the air circulation by lifting the lid (or whatever is covering your seedlings). See if you can scrape off the mildew without harming the seedlings.

We would not recommend hydrogen peroxide on the plant at this time. It’s more of a container cleaning agent before you even start.

When starting seeds, you want to be sure that your starting medium is viable, new/fresh, and soilless, which being very light discourages humidity and encourages circulation.

We hope this helps.

Seed starts in Western Ontario

Hello! When should I start my veggie seeds here in this part of Ontario, Canada? If I started now, I'd expect it to be about 7-8 weeks before the last frost.

Most vegetable and annual

Most vegetable and annual flower seeds can be started indoors about 6 weeks before the last frost. Check our Planting Dates for Seeds chart. Link is at the top of this page.



What do I do if my seedlings are flowering but they cannot be moved outdoors for 3-4 weeks.

Starting cucumber seeds

At what point can I start germanating my cucumber seeds for my first garden. I live in south east Texas so I have no idea about last frost, so I want to be ahead of game but don't want to start to soon thanks

cucumber seed starting

You might be interested in our cucumbers page here:

On it, it says:

  • Cucumbers are seeded or transplanted outside in the ground no earlier than 2 weeks after last frost date. Cucumbers are extremely susceptible to frost damage; the soil must be at least 65ºF for germination. Do not plant outside too soon!
  • For an early crop, start cucumber seeds indoors about 3 weeks before you transplant them in the ground. They like bottom heat of about 70ºF (21ºC). If you don’t have a heat mat, put the seeds flat on top of the refrigerator or perch a few on top of the water heater.

To find out your frost date, go to this page and type in your zip code:

Then, count back 3 weeks from the last expected spring frost date to find the date to sow the seeds indoors. Good luck!


Perennial Seed starting

Do you have an Indoor seed starting chart for annual/perennial flowers ?

School Garden - starting some plants indoors -

Hello! I am a teacher-librarian in a K-8 school in Bowmanville, Ontario. Our school is starting a habitat area on the school yard with some native plants (eg woodland sunflower, and hopefully a raised bed for veggies. I want to transform part of my large library space into an indoor growing space so we can start seedlings in the spring. What will I need in the space to start seeds indoors. It is in a corner with about 10 feet of two storey windows that face west and one window about 3 feet wide that faces north. Do I need special lighting?
Also, is it possible for me to grow anything indoors through the winter? Herbs, maybe?
I don't have a lot of background in gardening but lots of enthusiasm and a school full of students who want to learn to be responsible, sustainable citizens in suburbia.
Thanks for your help. I have appreciated reading the comments you left for other folks.

How early is too early


I am in Ottawa, Ont. Canada.. Zone 5a.

I am curious of early is too early to start plants indoors. I started some pepper plants and tomato plants beginning of Dec with hopes to grow mature plants and transfer them outdoors in april/may.

I would still keep them in pots while hardening them off for 2 weeks before transplant.

I will also start new seedlings in Feb to be safe but wanted to know if my December plants would help me get a bigger headstart or bigger headache than worth.

and yes.. i have bigger pots and room in the house.

starting seeds early

If you start seeds too early, it can make it difficult for the plant to survive transplant shock when transferred outdoors, even after they were hardened off. Also, keep track of the days to maturity. For example, if you have a determinate tomato plant that matures in 80 days, and it was growing indoors since mid-December, then it might produce fruit (if pollinated) before it gets transplanted out in April/May. It would probably be too hard on the plant once it is in fruit, but you can certainly try it: at that point, it might be best to just keep growing it indoors (especially if you have a greenhouse). Indeterminate tomato varieties might be better than determinate, as they might continue to flower and set fruit after recovering from transplant shock.

Tomato seeds from last summer

Tomato seeds from last summer reseeded in my vegetable garden and 4-5 of them look very healthy. Do you think they'll produce fruit, or since they were in the ground with very cold temps (in MD) over winter, should I throw them out?
Thanks for your feedback.

Hi Dana, Don't throw them

Hi Dana,
Don't throw them out. If you have room in your garden let them grow and hopefully you'll have a nice harvest later this summer. If these plants are from heirloom varieties you should get some tasty tomatoes.

I started some flower and

I started some flower and vegetable starts indoors and one morning woke to them all eaten. What could have done this? I have looked for worms, but none around. No bugs of any kind to be seen.

Hi, Bradford, our condolenses

Hi, Bradford, our condolenses for your seeds. It sounds like dampening off. Even in the best soil, this rot can happen: the seedsling just disappear. Some sources recommend having a blower on them (a fan is just too powerful). Heat lights might help, as they promote drying. At this point, consider it a valiant attempt and put it behind you—and go out and get some seedlings and get growing! You can still have a fabulous harvest.

hello This year if my first

hello This year if my first year gardening and me and my father decided to grow multiple types of flowers from seeds and use paper pots and potting soil, we lightly water them every day and we make sure not to over water them, we occasionally taken them outside on nice days to get some sunlight and oxygen, we use stardarnd light bulbs and keep them next to a window when they are inside. The flowers have sprouted into stems and they looked great for a while until the steams either started to die, slouch, or just not bloom into flowers? my dad told me he heard that this could be "stemming" where they grow a little and die?
is there anything I can do so save these flowers? please help
thank you!!

One of my indoor seeds

One of my indoor seeds recently sprouted but 95% of the others have not Yet. It has only been about 3 days since planting. Should I remove the plastic cover and move them into the sun or wait until more have sprouted?

Do no remove the covers until

Do no remove the covers until the seeds have sprouted. There is more advice above.

I.started my seed indoors

I.started my seed indoors yesterday march 24 was that too late to start the seeds?

Hi Stacey, It depends on

Hi Stacey, It depends on which vegetable and where you live. Here is a personalized planting calendar that will give you dates for starting seeds indoors and outdoors for your location, based on your frost dates:
Hope this helps!

Hi, Stacey, It's not possible

Hi, Stacey,
It's not possible to know the answer to that question without knowing, for starters, where you are. In starting seeds, your goal is to have them ready to plant safely after the last frost in your area. Anyone can only estimate this event, based on historical weather patterns. To find the average date of your last frost, see here:
For the frost date in your area, put in your zip code, and when that date approaches, be aware of local current and expected weather conditions. (The dates are averages, not absolutes.)
For more advice on how to make sure your seedlings succeed, see the advice above.
Best wishes for a bountiful harvest—

Help! I started my seedlings

I started my seedlings indoors about 4 weeks ago. There was not enough light and now they are about 3 inches tall and leggy. Should I start over or if I correct the lighting will the seedlings fill out?

Hi Cindy, Some seedlings

Hi Cindy,
Some seedlings start out by growing tall before getting more leaves. Move the seedlings to a spot with more light. You can also start some new seedlings as a backup. Good luck!

I have covered my ground with

I have covered my ground with plastic do you keep plastic down for the cucumber area

You can keep the the plastic

You can keep the the plastic on the ground and cut holes to plant the cucumbers.

I need help.. First time

I need help.. First time growing anything ever.. I started tomatoes indoors under t5 high output lights.. They were doing great.. Now all a sudden the leaves r turning black on the edges and in the middle.. Starts out looking like someone put clear coat on parts of the leaves then it turns gold color then turns black brown and gets crispy.. Anyone have any ideas for me I'd be very grateful

It sounds as if you may have

It sounds as if you may have a tomato disease called early blight which is caused by a fungus. To avoid this, avoid overhead watering and only water at the base. Make sure plants are spaced farther apart to improve air circulation. If the infestation is heavy, sulfur dust may help protect new leaves from infection. Ask your garden center.

I started seeds indoors and

I started seeds indoors and they were doing good. I took them outside and I forgot to bring them in one night and it poured the rain and they got over watered and died. I want to start the seeds over by planting new ones. I was wondering if I could just let the soil dry out and take the plants that died out or if I would have to start over with new soil? I read about plants damping off and it has me worried that that happened because they turned yellow and died. But can I reuse my soil or not?

Most plants won't die because

Most plants won't die because of one night of rain.  If the soil is stays wet, however, they could certainly yellow and die. We're not clear that they have a disease.
If you can get the soil to dry out, you need to bulk it up by mixing in plenty of organic matter; the rain washes away nutrients so you need to add those nutrients back to the ground.
If poor drainage and waterlogging are a consistent problem, you may need to rethink your planting site, the type of plants that you grow, how to add drainage, and/or a raised bed option.

I have 2 questions...I want

I have 2 questions...I want to plant all of my vegetables, flowers and herbs by the moon phase and sign. #1 When starting seeds indoors, would go by the phase/sign favorable for that particular plant or is that only for sowing directly into the ground? #2 When transplanting my seedlings into the ground (I know favorable signs are Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces), do I follow the moon phase favorable for that plant as well or is that only for seeds? Thank you!

Hi Crystal, It's great to

Hi Crystal, It's great to hear from you!  Gardening by the Moon applies to both seeds and transplants.
The dates are related to whether the plant bears its crops below or above the soil.
We just added our Gardening by the Moon calendar to make planting dates easier! See below page--and then click on your region:
All the best! The OFA staff.

started seeds far too early

started seeds far too early .. tomato
how do I slow them down a bit about 3 inches high .look great.... pepper about 1 inch high ..slower growing .. look great .. they may be O . K .
.... urgent .... worried ....

It's fine to transplant the

It's fine to transplant the seedlings into bigger containers that can be put outdoors during warmer days and moved back indoors at night.

I started my seeds in an

I started my seeds in an indoor greenhouse and the cukes, melons, and squashs are 6inches tall already and its going to be another month before I can plant them in the garden. Can I cut them down without them dying?

I live in Sudbury Ontario

I live in Sudbury Ontario Canada. I started scarlet runner beans indoors three weeks ago, they are now a foot tall and due to our exceptional winter, I will not be able to plant them for at least two months. Should I be cutting them back? They are growing so fast you can almost see them grow. April 2 2014

You could transplant the

You could transplant the seedlings into bigger containers that can be put outdoors during warmer days and moved back indoors at night. The only problem may be space (the runner beans grow really tall and need a trellis).

Thank you for your response.

Thank you for your response. I have already moved them into bigger pots and have staked them with bamboo, I guess I just have to hope that they survive until I can plant them.

I started some tomato plants

I started some tomato plants indoors and have some seedlings. Unfortunately they are yellow. What did I do wrong? Is there anything I can do to save them or the pots that haven't germinated yet? Any help would be appreciated.

It could be related to

It could be related to over-watering, but it could also be a disease called Fusarium Wilt which affects seedlings; the symptoms are yellowing and wilting lower leaves.  Take a sample to your local garden nursery or cooperative extension as it is hard to diagnose online.
The most practical way to control Fusarium Wilt is to plant disease-resistant tomato varieties. Ask you local nursery.
Spraying with a copper-based fungicide such as Kocide or Fungus Fighter may help in some cases but usually the plant will need to be pulled. You really want to avoid replanting tomatoes in that diseased soil for at least two years, some say four years. Crop rotation is always essential.

Thank you for the advice. I

Thank you for the advice. I stopped watering and they're looking ok, but now I'm dealing with moldy peat pots. I'm learning as I go!

I live in WNC and would like

I live in WNC and would like to start my tomato plants today, in peat pots. I have many different kinds of heirloom tomato seed. The signs are in the reigns today but the full moon is waning. What to do? My mom always planted by the signs.

We recommend to plant and

We recommend to plant and transplant when the Moon is in a fruitful sign (Cancer, Scorpio or Pisces). It is also suggested that you plant veggies that bear above ground crops in the light of the Moon (from the day the Moon is new to the day it is full). Feb. 20-21 are Scorpio if you want to follow the signs. If you want to wait for a waxing Moon it will be new on March 1.

Thank you for your response!

Thank you for your response! I had already planted 7 peat pots with tomato seeds. I will definitely follow your advice and come next light moon, I will plant more. Thank you again.

Hello! I am a new gardener.

Hello! I am a new gardener. I've been composting for about 18 months now and I've been doing a lot of research at my local library. Needless to say, I was so excited to actually begin planting my asparagus seeds indoors last week. I know asparagus takes at least one season to be harvestable, but it's been a week and I haven't had any germination. I used a 60/40 Miracle Gro potting mix (I'll use seedling mix next year)/compost mixture. I put a "hot house"--a shallow under-the-bed storage unit--over my seedlings only to grow mold! I sprinkled some cinnamon on my seedlings and replaced the "hot house" today. So, all in all, I haven't had any germination. The plants are being grown in my basement. I don't the exact temperature of my basement, but I'm assuming it's about 65 degrees. Should I just be more patient? Does asparagus take a long time to germinate? Sorry this post is long. I just want to start growing food for my new family! Thanks!

Asparagus is slow to get

Asparagus is slow to get going from seed. It can take three weeks before the seeds germinate. The seeds should be planted about 1/4-inch deep using a sterile seeding mix for best results.

How do you get rid of

How do you get rid of earwigs? Over the past 2 years I tried to grow lettuce but at harvest they were full of drawings.

You can trap earwigs in

You can trap earwigs in rolled up newspapers or in old tuna fish cans baited with fish oil or vegetable oil. Place traps near the problem areas and check them each morning. Shake live insects into a pail of soapy water to kill them.
Converting the backyard to a dry, sunny environment with few hiding places will also help control earwigs. Remove any shelter sites, prune low-growing bushes, avoid growing the earwigs' favored food plants, and destroy moss and algae. Avoid overwatering and don't use thick organic mulches.
A variety of insecticides available labeled for earwig control. Talk to your garden center. Read the label to determine the proper sites and vegetable restrictions.
We appreciate your interest in The Old Farmer's Almanac and our web site.

Last year...WOW...sluGs...! I

Last year...WOW...sluGs...!
I live in north western Washington state...what in the world to do about slugs ...I've tried beer in a bowl...salt at every strategic makes a huge problem for gardening...but keeping them off of my sliding glass door and windows would be nice...they even slip in under the threshold from time to time?
Please advise...
Thx, Serena

For slugs use a small, fairly

For slugs use a small, fairly shallow dish. Put oil (canola, corn, vegetable) in the dish, about 1/2 cup or so. Then pour some soy sauce in the dish. The slugs are attracted to the soy sauce and once they get in the dish they can't get out because of the oil. Here are a couple of more tips. Spread wood ashes, crushed eggshells, or copper sheeting around the area where you see the slugs. You can also try this spray: Stir together 1 quart of water, 1 tsp of liquid dish soap and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Do not dilute before spraying.
Also, you might enjoy our video, "The Slug Board Game" (humor required) here:

This will be my first year

This will be my first year attempting to grow herbs indoors in a small apartment in Newark, NJ. I have the perfect spot picked out for my 'babies' but I was wondering if I needed to invest in a heating mat, as I'd like to start germinating in mid-February.

A heating mat isn't

A heating mat isn't necessary, but it does help to encourage germination, so seeds sprout faster, which is especially helpful for those plants that have a long germination period. Some herbs may prefer different soil temperatures than others; check the seed packet or catalog description. There are also home-made versions that provide bottom heat as well; some people set their containers on top of the refrigerator, which provides a little warmth. A heating mat specifically made for seed starting provides more control over the soil temperature.

How do you get rid of the

How do you get rid of the mold/mildew on the plants?? I just noticed my flats are covered in it! We are going to be moving them outdoors soon. Should they even be moved or will it infect everything else?

You should physically scrape

You should physically scrape off the mold/mildew and then try sprinkling your flats with ground cinnamon.

Why do you recommend not

Why do you recommend not using potting soil? I live in the Midwest and have used potting soil for the past couple of years and didn't seem to have a problem using it. Why would using soilless peat moss, mixed with equal parts vermiculite and perlite be better, besides allowing oxygen to flow?Thanks!

Potting soil is often heavy

Potting soil is often heavy and doesn't drain well. Delicate new roots of young seedlings have a harder time developing in potting soil. Soilless medium is much lighter and easier to handle when you move pots around. Potting soil that hasn't been sterilized may also spread diseases.

I've found that for most

I've found that for most small ant and bug problems, Bergamot essential oil works really well. If you burn three drops in a tea light per large area, or put a couple drops along the window sills or door entryways (every few months), they hate that stuff. Not sure if it helps in the actual seedlings, but if someone can answer that it'd help me too. Thanks!

What make your plants so

What make your plants so leggy when planted indoors from seeds

Hi Shirlley, The most likely

Hi Shirlley, The most likely cause is not enough sunlight. The seedlings stretch for the sunlight. To solve this problem, repotting the seedlings in bigger pots and maybe adding a grow light will help. Some seeds are better planted directly in the garden when the soil has warmed up.

Good basic article on

Good basic article on starting seeds indoors. Just one VERY IMPORTANT tip is missing. Even when using clean pot, etc., Damp-off is often a problem. (mold/mildew that kills young seedlings) The solution? Cinnamon! I have a jar of Cinnamon. I replaced the sprinkle top with a piece of nylon stretched tight... like the foot of pantyhose, knee-hi, etc., and hold on with an elastic.
When I'm through planting a seed flat, pots, six-packs, I lightly dust each one with the cinnamon. Organic, natural, proven to work every time! Will no slow, prevent, harm newly sprouted seeds of any kind!

You could always move north,

You could always move north, we don't have fireants here in BC. Just sugar ants and borax mixed with icing sugar is a good bet. our bigest problem here is the deer

Where can you find info on

Where can you find info on when to dig to plant post?

i was told by an old farmer

i was told by an old farmer that the dark side of the moon will keep posts in. The light side will pull them out. Has always worked for me.

If you're looking for best

If you're looking for best days based on the Moon, we have the dates on when to plant posts here:

Fire ants are the bane of a

Fire ants are the bane of a Texan gardener! I am going to try dehydrated molasses...anyone else done that?

The most effective solution

The most effective solution is fire ant baits with Spinosad. Don't wait. Sprinkle it around each mound in the later afternoon or when fire ants are foraging. See this page for brand names:

I agree with briddog501. But

I agree with briddog501. But add this...mix some confectioners sugar and water with the borax. Ants can't pass this up. Be aware of other animals that may eat this (pets etc). So use in protected area or at a height where it won't be attainable by other animals.

I have several plants in

I have several plants in large containers. It's a constant struggle to keep the ants from moving into the containers from the bottom. Ants are like weeds: you never get rid of them!!!!!

i don't know what they use

i don't know what they use but once every 2 years... the pest control company wants to do it every year....i pay a pest control company to spread they're ant poison in the yard. I live in ant central. coastal Texas i've had very little trouble with ants since i started spending the money on the pest control people.

1 side note. since i don't have ants anymore the armadillos and opossums love my yard for digging up grub worms. big ugly cuts right down the center of the yard.

kind of exchange 1 problem for another...

Treat to kill the grub worms,

Treat to kill the grub worms, no food the problem leaves. If you have a garden this will kill the good worms as well you may not want to treat the garden and watch for run off potential to reach the garden.

try putting borax around your

try putting borax around your pot on the ground

I also have an ant problem

I also have an ant problem that i went to my local nursery about. They sold me some fire ant killer aka orthene. You spray the dirt and area around plants. Works like a charm. Smells like a dead animal's bowels.

I too have the problem of

I too have the problem of ants getting into my containers! It is not fun to find a big hill of them in your plant you are trying to re-pot! I am allergic to their bites...

I was concerned if the Orthene will harm any plants you have in the planter at the time you spray it? Anyone know? Thanks for all the useful and informative info here!

Here's a recipe that makes

Here's a recipe that makes the ants move away:4 oz orange oil (can be purchased at most organic nurseries) 4 oz of blackstrap molasses or gardening molasses,1 gal of water.

I live in Maryland and we

I live in Maryland and we have "sugar ant" problems every year. I use a mixture of borax and regular corn meal. The ants can digest the cornmeal or the borax so it eliminates them. Safe and no pesticides.

I've been told by wise older

I've been told by wise older gardeners that if you put cornmeal at the ant infested area, it will kill the ants because they will eat it and cannot digest it. Don't understand it, but it DOES work!!

I found the perfect solution

I found the perfect solution to a terrific ant problem. I moved to a different state.

Mint, mint, and more mint.

Mint, mint, and more mint. Ants don't like just about every type of mint. Use dry or fresh mint on top of the soil or for better results mix it in with the soil. Also planting mint in the pot will make the ants go away.

Try cinnamon power around the

Try cinnamon power around the base & beneath the containers. The ants will move somewhere else.

House Hold Bleach will red

House Hold Bleach will red ants

Try making a strong garlic

Try making a strong garlic tea and put it in a pray bottle, good for all sorts of bugs.