Gardeners planting seeds should have planting containers, potting mix, labels, plastic covers, water and a light source. Retailers sell trays for starting seedlings, but home gardeners can use any shallow container, such as an egg carton or empty plastic food container.
Soil-free seed-starting potting mixes are better for seedlings than potting soil due to their consistency and the absence of fungi and bacteria that can harm seedlings. Seeds contain most of the nutrients young plants need, so gardeners do not need to add additional fertilizer.
A plastic bag or wrap seals in moisture and keeps the seeds warm. A sunny window provides the light a seedling needs, or gardeners can use an artificial light.