The official start of spring is nearly eight weeks away. But for many gardeners, January is the ideal time to sketch out growing plans, and the right time to sow seedlings indoors.

Carla Hrycyna, host of the Lawn and Garden Journal heard on CJRB Radio 1220, says small pots and a good seeding mix are adequate to establish an indoor garden.

When choosing plants, there are several in particular that benefit from a head start.

“I know there was a huge resurgence of pepper passion last year. And specifically hot peppers, which have a longer germination-to-fruit time-line. If you do anything by seed, definitely do geraniums, impatiens, and onions and peppers.” Hrycyna says.

Hrycyna encourages growers to start small. “Maintain them so they have the proper light. Monitor air circulation and lighting to create healthy starter plants. When you’re ready to transplant, place them a little bit deeper into a slightly larger container.

"Going slow and steady is best.”

While lighting plays a lesser role in the early stage of germination, as plants emerge, Hrycyna says it might be worthwhile to invest in grow lights.

An important aspect of indoor gardening is checking seed packages to determine the timeline from germination to crop to transplant.

Some plants need only a short head start, while others can grow larger before being transplanted.

Hrycyna says indoor seedlings can be planted within the next couple of weeks.