What’s the best way to start seeds indoors?
You can start seeds indoors in a bright south-facing window, but your seedlings will grow better under fluorescent lights. Your best bet is to buy an inexpensive 2-tube shop light at a hardware or home store. You can prop the light up on bricks on a table or the floor, and put two flats of seedlings under it. Keep the seedlings very close to the tubes — almost touching is best.
If you are getting spring fever, starting seeds indoors is a great antidote. Good choices for starting seeds indoors are tomatoes, peppers and basil. All do well in the warm, low-light indoor conditions (fluorescents lights are always far less intense than outdoor sunlight).
If you want a nifty plan for a seed-starting unit that does double duty as a bookcase or for growing houseplants during the off-season, see Multipurpose Grow Light Bookcase.
— Cheryl Long, editor in chief