Starting seeds indoors is an easy, inexpensive, and increasingly popular way to raise a wide assortment of edible and flowering plants.

You can grow a far greater variety of vegetables than the ones available in the produce section of the supermarket, and you can grow them for a fraction of the price.

Likewise, choose from a dazzling array of flowers, many of which are only available in seed form. Look for your favourites, try out some heirlooms, and don’t be afraid to experiment with something new or a little more unique.

There is an added advantage in that you can choose the method in which to grow them. Many gardeners are opting to use organic fertilizers and pest control methods. Even when space is limited, it’s surprising how much you can grow. You can easily raise vegetables in containers on a balcony or in a small garden. All that you really need is a sunny location. (Note: Most vegetables require around 6 hours of sunlight a day. Leafy vegetables can tolerate some shade.)

Getting children involved in the process can also be a lot of fun. Whether it’s flowers or food, there is something timeless and magical about kids watching their seeds sprout and grow. It’s a great way to educate little gardeners.