Zone 7b - start seeds in 5-gal grow bags indoors, then move outside?

Hi all,

I’m in USDA zone 7b. I have five 5-gallon grow bags and I made a soil mix of coir, perlite, worm castings and bagged “compost” from the big-box home-improvement store. Its a bit light on the worm castings, and about even between the other three.

I should have auto-flowering seeds arriving tomorrow, selected for “continental” outdoor climate, and I was hoping I could direct-sow them in each grow bag, in the basement under T5 6000k flourescent fixtures, then move them outside.

I also have a couple spots in the garden that I am going to try direct-seeding one or two seeds.

Would these approaches be advisable, or should I soak / sprout the seeds ahead of time and then plant them (direct outside and grow-bags)? Or should I soak / sprout, then put into smaller pots, then into the grow bags as they get bigger?

I know that’s a lot of questions. Thanks in advance for your advice.

I would at least start in solo cups

Should I use heat mats like I do for tomatoes?

I germed my seeds in cup o ro water w peroxide then when they crack did the papertowel method with the plastic plate on heat mat then when get a tail planted in coco and jacks 321 in solo cup til ready for transplant. I hept cups on heat mat with botton of clear solo cup as dome until they break thru then removed lids and when 1st set of true leaves form i turned off the mat.
I tagged you in my grow so you can see. Im totally new to this so dont take what i do as the rule. Ill watch what your going to do as im wanting to put some outside this summer which i thought would be soon but its snowing right now :upside_down_face:

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Thanks, that’s good info. Basically what I do for tomatoes and peppers minus the seed soaking beforehand. USPS is slow so I didn’t get my seeds today which was expected eta. Wouldn’t that have been cool to get them on 4-20 hahah.

Here’s where I will sprout my seeds if they ever get here. Once they sprout I will remove the dome, turn off the heating mat, and lower the lights closer to the plants. Then I will transplant some to 5-gallon grow bags, and some directly into a raised bed system I have with automatic irrigation. Some of the grow bags I’ll have on the patio, some I will grow in the basement.

I have four of those lighting fixtures. 2’ long, 4 bulbs. Right now they have 6200k bulbs, later I’ll switch them to 2700k bulbs. For the grow bags in the basement, I will probably hang the lights in a vertical orientation, to sort of surround the plants, if that makes sense. suspend them each from one end, in other words. four lights, one N, one S, one E and one W.

lights1 lights2