Starting Seeds Guide
Good afternoon gardeners! It’s almost that time to start those seeds! Today what we are going to do is create your own gardening calendar where we will look at when to start seeds indoors and when to start seeds inside based on our individual last frost date and projected harvest date.
What you are going to need is a calendar . You can use a physically calendar or get app for your phone - I will be using the SimpleCal app. If you click on the link icon, you can download the application from the App Store!
You do need to sync your calendar to this app. What I did was created a new blank calendar on my system calendar. Then I went into my calendar app and I turned off all my synced calendars except for my blank calendar. This is going to allow me to work freely without seeing loved ones’ birthdays.
Now after you get your preferred method of charting the calendar, you will need to pick out colors to chart your information. If you’re using a physical calendar, please get a few different color pens - you will need pens for the following: when to start seeds inside, when to transfer seedlings outside, when to start seeds outside, and a color for the last frost date. If you are following along on the SimpleCal app, you will also need four three. I will be working with blue, orange and red.
First step, collect ALL your seeds. On the seed packet, you are going to look at the maturity date. The maturity date means two things: the length of time AFTER your sown seeds have developed their true leaves or the time after you transplant your seedlings into the ground. This will help us plan when we plant. Some plants do better being started inside and some plants do better being started in the soil. We will go those plants as we plan out our calendar.
Second step, click the link to find your last frost date:
My previous article and you have your last frost date, let’s mark that on the calendar. For me, my last frost date based off of the location of my garden center is May 2. I will put this in the calendar in red along with my recommended date of transplanting outside.
Now here’s the fun part! We are going to chart all our seeds that we want to grow. These are the plants that we will be looking at both cold crops and our warm season vegetables: broccoli, cabbage, Brussel sprouts, lettuce, kale, spinach, beets, tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, eggplant, and cucumbers. Things like radish, potatoes, onions, peas, beans, corn, and garlic can be started outside. We will talk about these plants briefly on when we want to sow them outside.
Let’s start with the warm season vegetables! I created a chart of when to sow your vegetable seeds inside. What you do is you count backwards from your last frost date. Let’s start with out tomatoes, peppers, Brussel sprouts and eggplant. These crops take eight to ten weeks to get big enough to transplant them outside. I tell my customers to start these NOW! Think about it, when we get our tomatoes and peppers - they are well developed seedlings from our local garden centers and that’s what we want to aim for when it’s time to transplant our seedlings into the soil outside. Let’s start with tomatoes and peppers, these guys like to be planted eight weeks before the last frost date. Go to your calendar and find your last frost date, now count back eight weeks and then take your designated color and mark it! It should look like this. This would leave me with March 14, 2023
Now, both eggplant and Brussel sprouts are ten weeks away from the last frost date which means we will start them two weeks before our tomatoes and peppers. This brings us to February 28, 2023
Cucumbers and zucchini are also very popular in the garden, you would start these inside four weeks before last frost date. That takes you to April 5, 2023. Now remember, we are planting them the weekend AFTER Mother’s Day so we are able to give our seedlings a little bit mor time growing before we put them in our garden.
Some crops, like beans and corn do better planted in the ground after the last frost date. Corn should be planted in the ground three weeks after the last frost date and beans can be planted in the ground a little bit after the last frost date.
Some things that can be sown straight into the ground are our cold crop vegetables. If you wanted to start them inside, I would have started broccoli, cabbage, kale, lettuce, spinach, cauliflower four weeks before mid March to be able to transplant them outside for that time. Mid March is the time of the year when your cold crop starters become available and I feel it’s a good indication to plant your cold crop seedlings or starters. If you wanted to sow them directly from seed in the ground, I would sow them a week before the first day of spring. I would also include planting my cold crop root vegetables, such as carrots, radishes, and beets. We do not want to start our root vegetables inside because we can damage our crop when we need to transplant them. You can also plant onion sets mid March as well to harvest them in the fall time.
Some other things we can plant that I have noted on my calendar is peas can be planted for St. Patrick’s Day, this is an old wives tale that has been shared with me that I pass onto customers. We can also plant potatoes outside two weeks before our last frost date. Onions can be planted mid March outside as well
I really recommend starting warm season crops inside but if you chose to plant them outside as seeds, you want to sow them two weeks after the last frost date.I’m
Please know that starting seeds and planting seedlings do take a lot of time and planning. With my article, I planned around my area of New Jersey, Morris county. The timing will be different when it comes every place, whether it’s in the United States or outside of the United States. Always consult your friends at your local garden center. Please contact me if you need assistance in figuring out when to plant your seeds and creating your personalized planting calendar! I am only one message away for assistance in your growing your own success! Thank you so much for reading! Drop your questions and garden plans below!
2/26/2023 01:57:54 pm
Thanks…hope you have a great gardening year. @27east1
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