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Skip to content. Starting seeds indoors gives a head start on the gardening season and opens the door to growing endless varieties. And, it is a fun way to kick off the gardening season. It varies according to the plant and the date of the last frost in your area.
WATCH RELATED VIDEO: Seed Starting 101 - How We Start Seeds - Germinating Seeds Fast - Detailed Lesson // Garden FarmContent:
- Growing Vegetables: When to Plant Your Vegetable Garden [fact sheet]
- Lawn & Garden
- A Seed is a Promise | Tips on Growing & Sowing Seeds
- Seeds to Sow in May
- Illinois Vegetable Garden Guide
- Getting Started with Starting Seeds
- When is it Too Late to Sow Seeds Outdoors?
- Vegetable Garden Calendar
- Starting from Seed
- How to sow seeds outdoors
Growing Vegetables: When to Plant Your Vegetable Garden [fact sheet]
Contact your local county Extension office through our County Office List. Print this fact sheet. Before seeding, spade the garden area 6 to 10 inches deep. Thoroughly mix in coarse peat, compost or aged manure if the soil is too heavy clay type or too sandy. Use 3 cubic yards of organic matter per 1, square feet or enough to cover to a depth of 1 inch. The organic matter helps keep the soil from becoming too compact and holds moisture needed for seed germination. Rake the surface smooth and remove or break down clods larger than the size of a pea.
Mark the seeded rows with identifying labels. Use good, viable seed. Old seed, unless carefully stored in a cool, dry location, often germinates poorly. It is usually more satisfactory to buy fresh, new seed when growing garden annuals and vegetables. It is usually safe to sow the seed outdoors when trees are beginning to produce leaves.See Table 1 for when to start seeds of specific plants.
Keep the seedbed moist at all times. Thin these to one-fourth their mature height for a fuller, more showy effect. For an early start, sow seed in a cold frame and transplant it into the garden later see Figure 1. Seed may be started as much as six weeks earlier than outdoors.
Locate the cold frame on the south side of a garage or dwelling. On warm, sunny days 50F or warmer , prop the lid open to prevent buildup of excessive heat. Close the lid in the late afternoon to trap enough heat for cold evenings. As the season progresses, gradually expose the plants to longer periods of outside temperatures, as long as the air temperature does not go below 50F. Treated in this way, they develop into sturdier plants that are better able to adapt to fully-exposed garden conditions at transplant time.
This is particularly true of the hardy annuals and biennials that prefer to develop in cooler temperatures: petunia, ageratum, lobelia, verbena, cabbage, broccoli and lettuce.
Use Table 1 to determine when to start seed in the cold frame. If space is available near a sunny window, start seeds four to eight weeks before the plant-out date in your area average date of last killing frost. Starting too early usually results in spindly plants due to crowding and lack of sufficient light. Almost any container with drainage holes in the bottom will work for planting. Paper milk cartons cut in half, Styrofoam cups, tin cans, plastic trays and pots are common containers used.
For convenience, however, you may wish to start plants in the plastic trays and pots available at garden supply centers. Use a rich, well-drained soil. Potting soils made for African violets and other house plants usually are suitable and do not have weed seeds. They are, however, more expensive than soil mixes you can make at home.
If you use soil from the yard, it should be top soil that is well drained and blended with organic matter.The best soils are often found around established shrubs and trees. Add sphagnum peat and sharp sand to the soil in a ratio of about one-half volume of each, and mixed thoroughly.
To kill weed seeds and some damaging soil fungi, place the soil mix in shallow trays or baking pans in an oven for 45 minutes at F. For best results, the soil should be moist. After the soil has cooled, fill containers firmly but do not pack.
Place seeds on the soil surface. Use a piece of window screen or old flour sifter to sift soil over the seeds to the depth indicated on the seed packet. If you use compartmentalized trays or individual peat pots, place two or three seeds in each pot. Do not cover too deeply, as this may reduce or prevent seed germination.
As a general rule, cover no more than four times the diameter of the seed. Apply a fine spray of water to avoid washing the seed, causing them to float to the soil surface. Household spray bottles are suitable. Cover the containers with plastic sheets or panes of glass and place in a cool room 60 to 65F away from direct sunlight until germination. When seeds germinate, move them gradually over two or three days into brighter light.
If seeds were planted in larger containers, transplant into individual peat pots or other small containers. This method, however, makes inefficient use of seed and space. Water seedlings carefully. Small containers used for starting plants dry out quickly. About one week prior to planting-out time, gradually expose seedlings to longer periods outdoors unless temperatures are below 50F.
At the same time, reduce watering to a minimum as long as plants do not wilt. This will help the plants adjust to full exposure without undergoing undue shock at planting time. Newman, Colorado State University Extension greenhouse crop specialist and and professor, horticulture and landscape architecture and L. Original author, J. Feucht, Extension landscape plants specialist and professor.
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EstablishedGrowing Plants From Seed — 7. Search the Site. Employment Volunteer. Figure 1: A simple cold frame made with 2-inch x 2-inch lumber. Cover hinged lid and sides with translucent clear polyethylene plastic. For better insulation against cold, cover both inside and outside to leave an airspace between layers of plastic. An 8-foot frame requires 10 pieces 2 inches x 2 inches, each 8 feet long.
Number of weeks to start seed before average frost-free date. Best at 55F to 60F.
Lawn & Garden
Make a donation. Sowing seeds outdoors is an easy, inexpensive and fun way to grow new plants. Always check seed packets for the exact planting months for each specific plant. Bear in mind too that in milder regions sowing can begin earlier, while in colder regions it may need to be later. Also, lighter soils warm up more quickly in spring, ready for sowing, while sowing may need to be delayed in heavy, damp soils, which stay colder for longer.
One way to get a head start on spring gardening is by starting seeds indoors between late February and April (depending on your area's.
A Seed is a Promise | Tips on Growing & Sowing Seeds
When starting seeds indoors for spring planting, timing is very important. The plants need to be large enough to move outdoors at the normal planting time, without being spindly and overgrown. Since the average last frost date is around April 8 in my area, I should start these seeds between February 11 and 25 to give them weeks to grow for planting after April 8. To be safe, I err on the late side, to reduce the risk of a surprise late season frost or freeze. For a longer harvest, schedule several plantings of seeds, each a week or two apart.Not only will staggered plantings extend your harvest season, but successive groups of seedlings act as insurance against a deadly surprise cold snap. Save yourself future work by transferring your schedule to a seed calendar that you can refer to year after year. Be sure to check the label of each seed packet, since different varieties of a particular vegetable may have different levels of cold tolerance. Hope that helps!
Seeds to Sow in May
Well-planned, properly managed home gardens can furnish Oklahoma families with flavorful, high quality, fresh vegetables from spring through fall, as well as for processing or storing for winter. The amount of money invested in seeds, fertilizer, pesticides and a few tools is more than offset by the enjoyment, healthful outdoor exercise, and fresh homegrown flavor. The selection and preparation of the garden site is an important key to growing a home garden successfully. An area exposed to full or near full sunlight with deep, well-drained, fertile soil is ideal. The site also should be located near a water supply and, if possible, away from trees and shrubs that would compete with the garden for light, water and nutrients.
I love starting seeds indoors. Growing seedlings indoors can be a little tricky though.
Illinois Vegetable Garden Guide
How do you know when it is too late to sow seeds outdoors? Use these tips for starting flowers and vegetables in late summer or fall. For more garden tips, see the Empress of Dirt Grow headquarters for lots of helpful stuff. If I plant seeds now, will the plants have time to grow before the cold weather sets in? Excellent questions! If the seeds are hardy perennials suited to your growing zone and conditions , you likely have several options.
Getting Started with Starting Seeds
McLaurin Retired , Darbie M. Chance, Extension Horticulturists. You can plant or harvest something from your garden almost all year.The two major planting periods, however, are spring March to May and fall mid-July to September. The spring plantings are harvested in June and July, while the fall plantings are harvested from October to December. January and February are prime times for looking at seed catalogs, dreaming of warm spring days, preparing garden plots, and getting ready for a productive season.
You can also purchase seed starting kits, which include crates and plastic lids, from a local garden center. When transplanting the seedlings.
When is it Too Late to Sow Seeds Outdoors?
Many types of seeds will survive the winter in the ground and sprout in the spring. After all, this is how it often works in nature; a wild plant sheds its seed in autumn and the seedling comes up in spring. That's why many perennial-seed packets will instruct you to "cold stratify" the seed before sowing it by storing it for several months in your refrigerator. This just recreates the winter conditions and the thawing that triggers the seed to sprout in nature.
Vegetable Garden CalendarRELATED VIDEO: Sowing Seeds: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know
When to plant. How early you can plant depends on the hardiness of the vegetables and the climate in your area. Certain vegetables can withstand frost while others cannot. In Table 3 vegetables are classified as hardy, half-hardy, tender, or very tender. This information along with the date of the average last 32 freeze in your area will help you to determine safe planting dates. Planting by the moon is a favorite topic for discussion among many gardeners.
Before you order seeds in the early spring, draw up a quick map of your garden space on graph paper. Use the spacing guidelines for each type of plant, which can be found in reference books or on the seed packet itself.
Starting from Seed
How to sow seeds outdoors
Space to play or pause, M to mute, left and right arrows to seek, up and down arrows for volume. Growing your own seedlings from seed is dead easy. It's also cheap, fun and you're spoilt for choice when it comes to different plant varieties. Now that the spring days are warming up and getting longer, it's the perfect time to give it a go.