It’s almost time to start your seeds for the upcoming season. If you haven’t purchased your seeds or have them saved from your garden, order now to make sure you don’t have to wait for the post office to receive your shipment.
There are many reason why you would want to start your own seeds indoors. It gives your plants more time to grow before being planted out, increased yields due to their more mature size, access to unique varieties not sold by other growers, a sense of accomplishment, and a chance to save money on transplants. In this week’s tip, we’ll be sharing our general schedule and seeding timeline when it comes to starting seeds for the season:
Early March: Eggplant, peppers, onions, shallots, leeks, early season greens. Early season greens get transplanted out into row tunnels or cold frames typically in early April. The other seeds take a long time to grow and so giving them so much time before being planted outside will help to ensure they can produce early and all season long. Full sun (or supplementary lighting) and warm temperatures will help these to germinate and grow quickly.
Mid March: Tomatoes, basil, parsley. We also like to start more early season greens to transplant out into row tunnels or cold frames. All of the early seeds should have germinated and any additional varieties or flats that didn’t germinate can be re-seeded at this time.
Late March/Early April: Kale, collards, cabbage, lettuce. Most things in the brassica family get started at this time. We find starting brassicas indoors and then transplanting under row covers will help to keep flea beetles damage to a minimum. Depending on weather and soil conditions, early season outdoor planting can begin.
Mid April: More greens, additional onions and brassicas for succession planting get planted at this time.
Late April: Summer squash, zucchini, winter squash, cucumbers. While these can be direct seeded, we like to give them a couple weeks head start in the greenhouse.
There are a few other things to keep in mind when it comes to seeding success. This includes using fresh seed (or those with a high germination rate), choosing the right soil mix, and providing the right temperature, light, and humidity which you can read about in Tip #153: Seed Germination Factors.
If you don’t want to worry about starting your seeds and keeping them alive for a few weeks or several months, you can pre-order transplants from us for the spring and learn more about starting your own seeds in the garden at one of our seed starting workshops. [Got a Tip?] If you have a tip to share with your fellow urban farmers, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org. Want More Tips? Browse our Tips Archive for more.