Longer season veggies such as tomatoes, winter squash, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and peppers are best started indoors anywhere from 8 to 10 weeks before the last frost date. Generally, mid to late March is a good time to start these crops.
- Begin with a clean seedling tray or small pots. Ensure there are holes for drainage.
- Select a sunny, warm spot away from hot or cold drafts.
- Use high quality seedling mix and dampen the mix before you fill your containers. Do not use garden soil or compost, as these may contain harmful pathogens or fungi.
- Using a pen or chopstick, make a ¼ inch hole and plant one or two seeds in each hole.
- Gently top each hole with more seedling mix.
- A clear plastic top can be used to retain moisture during germination.
- Ensure the soil stays moist, but not soggy. A plant mister works well for this.
- Once plants have reached about 2-3 inches and have several sets of true leaves, they can be transplanted into larger containers.
Not all seeds benefit from an early start. The following seeds are best sown directly into the garden at planting time: Beans, peas, carrots, beets, radish and turnips. Leafy greens such as chard, kale and spinach and zucchini are easily grown from seed outdoors and don’t need to be started indoors.
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