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When to Start Seeds Indoors

You have to know the last frost date for the area that you live so that you know When to Start Seeds Indoors.  Different Seeds take different amounts of time to germinate and grow to the proper size to be planted outdoors.
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My first packages of seeds have arrived in my mailbox –woo, woo.  I LOVE buying seeds.    I know its weird but I have decided to embrace my weirdness and share.  A few of my favorite seed companies are Johnny’s, Harris, Seeds of Change and Burpee.

Knowing my seeds were on their way, I ran to Loews earlier this week and picked up my seed starting trays and seed mix along with a bird feeder cleaner that I found next to the bird seed. (a genius of a little tool – why didn’t I invent this?).

Now that I have Seeds (check), Seed Starting Mix (check), Trays to grow seeds in (check) I am ready to start sowing, but first I have to decide which seeds I want to start inside versus direct sow into the garden.

Direct sow means inserting seeds into the soil directly so they will germinate and grow from that location or in easy speak, plant outside.

I direct sow parsley, cilantro, lettuce mixes, beets, carrots, radishes, and beans.

I like to start seeds of basil, eggplant, cauliflower, tomatoes, and an assortment of flowers inside at the end of winter, to later transplant into the garden when the temperature allows.

I like separating the seed packets into various piles, such as which ones I will be starting inside, directing sowing and then I have figure out when I need to start which seeds when?  It can become a bit confusing to keep track of the schedule.

 Sowing seeds directly outside in garden

Well, life is a little easier for me thanks to Dave from All Things Plants via Margaret Roach.  Margaret shared Dave’s new Garden Planting Calendar application this week in her garden post.  I jumped on over and checked it out and boy was I thrilled.  Dave  is a garden expert who founded Dave’s Garden, which he ran before moving to All Things Plants.

If you plan on starting seeds you have to check this thing out its simple to use, which means we will use it!

You enter in your zip code and voila below pops up a your vegetable planting for your area strategy calendar with crop, start time for seeds inside and time to transplant seeds into garden and when to direct sow.

Below is a snap shot of what mine looks like to entice you into trying this out.

You can then print out the schedule and keep it with where you store your seeds.  Obviously mother nature will be the ending decision maker on when you can and can’t start planting outside, but this schedule definitely makes the process much easier.  I hope you enjoy it!  I know I will.

Have a great weekend.

xo, Amy


Okay, now here are the cold, hard numbers, along with specific plants:

Crop Start seeds indoors Transplant seedlings into the garden Direct sow seeds
Artichokes Feb 10 – Mar 3 May 4 – May 18
Asparagus Mar 20 – Apr 4
Beans May 4 – Jun 1
Beets Mar 9 – Mar 23
Broccoli Feb 24 – Mar 9 Apr 6 – Apr 20
Brussel Sprouts Feb 24 – Mar 9 Apr 6 – Apr 20
Cabbage Feb 24 – Mar 9 Apr 6 – Apr 20
Cantaloupe Apr 20 – May 4
Carrots Mar 23 – Apr 20
Cauliflower Feb 24 – Mar 9 Apr 6 – Apr 20
Chard Mar 23 – Apr 6
Collards Feb 24 – Mar 9 Apr 6 – Apr 20
Corn May 4 – May 18
Cucumbers May 4 – May 18
Eggplants Feb 24 – Mar 9 May 4 – May 18
Gourds, Squash and Pumpkins May 4 – May 18
Kale Feb 24 – Mar 9 Apr 6 – Apr 20
Kohlrabi Feb 24 – Mar 9 Apr 6 – Apr 20
Lettuce Feb 24 – Mar 9 Mar 23 – Apr 20 Mar 23 – Apr 20
Mustard Feb 24 – Mar 9 Apr 6 – Apr 20
Okra May 4 – May 18
Onions Feb 17 – Feb 24 Mar 5 – Apr 4
Peas (English) Mar 5 – Apr 4
Peas (Southern) May 4 – Jun 1
Peas (Sugar Snap) Mar 5 – Apr 4
Peppers Feb 24 – Mar 9 May 4 – May 18
Potatoes Mar 5 – Apr 4
Radishes Mar 20 – May 18
Spinach Feb 24 – Mar 9 Apr 6 – Apr 20 Mar 20 – Apr 20
Sweet Potatoes Apr 13 – Apr 27
Tomatoes Feb 24 – Mar 9 May 4 – May 18
Watermelon May 4 – May 18

You might also like:

Tips for Starting Seeds Step 1 {Planting}

Tips for Starting Seeds Step 1 | ahealthylifeforme.com

Tips for Starting Seeds Step 2 {Growing}

Tips for Starting Seeds Growing | ahealthylifeforme.com

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4 comments on “When to Start Seeds Indoors”

  1. Avatar photo
    Tiffany @ Thyme of taste

    Amy, thanks for sharing that handy calendar tool, I’ve been getting anxious to start my garden too!

    1. Amy @ A Healthy Life For Me
      Amy Stafford

      I hear ya, if it gets any colder. geesh. Spring will be here before we know it and the weeds will own us once again.. sigh.
      xo Amy

  2. Avatar photo
    Autism United

    The ground hog will be making his annual pop out next week – I sure wouldn’t come out of hiding during all this snow and cold. Haven’t even thought about my garden which is currently under a couple of feet of snow.
    But you have lightened my heart thinking about spring and warmth and fresh produce.

    1. I know its hard to think gardening when its too cold to even be outside, but those little seedlings always get me excited for spring.

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