Spring has arrived, or almost, and it’s time to start working on your garden. when to start with the seeds? the answer depends on your area. Zones are determined by the United States Department of Agriculture. They separate the zones according to temperature. it is important to know the right times to start plants from seed. this will improve germination and help ensure healthy, vigorous plants. read on for some tips on getting started with seeds.
plants from seeds
Some plants are best started indoors and grown for transplant and others can be directly sown outdoors. most transplanted seeds grow faster and produce faster than those sown directly outside.
Reading: When to start planting seeds
For the most part, early fall crops are suitable for direct seeding, while summer crops or those requiring an extended growing season should be sown indoors. seed starting times should take into account maturity, length of growing season, variety, zone, and time of last expected frost.
when to start the seeds
As a general rule, seeds should be started four to six weeks before the last frost date. seed starting times are calculated by taking the date of the last frost and subtracting the days until transplant. the seed packet will tell you how many weeks.
The best time to start seeding is usually from the end of March to the end of May. only southern areas are suitable for starting plants from seed in the first few months. Give the plant enough time to germinate and grow to an appropriate transplant size.
seed start times for different seeds
Plants to plant as soon as possible include broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and head lettuce. sow seeds for these indoors 10 weeks before last frost date.
Warm-season plants such as tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant require seven weeks. the best time to grow seeds like cucurbits and melons is four weeks before the last frost.
once your seeds have germinated and grown the proper amount of time, harden off before full transplanting. this means gradually acclimating the new plants to outdoor conditions for longer and longer periods of time. this reduces shock and ensures healthier transplants.
how to sow seeds indoors
Use a quality seed starter mix or compost. Any container that has good drainage is suitable, but even a flat one will work since seedlings need little room for roots.
sow seeds according to the planting depth recommended on the seed packet. some seeds recommend just sprinkling soil over the seeds, while others need more dipping.
You can improve germination by soaking larger seeds in water or wrapping them overnight in a damp paper towel. put the containers in a warm place. Most seeds need temperatures around 60 degrees F. (16 c.) for better germination.
Move containers to a well-lit area after they have germinated.