Seed Starting Times For Vegetables

Recommendations are for gardeners in Zone 5. Our last frost is anywhere from Late April to mid-May.

 Onions – Onion seedlings must go into the ground in early to mid April or 4-6 weeks before the last frost.  Start onion seed 12 to 14 weeks before this date or early to mid February – in fact, I always plan to start my storage onions  before the end of the last week in January. While temperatures are cool and days are short onion plants develop their leaves. As days lengthen to 15 hours top growth slows and bulb growth begins – June 21 in my area. The  bigger and healthier the set of leaves your onions can grow before the end of June the bigger the bulbs they can support. By the way, those of us in zone 5 need to grow Long Day onions if we want decent sized bulbs.

onion seedlings 2 400

Peppers – 8 to 12 weeks before the last frost or late February thru early to mid March.

Eggplant – 6 to 8 weeks before last frost or mid March to early April.

Tomatoes – 6 to 8 weeks before last frost or mid March to early April.

Lettuce – Start lettuce seed indoors in early March so transplants are garden ready in mid April 4-5 weeks before the last frost. Lettuce grows best in cool temperatures and often bolts or goes to seed when temperatures rise.

lettuce and onion seedlings 400

Cole Crops – Cole crops are cabbage, cauliflower, and broccoli, etc. Start cole crops indoors in early March so transplants are garden ready in mid April 4-5 weeks before the last frost. Cole crops like a cool start in the garden.

Cucumbers, Squash, and  Melons – Start cucumbers, squash,  and melons indoors 2 to 4 weeks before the last frost. This usually means mid April to early May. Weather must be settled and the soil must be warm. Very likely it is not safe to transplant cucumbers, squash,  and melons until late May. Personally, I direct seed all of these warm weather things, I think they grow as well as transplants, often they do better.

Get out your calenders and schedule your seed starting. Healthy seedlings, not too immature or not over grown, happen when you schedule your sowing carefully.

Hey from the farm,
Fran       The Country Cousin

 

 

 

 

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