Seed Starting Tips
Our customers have already been coming in for their seeds and seed starting accessories.
Now is the time to select your seed packs and start your seedlings indoors. It’s a lot of fun too!
First you have to decide what plants you want to grow and when is the best time to set them out.
Cool weather plants will tolerate an earlier planting than warm weather ones. Think leafy Greens, peas, and root crops. These are best directly sown into prepared garden beds around Memorial Day once soils have warmed enough (above 50 degrees) and can be turned without creating mud.
Most Annual flowers and vegetables may be started indoors to get a jump start on spring. Plan on starting most varieties 3 to 6 weeks before Memorial Day which is considered the last frost date in our area.
Warmer weather vegetables like squash and pumpkin may easily be started indoors 3 to 4 weeks before last frost. Peppers may be started indoors 4 to 6 weeks before last frost. Tomatoes may be started indoors 6 to 8 weeks before Memorial Day. They all may be sown directly into garden beds after danger of frost has passed and soils have warmed to approximately 60 degrees or higher. Your warm weather seedlings, that were started indoors, may be planted out-of-doors once soil temperatures reach 70 degrees and evening temperatures remain above 45 degrees. It’s a good idea to “harden them off” by putting them outside for several hours a day in bright light a week or two prior to setting them out permanently.
We offer a wide variety of seed starting accessories for every enthusiast; Jiffy peat pots, Jiffy 7 pellets, windowsill seed kits, 22 x 11 inch trays, inserts, and clear domes, small plastic grower’s pots and the like. Seed starting kits are a great to help you succeed. The Jump Start Germination Station has a 72 cell tray in an 11” x 21” base tray, a vented dome cover and heat mat that maintains perfect soil temperature for seed starting.
I prefer using seed starting soils to begin my seedlings. We carry two excellent mixes; one an organic compost based and one a peat-lite formulation. Be sure to use diluted water soluble fertilizer once your seedlings have reached a three leaflet maturity. Super-Thrive is an excellent vitamin supplement that provides all the micro-nutrients young seedlings need. Use very mild concentrations so as to avoid burning tender seedlings. Let our Green Thumb staff show you the best products to assure your seed starting success.
Written by: Rick Stecher, Garden Center Manager
Success with your gardening Naturally!