It all starts with the seed.
Watching it germinate, watching it grow, and watching that plant become a wonderful harvest.
Gardening is amazing!
Here’s a rough guideline of when to start your seeds either by direct sowing or if you’re growing your own transplants. It’s always good to double check your seed packet though, as each variety will be different. Also keep in mind seed age, quality (if they were stored properly) and vigor will all change how long it takes for your seeds to sprout and grow.
Cool Season Crops to Direct Seed Before Last Frost:
- 6-8 weeks: arugula, mache, spinach
- 4-6 weeks: peas, radishes, claytonia,
- 3-5 weeks: lettuce, green onions/scallions, radishes, swiss chard, turnips,
- 3-4 weeks: broccoli, broccoli raab, cabbage, brussel sprouts, collards, kale, mizuna, mustards, bok/pak choi,
- 2-4 weeks: carrots, mibuna, parsnips, plant potatoes, tatsoi
- 1-2 weeks: endive, rutabagas
Cool season crops to Direct Seed WITH season extenders (cold frames, hoop tunnels, greenhouse, etc)
- 8-10 weeks: arugula, cabbage, carrots, lettuce, mache, green onions/scallions, spinach, swiss chard,
- 6-8 weeks: broccoli, claytonia, collards, endive, kale, kohl rabi, mizuna, mustards, bok/pak choi, radishes, tatsoi, turnips
- 4-6 weeks: any of the above veggies.
- 2-4 weeks: cauliflower (needs frost protection, there’s the odd variety that can handle cold temps).
Direct Seed AFTER last frost (warm season crops)
1 week after: Beans, corn.
When should you start growing your Transplants?
- 10-12 weeks before last frost: Leeks, onions, celery, celeriac, perennial herbs like oregano, savory, thyme…
- 6-8 weeks: Tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, Brassicas (cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, kale, kohl rabi etc)
- 4-5 weeks: Basil, watermelons/melons
- 2-3 weeks: Summer and winter squash, cucumbers
- 1 week before: Sweet corn
- 1-2 weeks after: fall brassicas going into the ground in June
- 2+weeks: if you plant a fall /winter garden back date from time you need to be transplanting.
When is it safe to Transplant?
- 4-5 weeks before last frost: onion transplants
- 3-4 weeks before last frost: broccoli, leeks, lettuce, mustards
- 2-3 weeks before last frost: cauliflower (needs protection), celery, celeriac, kale, kohl rabi, bok/pak choi
- 1- 2 weeks before last frost: cucumbers*, melons*, peppers*, zucchini*, tomatoes*
- (*this is risky so you definitely NEED frost protection. Eg. Greenhouse, polytunnel, frost fabric..)
Transplant 1 week after last frost:
Eggplant, peppers, tomatoes, melons, peppers, zucchini/summer squash, sweet potatoes, winter squash
Some Seed Starting Tips from Fix.com
Source: Fix.com Blog
Source: Fix.com Blog