Ready for Seed Starting
Starting seeds indoors is a great (and inexpensive) way to fill your garden. It gives you a great opportunity to try new and different varieties of plants, as well as experiment with planting times.

The first thing you will need to do is decide what to plant. If this is your first time sowing seeds, a good plant to try is marigolds: they germinate quickly and are not too picky about their conditions. For the more experienced gardener this is the time to explore the seed racks and see what’s new.

Take the time to read the seed packets as they contain a lot of important information. The key things to look for are the planting date (often listed as how many weeks before the last frost) and if you are growing vegetables or fruits, the days to maturity.

Start Indoors: Plant:
10 weeks before last frost
Celery, eggplant, leeks, onion, peppers, impatiens, lobelia, verbena and perennials 
8 weeks before last frost
Early head lettuce, begonia, coleus, nicotiana, petunia, salvia 
7 weeks before last frost
Tomatoes and early basil 
6 weeks before last frost Early leaf lettuce, early cabbages, cauliflower, broccoli, brussels sprouts, kohlrabi, kale, and small seeded annuals.
4 weeks before last frost Melon, late basil, cucumber, squash, pumpkin, large-seeded annuals, and flowering vines.
2 weeks before last frost Corn, tender bulbs such as glads, and annual vines such as morning glory
Week of last frost
DIRECT SEED beans, carrots cauliflower, cucumber, squashes, heat-loving flowers such as zinnias, marigold, and lavatera. Transplant tomaotes, cauliflower, squash and cucumbers.
1-2 weeks after last frost
DIRECT SEED lima beans, soybeans, melons and herbs such as basil, summer savory and sweet marjoram. Start second crop of kale seedlings, and reseed spinach and peas for second crop


One of the most common mistakes made with seeds is starting them too early. While it may seem like a good idea to get a head start, your plants may become leggy or spindly, leading to weaker plants. Unless you are prepared to transplant your seedlings into larger pots, it is best to stick to the suggested timelines.

March 03, 2021 — Kaitlin Thatcher