Starting Seeds - The How, When and Where

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Photo of starting seeds And life begins for a seedling

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Starting Vegetable Seeds

Seeds can be either direct sown to the garden or sown and raised indoors in a controlled environment for later transplanting as seedlings to the open garden.

So before you rip out into the garden and threw some seed in the ground or go to the trouble of diligently sowing seed in flats or seed cells, it is best to find out what the different types of vegetable plants require for both good germination and growing trouble free towards a successful harvest.

Unfortunately there is no cut and dried answer to which should be started where for every garden situation in every area in the country. However there are some basic guidelines that will help and the two lists below will make the job a lot easier .

Starting Seeds indoors [image list]

Starting Seeds outdoors [image list]

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Sowing Seeds At The Right Time

Timing is the secret to successful vegetable gardening. While a seed might germinate well when sown, if the timing is wrong the crop may never reach maturity before conditions become unfavorable.

Plants can be broken roughly into two groups, cool season vegetables and warm season vegetables

Cool season vegetables

These vegetables prefer cool growing temperatures 50-75 F (10-24 C) The seed of most vegetables in this category will germinate at temperature between 40-50 F (4-10 C). Early spring sowing is common for most of these vegetables, however many will produce as well if not better when sow in midsummer so they mature in the cool weather of fall.

Follow this link for more on cool season vegetables.

Warm season vegetables

The vegetables that fall into this category love warmth and the sun, require growing temperatures, above 60 F (16 C) preferring consistent temperatures of 70-95 F (21-35 C). While these vegetables can only be grown in the summer in most areas, successive plantings throughout the growing season will ensure a continuous supply.

Follow this link for more on warm season vegetables.

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More Pages On Seed Raising

Starting vegetable seeds indoors

While any seed can be sown directly into the garden, there are many, which for one reason or another, are better started indoors. It could be climate, season length or to .........

Starting vegetable seeds in flats

Starting seeds in flats and trays is a little extra work in that they will need to be pricked out into seed cells or individual pots later on. The main reason for using this method.......

Starting vegetable seeds in cells and pots

The methods and care of sowing seeds in seed cells and pots differs only slightly from sowing seeds in flats and trays. There are advantages.......

Starting vegetable seeds in peat pellets-soil blocks

Growing seedlings using any of the seed starting pellet types are an excellent way for a novice or......

For more detailed information on where individual vegetable are best started in your particular situation go to Alphabetical List of Vegetables.

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Cool Season Vegetables
BroccoliBrussel SproutsCabbage
CarrotsCauliflowerChinese Cabbage
LeeksLettuceMustard Greens
Swiss ChardTurnips
Warm Season Vegetables
EggplantMelonsNew Zealand Spinach
Southern PeasSquash SummerSquash Winter
Sweet CornSweet PotatoTomatoes
Seeds Able to Germinate Indoors
ArugulaBroccoliBrussel Sprouts
MelonsMustard GreensNew Zealand Spinach
Squash SummerSquash WinterSwiss Chard

The list above is all the vegetables covered on this site that can be sown indoors and raised under controlled conditions that will later successfully transplant as seedling to the main garden.

Seeds Best to Direct Sow
RutabagaSouthern PeasSweet Corn

Unlike planting seeds indoors there is less decision making regarding what vegetable seeds should be direct sown to the garden. Regardless of your desire to kick start the growing season, most of these vegetables will not transplant very well and should always be direct sow into the garden.

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