The Q&A Archives: Seed Starting

Question: It is the end of March in the High Desert and I would like to try my hand at starting seeds indoors. Which vegetables would you recommend to start from seed now with a very hot dry summer expected. I have a limited piece of ground with good morning sun exposure.

Answer: You're wise to get a jump-start on the growing season by starting your seeds indoors now. Most vegetable plants will stop growing when temperatures remain above 100F, so in your gardening region I'd recommend growing veggies in the early spring through early summer and starting a second garden in late summer so the veggies will mature in late autumn. The sun-lovers such as tomatoes, peppers and winter squash may not be happy with just morning sun (regardless of the air temperature), so why not concentrate on veggies that are tolerant of fewer than 6-8 hours of direct sunlight each day? These include carrots, cole crops, scallions, peas, beans, lettuce, spinach and cucumbers. You might want to experiment with the cherry-type tomatoes (they require less sun than their larger cousins) and some of the small summer squash such as patty-pan or crook-neck, that can be harvested when they are 3"-4" in size.

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