The Q&A Archives: "anxious Gardener"

Question: I am a zone 6. Was wondering if I can start to plant seeds for perennials outside NOW and is now a good time to move my existing perennials to different locations (started the garden last spring) or should I wait until the plants have started to come up?

Answer: Starting perennials from seed can be tricky because some of them require a cold chilling period in order to germinate, and some prefer a warm soil temperature. For this reason most perennial seeds end up being started in mid summer with the transplants being set into the gardenor nursery bed in very early fall. You can also, of course, start them earlier if you can meet their germination requirements. I would be cautious about starting the seed outdoors when the soil is still so cold as it may rot. You might wait until approximately your last frost date to try that.

If your soil is workable (not too wet, not frozen) you can transplant most perennials, but in general it is a good idea to wait until they are showing some signs of life. This is usually early to mid spring, or starting about 6 weeks before your expected last frost date.

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