The Q&A Archives: Starting Vegetable Seeds Indoors

Question: I live in the Midwest and want to start my vegetable garden indoors before I transfer it outside. I have tomatos, carrots, peas, greens, melons, onions and peppers. How soon can I start the plants indoors? What is the best way of hardening them for outdoor conditions? David Wagner Madison, WI

Answer: A.Figure out when the average last date of frost is, then count back from that date to determine when to start your seeds. Most seed companies state how many weeks are needed for growth before you plan to set them out. The ideal method for acclimating plants for growth outdoors is to start the seed indoors. When the plants have produced their first set of leaves, move them to a cold frame. If the temperature in the cold frame rises above 75-80, prop the top open.If cold temperature at night go belofw 45, then throw a blanket over the cold frame.

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