Northern Gardening forum: When do you start your seeds?

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Name: Deb
Buffalo, Minnesota (Zone 4b)
Region: Minnesota Birds Cactus and Succulents Hostas Hummingbirder
dmurray407
Feb 2, 2014 9:40 AM CST
Just curious, when do you start your tomato and pepper seeds indoors (under lights with heat mats)? I've always started my peppers about 12 weeks before my last frost date (I go with Mother's Day here in zone 4, depending on the weather and how much I like the plants), and the tomatoes somewhere between 8-12 weeks. I know the recommended time is 8 weeks for both, but it seems like the peppers need a little extra time. I'm coming up on that 12 week mark this month (yay!!!).
Deb
Name: Joanne
Calgary, AB Canada (Zone 3a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Region: Canadian Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Roses
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Joannabanana
Feb 2, 2014 10:38 AM CST
I agree Deb, the peppers seem to need at least 12 weeks. I usually start peppers early to mid Feb and tomatoes late Feb early March. The seedlings get moved into a heated greenhouse the 2nd week of March.
Name: Deb
Buffalo, Minnesota (Zone 4b)
Region: Minnesota Birds Cactus and Succulents Hostas Hummingbirder
dmurray407
Feb 2, 2014 12:12 PM CST
Joanne, when is your "last" frost?
Deb
Name: Joanne
Calgary, AB Canada (Zone 3a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Region: Canadian Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Roses
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Annuals Container Gardener Vegetable Grower Winter Sowing Enjoys or suffers cold winters
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Joannabanana
Feb 2, 2014 12:22 PM CST
Average last frost is May 23 and first frost is Sept 15. I usually use Mother's Day as my reference date though
[Last edited by Joannabanana - Feb 2, 2014 12:24 PM (+)]
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Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
Charter ATP Member Region: Canadian Bulbs Winter Sowing Enjoys or suffers cold winters Lilies
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CarolineScott
Feb 19, 2014 5:59 AM CST
Yes, peppers take longer.
I am going to start mine this week under lights.
Some flowering plants too which take longer.
Coleus does not need longer time, but I want larger plants so will start them under lights also.
Name: Reid
North Branch, MN (Zone 4b)
Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Anderwood
Feb 19, 2014 12:34 PM CST
I started winter sowing two weeks ago, and have been adding more milk jugs to the mix as they become available. I planted lettuce, spinach, broccoli, and the following flowers: Calendula, Sweet Alyssum, Candy Tuft, and Asters.

I have onions, Basil, and Parsley under lights right now.

I won't start tomatoes until April 15. Peppers sometime late March.
Name: Deb
Buffalo, Minnesota (Zone 4b)
Region: Minnesota Birds Cactus and Succulents Hostas Hummingbirder
dmurray407
Feb 20, 2014 10:41 AM CST
Anderwood said:I started winter sowing two weeks ago, and have been adding more milk jugs to the mix as they become available. I planted lettuce, spinach, broccoli, and the following flowers: Calendula, Sweet Alyssum, Candy Tuft, and Asters.

I have onions, Basil, and Parsley under lights right now.

I won't start tomatoes until April 15. Peppers sometime late March.


Reid, you can wintersow this late? I thought it was usually done in January or so. Every year I tell myself I have to learn more about it because my indoor space is so limited. Tell me more:)
Deb
Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
Charter ATP Member Region: Canadian Bulbs Winter Sowing Enjoys or suffers cold winters Lilies
Peonies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Garden Ideas: Master Level
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CarolineScott
Feb 20, 2014 1:36 PM CST
You could "wintersow" perennials and/or biennials all year round.
Some annuals too. And you might need to protect the plants for the first winter.
Name: Deb
Buffalo, Minnesota (Zone 4b)
Region: Minnesota Birds Cactus and Succulents Hostas Hummingbirder
dmurray407
Feb 20, 2014 2:51 PM CST
Hmmmm......opens up an entire world of new possibilities!
Deb
Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
Charter ATP Member Region: Canadian Bulbs Winter Sowing Enjoys or suffers cold winters Lilies
Peonies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Garden Ideas: Master Level
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CarolineScott
Feb 20, 2014 7:58 PM CST
I have done Sweet William in the summer, and then had plants to set out the following spring.
I did try wintersowing tomatoes in March---but they sprouted in June, and just as frost came they grew green tomatoes. Our season is too short!
It probably is good for perennials and biennials.
Name: Reid
North Branch, MN (Zone 4b)
Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Anderwood
May 13, 2014 9:23 AM CST
I just planted my squash seeds indoors.
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
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Weedwhacker
May 16, 2014 2:11 PM CST
Like Reid, I start my peppers around the end of March, tomatoes in mid April; they start out under lights in the house (in a closet, actually), then get moved the greenhouse once they're at least a few inches tall and as the weather gets warm enough. I generally plant out in the garden at the beginning of June and protect the tomatoes by wrapping the cages with clear plastic, and cover the peppers with Reemay over hoops. Years ago I did start my plants earlier, but they always seemed to get pretty unruly by the time I was planting out, so tried the timing I use now and found that my smaller plants always seem to make up for the lost time once they get set in the ground -- must be the compost I always give them a good dose of at planting time! Smiling
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