When To Plant Seeds I - Knowledgebase Question

Davis, CA
Question by pouloz
January 4, 2000
I would like to plant a variety of seeds (veg., annuals & perennials) asap. When can I plant outside or would I be able to start sooner inside? If inside, do the seeds need direct sunlight?


Image
Answer from NGA
January 4, 2000

0

space to accommodate the plants as they grow!


Once they have germinated, most annual seedlings grow nicely at a temperature a bit cooler than the normal room, say 60 or 65 degrees. As they grow you will need to raise the light to keep it within just a few inches of the tops of the plants. Eventually you can move them to a cold frame to harden off or gradually acclimate them to being outdoors over the course of a week or so. When the weather begins to settle, somewhere around your last average frost date you can plant them outside. Keep an eye on them and be prepared to cover them at night if a cold snap hits.


Seed starting is lots of fun and part of the fun is in the experimentation -- gardeners learn something new all the time, so don't feel intimidated. You might find some of the following general (and detailed) information useful:


Seedstarting Made Easy at http://www.gardeners.com/garde...


Seedling Savvy at http://207.201.7.73/nga/articl...


Finally, you can follow principles of successive cropping and even push for a fall crop -- to work out the finer points of this you might look at a few books. One I particularly like for its schedules and suggestions is "Square Foot Gardening" by Mel Bartholomew ISBN 0-87857-340-2 -- amny of the techniques and suggestions work as well in a large garden as in a small one.


Good luck with your garden!




space to accommodate the plants as they grow!


Once they have germinated, most annual seedlings grow nicely at a temperature a bit cooler than the normal room, say 60 or 65 degrees. As they grow you will need to raise the light to keep it within just a few inches of the tops of the plants. Eventually you can move them to a cold frame to harden off or gradually acclimate them to being outdoors over the course of a week or so. When the weather begins to settle, somewhere around your last average frost date you can plant them outside. Keep an eye on them and be prepared to cover them at night if a cold snap hits.


Seed starting is lots of fun and part of the fun is in the experimentation -- gardeners learn something new all the time, so don't feel intimidated. You might find some of the following general (and detailed) information useful:


Seedstarting Made Easy at http://www.gardeners.com/garde...


Seedling Savvy at http://207.201.7.73/nga/articl...


Finally, you can follow principles of successive cropping and even push for a fall crop -- to work out the finer points of this you might look at a few books. One I particularly like for its schedules and suggestions is "Square Foot Gardening" by Mel Bartholomew ISBN 0-87857-340-2 -- amny of the techniques and suggestions work as well in a large garden as in a small one.


Good luck with your garden!




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