Timing for Starting Seeds - Knowledgebase Question

Teaneck, NJ
Question by rubinl
November 16, 1997
I would like to start vegetable seeds indoors in late winter/early spring. When is the best time to begin to grow seedlings indoors? The vegetables I am interested in growing are tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and possibly hyacinth beans.
Also are there any plants that will attract natural predators for insect pests?


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Answer from NGA
November 16, 1997

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Tomato and pepper seeds should be sown 6-8 weeks before the last expected frost date for your area; sow eggplant seeds 8-9 wks prior to last frost date. Your County Extension Office (ph# 201/599-6162) can give you your approximate last frost date. Sow the hyacinth beans directly into the garden once the soil warms up.

There are quite a few plants that attract beneficial predators; try some of my favorite flowers: marigold, red cosmos, yarrow, tansy, angelica. Herbs more to your liking? These herbs have the added benefit of attracting beneficial predators: anise, coriander, cumin, dill, lavender, mint, rosemary, pineapple sage, thyme, caraway, winter savory. P.S. Lavender, mint, pineapple sage, winter savory, and thyme are perennial. Dill and coriander readily reseed.
(You can place seed orders for the 1998 season starting the last week of December; you can either order through the web site or call Burpee at 1-800-888-1447.)

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