It’s getting to be that most exciting, wonderful time of the year! No, I’m not talking about Christmas time (as great as it is), I’m talking about seed starting time! Excuse me if I come across as being ridiculously excited….. It’s because I am.
Seriously though, it really is one of my favorite times of the year. Starting seeds just fills me with hope and excitement. I eagerly check my starts to see if they’ve sprouted yet. When that first little touch of green bursts forth from the soil, I’m totally elated.
Surely I hope you get as excited as I do about starting seeds!
When to Start Seeds
Find Your Gardening Zone
When do you start your seeds? Well, that all depends on your gardening hardiness zone. If you need to find out your zone (this is based off of your local frost dates), you can do so at the Farmer’s Almanac website. This is going to be your jumping off point to figure out when to plant.
Use This Free and Easy Tool
Now, you can do things the more labor intensive (more brain power) way or you can do it the way I like to do it. Work smarter not harder, right? I love this handy dandy free garden calculator by Seeds for Generations. This little tool has saved me so much time over the years!
Shameless plug for my friends at Seeds for Generations: This is an awesome family owned, heirloom seed company. I love supporting small families. Buying seeds through them is a great way to do just that.
Anyway, back to seed starting. You can use the calculator and simply put in your last frost date and viola! It tells you exactly when to start seeds, direct sow, and transplant seedlings. It’s a great tool and really easy to use. Plus, it’s fun to boot. Can’t beat that.
Or Go the Good Ol’ Fashioned Way
Another method of figuring out your seed starting timeline is to simply look at the seed packet and read when it tells you to start or sow. For example, most tomatoes and peppers say to start them 6-8 weeks before your last spring frost. Grab your calendar, find your last frost date and count back the number of weeks required for that particular seed.
Our hardiness zone is 7a and our last spring frost is projected to be around April 21st. This means that we need to be starting our tomatoes, peppers, and some herbs and flowers now (beginning of March). We will be using a small greenhouse we purchased on clearance to start our seeds.
Go and Get Started
We’ve used a lot of different methods and containers to start our seeds. This year, I think I’m going to start most of my seeds in plastic cups. I can save them and reuse them over and over again. I won’t get into a whole lot of detail on my seed starting equipment, I’ll save that for another post.
Here’s another suggestion that I just want to throw out there. The internet is great for research and learning but there’s a lot to be said about having a real live book in your hands. I have a list of a few must have gardening books if you’d like to check them out. I think you’d really enjoy them.
When I first started gardening, I was easily overwhelmed and confused by all of the information. Once I figured it out, it was easy to do and now I just start seeds on auto pilot.
There’s just something that soothes my soul when I start digging in the dirt and planting seeds. This is an activity that benefits you spiritually, emotionally, and physically. It’s totally a win win kinda thing to do.
As a mama, I love to see how excited my kids get when they plant a seed and then they get to enjoy watching it grow and finally the harvest of their hard work and patience pays off.
It’s your turn now! Get your seeds, get your containers, get your dirt, and GO! Start those seeds!
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Sam Edward says
This is a great and important post. I like your blog and this post. Every gardener think about plant seeds, plant of calendar and right seeds prices. Your post help us for right decision choose them. Thank you for this post.
Sorry, I’m late to the party. Start saving your empty toilet paper rolls. Cut 4 slits in the bottom and fold the flaps together like closing a box for packing. Fill with soil starter, plant your seed. When the seed sprouts and you want to transplant into the garden, open up the bottom and just stick the whole package in the ground. The roll will decompose. I use craft popsicle sticks for plant identification.