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Picking the right time to start seeds

Do some research BEFORE you buy packets of whatever suits your fancy. Timing is essential in seedstarting – you want to time it so that you can plant out the seedlings/plants at precisely the right time. There’s no point starting seeds too late into the season eg squashes like pumpkin take a while to ‘mature’ so if you wait too long into the season to start your seeds, you may not get the bumper crop that you would’ve if you had planned it right from the start. On the other hand, some plants have initial growth spurts eg sunflowers so if you start them too early and put them out, the weather may not be warm enough for them to flourish and you could end up with poorly plants or worse still dead ones. Most seed packets have recommended seedstarting times – these can vary between states (some states are still thawing out when others are well into the start of spring so work with your climate. Just something to keep in mind, if you have the luxury of a greenhouse or a heated sun room where you are starting your seeds, take a week off the recommended planting date – the heat will stimulate growth so you may find that they’ll be ready for transplanting before you know it.

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