This post is the fourth in a series on seeds. In this series we'll cover everything from the importance of seeds, how to save seeds, how to start seeds, correct storage and so much more!
Today we are going to talk about how to calculate the dates for when you should plant your seeds, and the difference between direct sowing and starting seeds indoors.
You can find part 1-3 of this series here:
So, you've learned how to select suitable seeds & plants for your garden but WHEN do you plant it all? First lets quickly cover the two main ways to grow garden seeds: starting indoors or direct sowing
For certain plants that require a lot of time to mature, such as tomatoes, you need to start your seeds indoors to give them a head start. In addition to this, some seeds can be started indoors or they can be directly sown after all chances of frost have passed. This would include cucumbers and squash.
Some plants do not transplant well and need to be directly sown into the ground. Others grow quickly enough that it is the preferred method (and easiest). Some are cold tolerant and should be planted as soon as the ground can be worked while others are frost sensitive and should be planted after all chances of frost has gone. Plants that are directly sown include: corn, peas, carrots, beets & beans.
To help me figure out how and when to start all of my seeds, I use a garden planner. The planner tells us when to start our seeds indoors, which ones we can direct sow in the garden and when all of this needs to happen. It is also helpful when trying to determine how much seed to order.
How does it work?
A planner calculates your expected first and last frost dates, the time frame that each time of seed requires to mature, and gives you a starting date. With a planner you'll determine things like:
- how many weeks before last frost to start your seeds indoors
- when to direct sow: before or after first frost
- how many crops you can get in each season through succession planting
The time frame for each particular seed will be written on your seed packet. You can create your own planner using graph paper and spreadsheets, or you can used special gardening software or pre-made spreadsheets and templates that others have created.
I personally prefer the Grow Veg Garden Planner. This tool remembers my garden measurements as well as all of my previous garden maps, so I can jump right in quickly get started with my plans. It is also useful when mapping out garden rotation and remembering where you had planted everything the year before. All of the documents are printable and I find I need maps in front of me to remember where everything should go. I am not one for fancy tools but this planner has proven to be excellent. Actual gardeners must be behind the making of it! Note: I am mentioning the garden planner because I love it - I have NO affiliation with them.
Here is a list of planners for you to try out.
Grow Veg Garden Planner On-line Garden Tool You can use this free for 7 days but if you want to save your plans from year to year it costs: One Year Subscription: $29 (£19 / €27 / AU$39
Building a greener, more beautiful world one seed at a time.
Homesteading | Gardening | Frugal Living | Preserving Food| From Scratch Cooking|
You can also find me at: walkerland.ca
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