Raising Plants from Seed – Planting Dates

Planting Dates

If you are planting seed to grow the plants out doors, you need to find out what the average dates for the first and last frost for your area. These two dates will help you determine when to plant each kind of seed. Some seed can be planted early and will tolerate some cold, for example, broccoli can be planted in the ground between mid-February and mid-March in my area. This is before our early April date for the last frost. Other varieties, like sweet potatoes, should not be put out until all danger of frost has passed. Check the seed packet, it will usually say something like, “Plant when all danger of frost is past.” Here in the Atlanta area the average date for our last frost in the spring is between March 30 and April 10. In real life, this can vary by two weeks in either direction, so be warned.

Check with your state’s Cooperative Extension service website for gardening publications. They are usually available in PDF format and free for the downloading. For example, I have one named “Vegetable Planting Chart.” It’s a two page chart that, for each variety of each vegetable, lists the days to maturity, the cultivars that grow well here, the Spring and Fall planting dates, and the depth to plant the seed. Although the chart is specific for Georgia, most states have similar publications for their local conditions.

When it comes to actually starting the seed in early spring, you have two basic choices; indoors or out. As I mentioned, some plants don’t do well until the soil has warmed up and all danger of frost is past. Again, your Cooperative Extension Service can help you out here. You can wait to plant or, if you’re like me (impatient), you can try starting them indoors and transplant them outside once the weather is warmer.

To be continued.

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