Thursday, March 1, 2012

Have you started your seeds yet?

Have you started your seeds yet? When is your target planting date?

It's still too early for me, I won't start mine until the 4th week of March. That may not seem like enough time for the plants to mature, but having a heat mat and grow light really accelerates plant growth. They cut off at least a week's worth of time, if not more, from the seed sowing schedule. Last year was my first year with a grow light and I underestimated its effect on the seedlings. They got so large before the weather warmed up that I had to stop fertilizing them in order to slow their growth.

My target planting date is mid May. Given how mild the winter has been though, things might warm up sooner this year. I'll wait and see what the next few months bring and reassess my schedule by May 1st. If the overnight soil temperature in the containers is warm enough I'll move up my schedule, if not I can wait.

I've come to realize there's no point in hustling plants outside, no matter how eager you are to start gardening. If it's too cold for the plants they'll just sit there and sulk until it warms up. You can even permanently stunt the growth of certain vegetable varieties if you put them out too early. It's better to be safe than sorry, waiting one or two weeks to put plants out doesn't hurt.

Hmmm, maybe I should add that to my rooftop vegetable gardening tips. What do you think?

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  1. I have done some winter sowing. I plan to start sowing indoors soon. Hopefully in a week!

  2. I started leeks a month ago, and tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, ground cherry a week ago, per the directions on the seed packets. I'm in Manhattan...and after reading your post, I'm nervous I started them too early. Thoughts?

    1. I've never grown leeks, broccoli or ground cherry from seed before so I don't know about those, but I definitely think the tomatoes and peppers were started a little early. Don't worry about it though, I did the same thing my 1st year gardening. You have time to make a course correction though, start a few more tomato & pepper seeds in the next week or two. Any extras you have just give away to friends.

    2. Good to hear. Thanks for the advice!! Much appreciated.

    3. No problem! Keep in mind every garden is different, your balcony may warm up faster than my roof, so you may be able to planter sooner.

  3. I started my spinach and dill yesterday. I'm going to start my peppers and tomatoes, this weekend. Hoping that they'll be ready to dispense, come the beginning of May.

    Happy growing!


Thanks for sharing your thoughts!