The easy exciting part about seed starting? Picking new things to grow this year! If you’re new to gardening… you may think that seed starting is a no brainer. But it takes a little bit of planning to be successful. What kind of containers should I grow in? What soil do I use? Can I grow the seedlings in a window sill? What is a germination mat? Do I start my seeds all at the same time? Should I use a planting calendar? How do I create my own calendar? I could go on and on… So let’s get to it!
But before you begin, let’s go over some important information about seed starting:
- We review containers to use, lighting, soil for seed starting and germination mat information here: Seed Starting 101 Video
- You must know the last frost date for your area: Need to find yours? Click here: Frost Date
- Seeds do not get started all at the same time! Each seed packet will tell you when to start your seed indoors for transplanting later. Generally, the categories are 3-4 weeks before your last frost date, 4-6 weeks, 6-8 weeks and 10-12 weeks. If it says Direct Seed, they must be planted directly in the ground, no head start for those seeds! Watch here to learn how to calculate your seed starting date: Seed Starting Dates
- I highly recommend a seed starting calendar. There are tools online that make it incredibly easy: Awaytogarden.com has an amazing planting calendar (and it’s printable!). I use this every year. You plug in your last frost date and it will calculate when to start different types of seed and when to transplant your seedlings outdoors too. Hint: you don’t always have to wait until after your threat of frost has passed! For the kids, you can make a fun project out of it! We used a 2018 Dr. Suess Calendar to do Blake’s! See our process here: Seed Starting Calendar
- Research your seeds and know your climate. We use organic seed companies and look for seeds that our adapted for our climate. We are in zone 5b New York, so a vegetable that does best in a Southern California climates is NOT on our list. Here are our favorite organic seed sites: High Mowing Organic Seeds, Fruition Seeds, Siskiyou Seeds among others.
Once you have all of your supplies and seed packs, you are ready to get growing! More questions? Ask them below! Follow along with us on our journey this season! It will be packed with helpful hints, how-to’s and fun for the kids! Our first seeds get started mid-late February! Yes, February! Stay tuned!