Organic Vegetable Gardening in An Urban Setting

When to Start Your Seeds

This chart will help you to determine when you should be starting your seed indoors and when you should be able to get the seedlings into your patio, garden, window box; or balcony. Remember that as you go up in elevation in a high rise that your growing zone changes for the worse and so does your frost date by a few days or so.

The frost date for your town is probably listed in one of the charts here on the site. You can quickly access them in the list on the right hand side of the page. Write it down in your garden journal and use it in the chart below. If you need more information; or a journal of your own, check out the Garden Design page and gardenjournal.pdf.

#  Write your frost-free date in the blank space at the top of the chart.
# Get a calendar and add or subtract the number of weeks in the "Safe to Set Out Time" column. This is the "Setting Out Date" when you can safely plant the crop to the garden. Write it in the last column.
# Take each date from Column 5 ("Setting Out Date"), subtract the number of weeks shown for that crop in column 3 ("Weeks from Sowing") and record that date in column 2 ("When to Start Inside").

YOUR SEED-STARTING PLAN
The Spring Frost-Free Date in My Garden is_______________
CROP WHEN TO
START INSIDE

WEEKS
FROM SOWING

SAFE TO SET OUT TIME (RELATIVE TO FROST-FREE DATE) SETTING OUT DATE
Basil 6 1 week after
Beets* 4-6 2 weeks before
Broccoli 4-6 2 weeks before
Cabbage 4-6 4 weeks before
Cauliflower 4-6 2 weeks before
Collards 4-6 4 weeks before
Corn* 2-4 0 to 2 weeks after
Cucumber 3-4 1 to 2 weeks after
Eggplant 8-10 2 to 3 weeks after
Kale 4-6 4 weeks before
Kohlrabi* 4-6 4 weeks before
Lettuce 4-5 3 to 4 weeks before
Melons 3-4 2 weeks after
Mustard* 4-6 4 weeks before
Okra* 4-6 2 to 4 weeks after
Onions 6-8 4 weeks before
Parsley 9-10 2 to 3 weeks before
Peas* 3-4 6 to 8 weeks before
Peppers 6-14 2 weeks after
Pumpkins 3-4 2 weeks after
Spinach 4-6 3 to 6 weeks before
Squash 3-4 2 weeks after
Swiss chard 4-6 2 weeks before
Tomatoes 6-8 1 to 2 weeks after
* These crops are usually direct-seeded outdoors, but they can be started inside.

 

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