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Friday, February 3, 2012

Seed Starting Schedule - Start Planning Now!

If you're planning to start any or all of your gardening items from seed this year, now is the time to start planning your planting schedule!  In fact, depending on your location, you might be behind the ball already.

Johnny's Selected Seeds has a really nice seed starting calculator to get you started.  You simply enter the date of your last frost, and it gives you indoor seed starting dates and outdoor planting dates for transplant.

Johnny's Seed Starting Calculator

I created an Excel spreadsheet containing all the things I would be planting, along with the first seed starting date and the first "set out" date that the seed calculator gives me.  Then, Some seeds that I have were not listed (some of the herbs, for example) so I had to do a little extra research.  I then made a few adjustments to the schedule so I was planting certain things at the same time, and I've scheduled almost everything for a transplant date of April 27, which is one week after my last frost.  This allows me to set things out early if I need to (if they are getting too large for their starting container).  It's okay to set out transplants early as long as you keep them protected from the possible cold.

Ultimately, I came up with the following schedule:

  • LAST WEEK - plant Thyme and Foxglove.  I'm a little behind on the Foxglove, I will plant that Monday probably.
  • February 24 - Plant eggplant and peppers.  These items will not be planted outdoors until May 4th, and this will give them 10 weeks to get established.  I will start them in small peat pellets, and transplant them into 4" pots after about 6 weeks probably.
  • March 2 - HERB DAY!  I will start Parsley, Mexican Mint Marigold, Catnip, Oregano, Chives, Cilantro, and Dill.
  • March 16 - Tomato, Basil, and Pole Beans
  • March 30 - Cucumber, Pumpkin, and Zucchini, along with my two flowering vines, Morning Glory and Cardinal Climber.
I've already direct sown my lettuce, spinach, green onions, and yellow onions under a cold frame in one of my raised beds, and my peas have already been sown in another raised bed.  I will also probably direct-sow my carrots sometime in late February (NC State says I can plant them from February 15-March 1).

So, aside from getting my Foxgloves started ASAP, I have four big planting dates - February 24, March 2, March 16, and March 30.


  1. You'll be planting, rain or shine?

  2. Indoors yes ;)

    Technically April 27 is a Friday .. but since last frost is April 20th I may plant anytime that week or the weekend, who knows! I won't likely put seedlings out if rain is forecast except for some of the sturdier seedlings - like the peppers last year after 10 weeks were quite solid and could easily handle a rainfall.