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Seed Starting Times

Typically, seeds are started indoors eight to ten weeks before the last frost (depending on the information on your seed packet). To find out your area’s last-frost date, you can consult a friendly local gardener, read the Farmer’s Almanac, or call a cooperative extension system office. (A list of your local offices is available at www.csrees.usda.gov/Extension/index.html.)

The average seed starting timeframe is eight to ten weeks, from humble beginnings in seed cells to facing the great outdoors. Of course, the actual date when you start your seeds will vary from season to season and also with the area in which you live. In a cold, late season for example, it is beneficial to start later than usual, as seeds started earlier will probably suffer from the untypical cold weather they experience. Later sowings will often catch up and do just as well as early sowings made in cold weather, which may have to struggle just to keep going. Likewise, in cold Northern areas you may have to sow several weeks later than in warmer areas for the same reason.

Make sure you read the information on the seed packet. It will tell you when to start your seeds and what they need in the way of soil and air temperature, humidity and light, as well as any special pre-planting treatment.


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