This year we tried our hand at starting plants indoors. The idea is to give plants that can’t handle cold temperatures, like Tomatoes, a head start in the growing season. The first day of Spring was March 20th but our last frost date is in the middle of April.
I used this online almanac to figure out when I should begin germinating each plant. I was able to find the last frost date and starting dates for a number of different vegetables by using our zipcode. I also used an online garden planner called Smart Gardener to help with more in depth germination and plant care information.
Per our sources, we began germinating seeds in February, the tail end of winter. By starting plants inside we also had a bit more control over the variables that affect plant growth success:
- There aren’t any wild animals (or chickens and ducks)
- No wind or rain to mess with the seedlings
- No Housemates can walk on them accidentally
- And you can watch over them very closely!
However, by directly sowing in the ground, you can end up producing healthier and more resilient plants because they grow up much more acclimated to their environment and they won’t have to deal with the shock of transplanting. It’s all a matter of preference and needs.
To begin seed starting, we needed a plant’s most basic requirements: light, water and soil — and the seeds, of course!