HomeGARDENINGSeed GerminationWhen To Start Seeds Indoors For Spring Planting

Starting your own plants from seed is truly an exciting gardening project. There is nothing like the satisfaction of eating a ripe red tomato on a warm summer afternoon that you have started from a mere seed several months before indoors. Yes it may be a little more work than just going to the nursery to choose from all those rows of plants brought in by the truck load but there are many benefits. Starting seeds indoors is a great way to get the jump on spring. It is also a way to get established plant varieties not grown commercially such as heirlooms .

Below Are Some Charts To Help You Get Started

When To Start Fruits And Vegetables Indoors

VegetableDays From Sowing Untill Setting OutDays Before Or After Frost Date To Set Out
Broccoli4 to 6 weeksTwo weeks before
Cabbage4 to 6 weeksFour weeks before
Cantaloupes3 to 4 weeksTwo weeks after
Cauliflower4 to 6 weeksTwo weeks before
Cucumbers3 to 4 weeksOne to two weeks after
Eggplant8 to 10 weeksTTwo to three weeks after
Leeks6 to 8 weeksFour weeks before
Lettuce6 to 8 weeksThree to four weeks before
Okra4 to 6 weeksTwo to four weeks after
Onion6 to 8 weeksFour weeks before
Peppers6 to 14 weeksTwo weeks after
Tomatoes6 to 8 weeksOne to two weeks after

HerbDays From Sowing Untill Setting OutDays Before Or After Frost Date To Set Out
Basil6 weeksOne week after
Chives8 weeksOne week after
Lemon Balm8 weeksThree weeks before
Parsley9 to 10 weeksThree weeks before
Sage8 weeksOne week before
Thyme8 to 10 weeksTwo weeks before

When To Start Annual Flowers Indoors

FlowerDays From Sowing Untill Setting OutDays Before Or After Frost Date To Set Out
Ageratum4 weeksOne week after
Dahlia8 weeksTwo week after
Marigold6 to 8 weeksTwo weeks before
Nicotiana6 to 8 weeksTwo week after
Petunia10 to 12 weeksTwo week after
Snapdragon6 to 8 weeksOne weeks after
Zinnia6 to 8 weeksTwo week after

CityStateGrowing Season (Length in Days)Last Frost SpringFirst Frost Fall
MobileAL272Feb. 27Nov. 26
JuneauAK133May 16Sept. 26
PhoenixAZ308Feb. 5Dec. 15
TucsonAZ273Feb. 28Nov. 29
Pine BluffAR234Mar. 19Nov. 8
EurekaCA324Jan. 30Dec. 15
SacramentoCA289Feb. 14Dec. 1
San FranciscoCA***
DenverCO157May 3Oct. 8
HartfordCT167Apr. 25Oct. 10
WilmingtonDE198Apr. 13Oct. 29
TampaFL338Jan. 28Jan 3
AthensGA224Mar. 28Nov. 8
SavannahGA250Mar. 10Nov. 15
BoiseID153May 8Oct. 9
ChicagoIL187Apr. 22Oct. 26
SpringfieldIL185Apr. 17Oct. 19
IndianapolisIN180Apr. 22Oct. 20
South BendIN169May 1Oct. 18
AtlanticIA141May 9Sept. 28
Cedar RapidsIA161Apr. 29Oct. 7
TopekaKS175Apr. 21Oct. 14
LexingtonKY190Apr. 17Oct. 25
MonroeLA242Mar. 9Nov. 7
New OrleansLA228Feb. 20Dec. 5
PortlandME143May 10Sept. 30
BaltimoreMD231Mar. 26Nov. 13
WorcesterMA172Apr. 27Oct. 17
LansingMI140May 13Sept. 30
MarquetteMI159May 12Oct. 19
DuluthMN122May 21Sept. 21
WillmarMN152May 4Oct. 4
ColumbusMS215Mar. 27Oct. 29
VicksburgMS250Mar. 13Nov. 18
Jefferson CityMO173Apr. 26Oct. 16
Fort PeckMT146May 5Sept. 28
HelenaMT122May 18Sept. 18
BlairNE165Apr. 27Oct. 10
North PlatteNE136May 11Sept. 24
Las VegasNV259Mar. 7Nov. 21
ConcordNH121May 23Sept. 22
NewarkNJ219Apr. 4Nov. 10
CarlsbadNM223Mar. 29Nov. 7
Los AlamosNM157May 8Oct. 13
AlbanyNY144May 7Sept. 29
SyracuseNY170Apr. 28Oct. 16
FayettevilleNC212Apr. 2Oct. 31
BismarckND129May 14Sept. 20
AkronOH168May 3Oct. 18
CincinnatiOH195Apr. 14Oct. 27
LawtonOK217Apr. 1Nov. 5
TulsaPK218Mar. 30Nov. 4
PendletonOR188Apr. 15Oct. 21
PortlandOR217Apr. 3Nov. 7
CarlislePA182Apr. 20Oct. 20
WilliamsportPA168Apr. 29Oct. 15
KingstonRI144May 8Sept. 30
CharlestonSC253Mar. 11Nov. 20
ColumbiaSC211Apr. 4Nov. 2
Rapid CitySD145May 7Sept. 29
MemphisTN228Mar. 23Nov. 7
NashvilleTN207Apr. 5Oct. 29
AmarilloTX197Apr. 14Oct. 29
DentonTX231Mar. 25Nov. 12
San AntonioTX265Mar. 3Nov. 24
Cedar CityUT134May 20Oct. 2
Spanish ForkUT165May 8Oct. 12
BurlingtonVT142May 11Oct. 1
NorfolkVA239Mar. 23Nov. 17
RichmondVA198Apr. 10Oct. 26
SeattleWA232Mar. 24Nov. 11
SpokaneWA153May 4Oct. 5
ParkersburgWV175Apr. 25Oct. 18
Green BayWI143May 12Oct. 2
JanesvilleWI164Apr. 28Oct. 10
CasperWY123May 22Sept. 22

* Frosts do not occur every year.
If you have the notion to start seeds indoors I hope this information was helpful to you.


When To Start Seeds Indoors For Spring Planting — 1 Comment

  1. Just wanted to make sure you saw this opinion-editorial I co-wrote with Urban Harvest for yesterdays Omaha World-Herald about urban and vertical gardening in the heart of Africa’s large slum Kibera in Nairobi, Kenya. Here is the link, post to our blog at the Worldwatch Institute called “Nourishing the Planet”: http://blogs.worldwatch.org/nourishingtheplanet/omaha-world-herald-kenyan-farmers-persevere-despite-cultivation-challenges/

    All the best, Danielle Nierenberg (www.borderjumpers.org)

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