About Gardening: Starting Seeds

by Mira Dessy

Hi Mira,
A quick (hopefully simply and not to dumb) gardening question. I would like to start a garden, but is it really necessary to start your plants inside (if not, which ones could you just put the seed into the ground), and if you do start the plants inside, what's a good way to do it? Also, when do you start this process? I'd love to start, but have no clue how to. Thanks for your help.
Trina in Pennsylvania

Dear Trina,
Actually that is not a dumb question. The seeds that need to be planted indoors will indicate on the package that they require an advance start especially if you live in an area where you get significant frost. Even in Pennsylvania, you will probably need to start things like tomatoes indoors to make sure they get a good growth before putting them into the garden.

How early you start them depends on how early you are able to plant them. Usually the package will say how many weeks before your frost free date. You don't want to start the plants too early because then they will get too leggy or too crowded to do well and may not survive being transplanted to the garden. You also don't want to start them too late because then you might not get a crop before you have colder weather.

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