A Schedule For Seeds & Cuttings on Cape Cod

A Schedule For Seeds & Cuttings on Cape Cod

When it comes to starting seeds indoors, timing is everything.

In February our customers frequently want to know if it’s too early to start their tomato seeds. They ask if it’s OK to begin to grow other vegetable plants and flowers inside. Some seeds can be started quite early indoors while others are best left until May. Many seeds don’t have to be started inside at all, but can be placed directly into the ground.To help with the timing, I’ve made this chart that will remind those in this area about when to start commonly grown seeds, and when to begin waking up semi-dormant annuals.

Mid to Late-February: Start pepper seeds inside under lights. Take cuttings from geraniums or other annuals and tropicals that you’re overwintering inside, and place them in pots of seed-starting mix.

Early to Mid-March: Start tomato seeds if you have lights or a greenhouse. Do not start them this early if you only have a bright window, however. You can also start cool-weather crops such as broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts and cabbage under lights at this time.

Mid to Late-March: Start eggplant seeds and seeds for most perennials. In late-March you can start tomato seeds that will grow on in windows. As seedlings under lights grow, raise the fixtures so that the bulbs are kept 3 to 5 inches above the plants.

Early to Mid-April: If you want to get a head start on dahlia flowers, pot them up and place them in a sunny location now. Plant peas and lettuce outside in the ground. Move broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts and cabbage seedlings gradually to the outdoors and plant them once they are hardened off.

Mid to Late-April: Start zinnias and other annuals under lights or in windows. Bring potted cannas and other tropicals out of the basement and place in front of a sunny window.

Do not start cucumbers, squash, peas, beans, lettuce or root crops inside. Plant these seeds directly into the garden.

If tomato seeds are started too early or don’t get enough light they will grow tall and weak. These seedlings are sturdy because they are getting 14 hours of light a day from gro-lights.

Here are flats of tomato seedlings getting a head start in my basement. There is a fan to the side of these plants that comes on and off with a timer so that they are kept sturdy and have good air circulation.

Lettuce is really best grown directly in the ground. Depending on the season, we can plant lettuce seeds in the ground in late-March or early April in this area.

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