Seeds To Plant Right In The Ground

Seeds To Plant Right In The Ground

Some seeds get started indoors (more on this in next week’s blog) and others get placed right in the ground. In this post we’re talking about some common seeds that are great to purchase at this time of year but get planted directly in the ground at the end of May. Why discuss May planting at the end of February? Because some seeds sell out quickly, and it’s good to plan ahead knowing that you’ll have the plants you want in your garden in the coming year.

Here is a list of common vegetables and flowers that are easily grown by putting seeds directly in the ground. 

Vegetables: Root crops such as carrots, turnips, beets and radishes. Peas and beans. Summer and winter squash (if you’re not buying small plants) and greens such as lettuce, chard, arugula and other salad greens. Plant peas, lettuce and chard seeds in April or early May.  Root crops can be planted in early May on the Cape. Beans and squash seed can be put in the ground at the end of May.

Seeds for root crops get placed right in the ground.

Peas and beans do best when planted right in the ground. On Cape Cod forget about planting peas on Saint Patrick’s Day…early April is better here because the ground is slightly warmer. Peas planted too early will rot in our wet, cold soils.

Flowers: Sunflowers, nasturtiums, annual poppies (corn and California poppies for example) and alyssum are three common flowers that do best when planted from seed right in the ground.

Place nasturtium seeds in the ground in late May. Note that there are two types of Nasturtiums – vining and compact. Choose the variety that is best for the area where you’re planting.

Although Zinnia seeds can be easily grown by putting them right in the ground, often our late-May and early June weather can be damp and cool at night. This can rot Zinnia seeds before they even sprout. If you want to plant Zinnias right in the ground wait until early June to do so. Over the years I’ve done both…placed seeds in the ground and started them inside in six packs. If I want to be sure to get some varieties to sprout and grow, I’ll start them inside and transplant them into the garden in early June.

If you want to learn more about starting plants from seed, there is still room in our Propagation Workshop and other classes coming up this spring. See our events page for details.


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