Quick Answer: When Should I Start Seeds Outside?

Is it too early to plant seeds outside?

However, January is far too early to start most seeds and sowing seeds too early is just as bad, maybe worse, than starting them too late.

First there is too little light at this time of year – If you rely on a sunny windowsill to start your seeds, you want to wait a little longer to start seed sowing..

At what temperature can you put seedlings outside?

Example: if it’s sunny and over 50 degrees, you can put your summer seedlings outdoors in direct light, being careful not to let them get sunburned if they’ve never been exposed to direct light before (*see #8 below).

Can you use garbage bags to cover plants?

Never use plastic of any kind, including black plastic garbage bags, to cover plants, as plastic conducts cold to the leaves and will increase the likelihood of damage to the plant. Old sheets, blankets, drop cloths and special frost protection blankets (called Reemay cloth or floating row covers) work best.

What month is best to grow vegetables?

Cool-season vegetables grow best in early spring or in late summer and autumn when the weather is cooler. Warm-season vegetables grow best during the late spring, summer, and early autumn when the weather is warm. Cool-season crops must mature while the weather is cool otherwise they will go to seed.

What temperature will kill seedlings?

Freeze Warning – This is issued when there is at least an 80% chance that the temperature will hit 32 degrees Fahrenheit or lower. Light freeze – 29° to 32° Fahrenheit will kill tender plants. Moderate freeze – 25° to 28° Fahrenheit is widely destructive to most vegetation.

How do you keep seedlings warm outside?

Surround plants with water-filled bottles, which will absorb heat during the day then release it at night, warming the air around your plants. This is especially effective within a greenhouse, tunnel or cold frame. You can also fill plastic bottles with hot water on cold nights to protect seedlings.

Should you put seedlings in the sun?

Acclimate seedlings to direct sunlight. Hardening off in a cold frame acclimates the seedlings to conditions outdoors. Before seedlings can be planted outdoors, they need to be hardened off, or acclimated to direct sunlight and fluctuating temperatures.

What do I do after my seeds sprout?

Once the seeds have sprouted, remove the cover. When the seedlings are young, you may want to re-cover them for a few hours a day to keep them from drying out. Over many years of growing my own plants, one thing that really helped me out was using a turkey baster to water the young seedlings.

How deep do you plant seeds?

The rule of thumb is to plant seeds at a depth equal to two or three times their width. It’s better to plant seeds too shallow than too deep. Some seeds, such as certain Lettuces or Snapdragon, need light to germinate and shouldn’t be covered at all.

Can you start seedlings outside?

Growing seeds indoors is one way of starting your garden. Another option is to tuck seeds directly into soil outdoors. Planting seeds this way is called direct sowing, and it’s an easy process that yields great results.

What is the best time to start seeds?

The best time to start seeds is usually late March to late May. Only the southern zones are suitable for starting plants from seed in the earlier months. Give the plant enough time to germinate and grow to an appropriate transplant size.

How do I protect my seedlings outside?

Drape clear plastic or garden fleece over recently sown blocks or rows of young seedlings. Individual plants can be protected with squares of plastic or fleece cut to size, or by using purpose-sold cloches. Alternatively, make your own from clear plastic drinks bottles.

Will one night of frost kill my plants?

A light frost may cause minimal damage while a severe frost may kill plants. Young, vulnerable plants are much more susceptible to a light freeze, which occurs when temperatures are 29 to 32 degrees Fahrenheit, while mature plants may only suffer from short-term effects.

Is it OK to plant seeds at night?

Starting With Seeds Seeds need warm, moist soil in order to germinate. While you can plant seeds in morning or evening, your seeds will not germinate if the ground remains cool due to extreme nighttime lows or extended periods of cool and cloudy days.

How often should I water outdoor seedlings?

Usually when the first inch (2.5 cm.) or so of soil is dry, it’s a good indication that watering is needed. In summer, watering outdoor potted plants is necessary daily (and even twice a day) for most species, especially when temperatures reach over 85 degrees F.

How early can I plant seeds?

When to Plant SeedsType of plantNumber of weeks before last spring frost date to start seeds indoorEarliest date to transplant hardened off seedlings outside relative to last spring frost datePumpkin1-22 weeks afterSquash1-22 weeks afterSwiss Chard6-82 weeks beforeTomato6-81 week after12 more rows

When should I put my seedlings outside?

You can start to harden off your seedlings once they’ve grown at least two to three sets of leaves. At that point, they’re mature enough to move outside. About 7 to 10 days before your seedlings are ready to be transplanted, take them outside and leave them in the shade for a few hours in the morning or afternoon.

How cold is too cold for seedlings outside?

Hardy vegetables tolerate cold temperatures the best—their seeds will germinate in cool soil, and seedlings can typically survive heavy frost. Plant these seeds or transplants two to three weeks before the date of the average last spring frost; they will grow in daytime temperatures as low as 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

Can you use egg cartons to start seeds?

You can use egg cartons as a seed-starting tray! Depending on the type of carton you have, you can even cut apart the individual sections and plant them, as the carton will biodegrade. Be sure to poke small holes for drainage, and put the cartons on a tray or in a shallow pan to catch any residual water.

Can I plant flower seeds now?

Native and Flower Seeds The best time to plant is August-November, but they can be planted from August-April. Seeds germinate better if planted outside by using the winter weather to break the seed dormancy.