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Beginner Vegetables: Begin early spring veggies indoors or not?

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Peckhaus
Long Island, NY
(Zone 7a)

March 5, 2008
12:50 AM

Post #4623271

This year I am trying some early spring veggies and was wondering which of them, if any or all, should be started indoors. I looked in PlantFiles which seems to offer beginning indoors and direct sowing as options for most of the following:

Red Russian Kale
Cherry Belle Radish
Space Spinach
Chioggia Beet
Sorrel
Upland Cress
Sugar Snap Beans
Buttercrunch Lettuce
Early Dividend Broccoli

What is preferable?
Farmerdill
Augusta, GA
(Zone 8a)


March 5, 2008
1:16 AM

Post #4623380

While it is technically possible to start any plants inside, It is really worthwhile only for high producing plants or plants where you only need a taste. The Buttercrunch lettuce and Early Dividend broccoli would be the ones I would start indoors. All the others are best direct sown, altho the spinach transplants well if you only need a bit for salads. You don't get a lot per plant. Upland cress only works for me direct sown in late summer for early spring harvest.
Peckhaus
Long Island, NY
(Zone 7a)

March 5, 2008
1:42 AM

Post #4623488

Thanks, Farmerdill! I read your posting on another thread about setting out seed as soon as the soil can be worked. Our soil is softening a bit now; however, I have read in planting tables based on the last frost date that I should wait a few more weeks for most of the veggies in the post above. Were the seeds to go in earlier, how are their germination prospects affected if the ground freezes again?

Lots to learn - first and foremost, timing!

Thanks again.
Farmerdill
Augusta, GA
(Zone 8a)


March 5, 2008
2:08 AM

Post #4623600

Once night times temps climb into the 20's and the daytime temps above freezing, you should not have ground refreeze. On long island, I woudl think that as soon as you could push a spading fork eight inches the ground, the danger of refreezing would be over. The next criteria would br that it is dry enoght. You don't want to work soil that is wet (soggy) Allof the listed veggies are frost proof, standing temps well down into the 20's. Judging by other Z7a locations on the east coast, I would think you could start planting in March. Last frost date is for summer vegetables, like corn, tomatoes, beans, squash and the like.
Peckhaus
Long Island, NY
(Zone 7a)

March 7, 2008
12:19 AM

Post #4631312

Farmerdill,

Should I nick or soak the brocolli seeds before sowing them indoors? Am getting everything prepared this evening...

What about beans and peas that are direct sowed? Do they need to be soaked?

Farmerdill
Augusta, GA
(Zone 8a)


March 7, 2008
1:32 AM

Post #4631621

Except in the heat of summer when it is very dry and I need the seed to emerge quickly, I don't soak anything. Broccoli is very fast anyway, just sow them and run. Use a good quality planting medium.
Peckhaus
Long Island, NY
(Zone 7a)

March 7, 2008
3:15 AM

Post #4632042

Alright, thanks. I have a seed-starting medium from Gardener's Supply Co.
MistyPetals
North Augusta, SC

March 10, 2008
12:10 AM

Post #4643844

Farmerdill, what planting medium works best for the lettuce, cabbage, cucumbers, collards and stringbean plants?
Should I invest my child's tuition in Miracle Gro or is there another planting medium that is equally effective? Thank you.
Farmerdill
Augusta, GA
(Zone 8a)


March 10, 2008
12:25 AM

Post #4643935

I prefer a mix of perlite, vermiculite, and peat without the fertilizer. I usually use Pro-mix, but there are lots of them out there. The Miracle Gro mix works ok, but most found in nurseries have added fertilizer. It seems to dominate Lowes and Home Depot today, so it is one of the cheapest.
MistyPetals
North Augusta, SC

March 10, 2008
12:32 AM

Post #4643963

Thank you, Farmerdill. .
MistyPetals
North Augusta, SC

March 10, 2008
12:35 AM

Post #4643981

I wanted to let you know that we visited that nice garden center near Fort Gordon that you recommended here on DG. They were very nice people and I picked up some things. The name of the store escapes me now but I enjoyed it. It's a fairly modest Mom and Pop operation but I enjoyed their customer service.



Edited for spelling error.



This message was edited Apr 11, 2008 10:53 PM

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