Begin early spring veggies indoors or not?

Long Island, NY(Zone 7a)

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?

Augusta, GA(Zone 8a)

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.

Long Island, NY(Zone 7a)

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.

Augusta, GA(Zone 8a)

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.

Long Island, NY(Zone 7a)

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?

Augusta, GA(Zone 8a)

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.

Long Island, NY(Zone 7a)

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

North Augusta, SC

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.

Augusta, GA(Zone 8a)

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.

North Augusta, SC

Thank you, Farmerdill. .

North Augusta, SC

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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