Seed Starting for 2015

Northwest, MO(Zone 5a)

When should I start my vegetable and herb seeds such as tomatoes, eggplant, cabbage, basil, rosemary etc. Is it to early to start now or should I wait a few weeks?

Thanks for your help,

(Debra) Derby, KS(Zone 6a)

I have already started mine, and I live in Kansas. I hate to buy plants. If you start now, you can have them ready for the garden by end of April or first of May depending on your temps. Someone else might have a different answer. :)


I started tom/peppers beginning of Jan. Herbs/peas/beans/ carrot/Radish will get direct sown next month

JW completely agree! lol Hate buying plants

Canton, MI

Double post - one removed. Sorry!

This message was edited Feb 23, 2015 8:07 PM

Canton, MI

I live in southeast Michigan (zone 6, a or b). I refrain (it is very hard) from starting tomato and eggplant seeds in February; I tried it a couple of years and ended with plants (in 2 lb yogurt containers) that were large enough to be planted outside long before the ground was ready to accept them (clay soil on a slight slope; if it rains a lot, it feels like a sponge). Two years ago, my tomatoes were wiped out by a late frost right after mother's day. For me, the best time to start tomato and eggplant seeds is the first half of March, and I use row covers on those I plant early (before mothers' day).

Cabbage and other greens are a different thing; these are cold-weather crops. I grow Swiss chard (it can survive a Michigan winter, although there is not guarantee that it will). This year, I started chard seeds two weeks apart in January. The first seedlings are now growing under light; the younger ones on a window sill.

If you have lots of room and do not need lots of plants, take the risk and start some seeds now, even eggplant and tomatoes -- then see what happens in your zone. You may lose the plants, but you will learn something for next year.

Sumner, MO(Zone 5b)

For my area (70 mi east of St Joe and 12 mi south of hwy 36), I start tomato seeds 2 weeks before the average last frost date of Apr 12. This gives plants to set out from May 12 to May 20 when the garden is dry enough and the temperatures are warm enough. There are variables that will affect the timing. I have a VERY warm spot to germinate seeds, so 90% of the seeds that will germinate will do so in 6 to 8 days. Colder areas will take longer. I don't have bright light in the house, so I put the plants under T12 fluorescent lights for 14-16 hrs a day. T5 lights would be much better, but they are really expensive. If planting is delayed and plants get too tall, I may have to plant in a trench rather than a hole.

In my situation, tomato seeds should be planted 6 weeks (7 maximum) before expected plant-out date. Pepper seeds may germinate a little more slowly and the seedling don"t get as tall, so I start them about 8 wees before plant-out.

Best wishes for the coming season!

(Debra) Derby, KS(Zone 6a)

I start seeds of all kinds all winter just to play. M south west bedroom window produces the best. T5's keep everything well lighted, growing tray are here and there with additional light over them. I like the window sill best.

Thumbnail by joeswife
Olathe, KS(Zone 5a)

I am in Kansas near Kansas City, MO. I have a 2 ft grow light and started tomatoes, peppers, brassicas on 1/28/15 in peat pellets and repotted into styrfoam cups 2/14/15. Did really good last year this way with peppers - started tomatoes earlier this year because last year they were too small. I planned on moving them to 3x4x8 mini green house (GH) soon, then use 4" or 6" plastic pots to start winter squash, pumpkins, cucumbers, melons, watermelons, sweet peas mid March. I also wintersowed (early January) and planted seeds in miniGH last November. I thought the mini GH would be good for the seedlings - I was wrong. The tomatoes need to be at least 45-50 degrees or they will die. I have 2 Liter bottles filled with water as heat sink and can get 10 degrees higher than outside - not good enough. We still get below zero here (and have been -20).

So - now have electrical people adding an electrical outlet so I can put ceramic space heater (can get $24) inside miniGH. Also use it for bird bath heater (have somewhere). In spring and fall will use outlet for leaf blower/composter. Cost for outlet now $250. Will use the outlet for the front yard too - long cord for leaf blower - cannot pay for another outlet - and they say it would not be feasible anyway, the way the house is built. Still less than the 300 bid last year by another company without a separate line.

Waiting for the 4" and 6" pots to be delivered (Amazon). Can get the potting mix I want now (Walmart).

Northwest, MO(Zone 5a)

Yesterday I seeded 156 seeds. Red, yellow and orange sweet peppers and a long red sweet pepper. Beefmaster, Mexico, and San Marzano tomatoes. Russell Lupins, and Stevia. They are on heat mats...hopefully will be up in the next week or so.

I may be a little to late...hope not.

(Debra) Derby, KS(Zone 6a)

hi Deb's roots, I bet you are just in time! :D

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