Indoor Seed Starts

Millbury, MA(Zone 6a)

Spring is not too far off (or maybe I have just been bitten by the bug with all of these 50- 60 degree days), and I have been thinking about starting my seeds. Last year at this time I had Onions and Chives started, and peppers started a week or two from now. No flats of onions this year, I was just too busy - and chives are well established, no need for seeds this year. I think I will start with the sweet and hot Peppers, which I believe are approx. 8-10 weeks before last frost, and then the tomatoes! (my last frost is approx. last week in April, first week of June).

I thought it might be fun to to have a place to post what we are starting and when. I always wonder if I am early/late. Come March, I am sure this will be a hot topic.

So what have you started, or what are you planning to start, and when?

Long Island, NY(Zone 6b)

Hi Buginthegarden - I've never started seeds indoors, but I did give wintersowing a shot. I have some sprouts already and am curious to see how that works out.

New Haven, CT(Zone 6a)

Oh, thank you for starting this thread! I've never started seeds either, but would like to try this year (not sure I have a big enough sunny windowsill, though). I'll look forward to hearing what everyone else is doing, and maybe getting some good advice. Are there certain flowers that are easier to start from seed than others?

Brockton, MA(Zone 6a)

Many folk start seed on warming pads and grow them under lights in a spare room.
I'm very frugal, cheap in other words, and find ways to do things without expense.
I have one large bow window with a deep sill that faces south. So I use that but space is still limited so I start everything in 'flats' rather than 'cells'. When the seedlings get their second set of true leaves they get transplanted to large cells or small pots. Then they go out to the cold frame because there is no room for them on the window sill.
You can make your own flats by cutting the bottom 3 inches off gallon size milk/water jugs, and punch drain holes in them. Old yogurt cups or Dixie cups with holes punched in them make nice little pots.
I've learned not to push the season too much. If the seed pack says "plant seed 6 to 8 weeks before last frost", that's what I do.
My average last frost date in the 20th of May + -. My tomato and pepper seeds get planted the 3rd week of March, broccoli 4th week of March and so on.
Meg, yes, most flower seed are easy but not all. Every year I try something new and usually get one or two failures. Sometimes it's my fault other times I just don't know.
I'm sure there will be plenty of comments on this thread with helpful advice.
Andy P

Rutland , MA(Zone 5b)

my last frost date is may 15th. i will start my hot peppers and eggplants on march 1st. tomatoes start on april 1st. all go outside on june 1st. all seeds are started in heated area but i still use a heating blanket under and grow lights over them. trnasfer to unheatd basement after true leaves form.;

Rutland , MA(Zone 5b)

my last frost date is may 15th. i will start my hot peppers and eggplants on march 1st. tomatoes start on april 1st. all go outside on june 1st. all seeds are started in heated area but i still use a heating blanket under and grow lights over them. trnasfer to unheatd basement after true leaves form.;

Rutland , MA(Zone 5b)

my last frost date is may 15th. i will start my hot peppers and eggplants on march 1st. tomatoes start on april 1st. all go outside on june 1st. all seeds are started in heated area but i still use a heating blanket under and grow lights over them. trnasfer to unheatd basement after true leaves form.;

Rutland , MA(Zone 5b)

my last frost date is may 15th. i start my tomato and eggplants on march 1st and my tomatoes on april 1st. everything goes outdoors on june 1st. start seeds in heated area with heating blanket under and grow lights over for 16 hours a day. when they get true leaves they go down to unheated basement with grow lights still on 16 hours a day.

Millbury, MA(Zone 6a)

Andy P, I am like you - I have yet to make the jump to warming pads and indoor lights - I do look at them in the store and dream of tomoatoes year round, but have yet to make the investment. I use my windowsills, as well as a 4-level plant rack in front of a sliding door. One thing my house has is sunny big windows. It requires daily rotation of plants, and perhaps my tomatoes were a bit leggy last year, but everything worked out fine in the end. This year I will transfer to cold frames (which I did not have last year), so there will be less time inside.

I have not had much luck with annuals started inside, and hope to try again this year - low germination - but I think it was the source of the seeds, and will get them from different sources this coming year.

Anita, what have you winter sowed?

Brockton, MA(Zone 6a)

Bug, When I first plant the seed, I cover the trays with a sheet of wax paper. This holds in the moisture and heat. Take it off after the seed germinates.
Andy P

Long Island, NY(Zone 6b)

Bug - here's a link to my list so far. I'm not done by a long shot, though. I was lazy today, otherwise I would have liked to have gotten out a few more containers. http://lakehousecreations.com/Seed_Sown.htm

West Warwick, RI(Zone 6b)

Hey Herbie, I think your last frost date is May 15th...LOL don't ya just hate when that happens?!
Hi all!
Anita your collection of started plants is quite impressive! You seem to be very organized *twitch, twitch* Is my green showing?

I am starting anything that states it takes all summer to get around to bloomin, with the weather we have around here I want me some maters and a gourd before it snows in July! LOL
Once again, I have been using the Ice Latte Cups from Dunkin Donuts, they work great for indoor stuff I wonder if I should stick some out in the cold and see what happens

Thumbnail by GRENTHUMBS
Long Island, NY(Zone 6b)

Hey Dena - you should say something to Dunkin Donuts - they've got green stuff growin' in your frozen latte...YUCK!

West Warwick, RI(Zone 6b)

LOLOLOL!
I wouldn't have it any other way!
ROTFLMBO!

Long Island, NY(Zone 6b)

LOL

Rutland , MA(Zone 5b)

greenthumbs - thats what i said, may 15th.


Long Island, NY(Zone 6b)

LOL - yes you did Herbie - 4 times! pretty funny you guys

Rutland , MA(Zone 5b)

duh now i see what i did. but just to be on the sae side my last frost date is may 15th. LOL

West Warwick, RI(Zone 6b)

Herbie? We got coffee over here, think you need some.....
http://davesgarden.com/forums/t/576690/

Brockton, MA(Zone 6a)

So Herbie, when do you start the tomatoes? March or April 1st.
Andy P

Eastlake, OH(Zone 5a)

I started geraniums back in January, and now have zinnias and dahlias growing. Geraniums have six true leaves already. Looks like I have to transplant them into pots. My wife brought them up to me at the pc since I broke my ankle. Been teaching her what to do in the basement. Wil be starting vegetables next month. Have some more flowers to statrt also. Looks like I will be transplanting in the morning up in the kitchen. She will bring everything up for me. I am going crazy not being dow in my basement.

Long Island, NY(Zone 6b)

sorry to hear about that...I hope you feel better Ironsides - good thing your wife is good and doesn't mind bringing everything up

Rutland , MA(Zone 5b)

sarahskeeper - sorry for the delay in answering. i start my tomato seeds on april 1st. jeez, just looked at my original post and see i goofed on it AGAIN. i start my hot peppers and eggplants on march 1st. i start my sugar snap peas outdoors in containers on aprl 15th and my stringbeans also in containers on june 1st. i think i got in right now. LOL

Millbury, MA(Zone 6a)

Last night I planted my first seeds of the season, sweet and hot peppers. I am always amazed that a full vegetable plant will grow out of those tiny seeds. I tried out peat-pots for the first time, I hope they work out ok. They are in flats, in my big sunny window. Next are the eggplants...

Here are the varieties - I can't wait to watch them grow.

-Sweet Peppers -
Golden Summit
Keystone Giant
King of the North
Sweet Banana
Yolo Wonder

-Hot-
Ancho
Serrano
Mini Red Chili
Thai Red Chili
Cubenelle
Jalapeno

Collegeville, PA

Thanks, Bug, for starting this thread. Yup - started my seeds middle of February. Some of the flowers take a bit longer to get going. Johnny Jump ups, lavender, Rudbeckia, impatiens are all underway. last weekend the herbs went in. 3/4 I start the pepper, tomato, marigold, alyssum, celosia, salvia, peetunia and chamomile. 3/18 it will be the zinnia, cosmos and broccoli. The rest are direct plants. I have an industrial strength shelving unit, 4' wide, 4 shelves high that I hang lights from. My company was going to throw out the shelving unit, didn't need it any more and it is good as new. You don't need the fancy grow lights, just use regular lights. All in all, this is a bargain compared to buying the plants, plus you get a much better selection. Keep the lights on for 12-16 hours (auto timer works best). I started out using the peat pots, but find the tender roots like the little grow pellets better. DH and I enjoy seltzer water that comes in 1 ltr plastic bottles. I cut those down to ~5", drill drain holes in the bottom and transplant in those. I ran out of the Jiffy pellets my children gave me for Christmas (typical gardener's wish list - water proof gloves, jiffy pellets, pruning shears!) and couldn't find anything but the Ferry Morse peat pellets at Lowes. They were about 1/3 the cost of the Jiffy pellets. They are half the size (diameter) of the jiffy, but you transplant when second set of leaves appear, so it shouldn't be a problem. I've attached a picture of one shelf that was started earlier - the rudbeckia took off like gangbusters, the lavender is tall and delicate.

Thumbnail by kchar60
Collegeville, PA

Here is a close up of the rudbeckia

Thumbnail by kchar60
Brockton, MA(Zone 6a)

kc, looks like a great system.
You start way more than I do.
I made a great work bench out of an old computer console many years back. They were throwing it out, too. Good and sturdy.
Andy P

Rhinebeck, NY(Zone 5b)

i live in the mid hudson valley of New York and was wondering what date is typically safe for putting out tomatoes?

Thumbnail by daisygrrl
Panama, NY(Zone 5a)

daisygrrl, here, in the western part of the state, I don't put my tomatoes out until the end of May or the first week in June. I don't start them until the first week in April, or they are all over the place.

I have a table set up with grow lights and start much fewer things than I used to. Mostly, in February and March, I sit under the grow lights just to keep myself going! Right now, I have some pansies going and I'm going to get some seeds from my spooned Osteopermums started. My expectations on these are not high, as I was told they wouldn't even set seed, but we'll see. I'll give most anything a try at least twice!

Eastlake, OH(Zone 5a)

Here is a picture of the geraniums that I am grwoing. They were started in January. I had my DW take the pictures fro me since I am still with a broken ankle. I did not plant as many as last year. Only 50 plants grwoing this year, last year I had 94.

Thumbnail by Ironsides
Long Island, NY(Zone 6b)

well done ironsides- they are perfect specimens!

Kchar - you've been busy too!! woowee

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