What seeds are best to start with when planting early?
If you live in a place with a short growing season and plan to start your seeds indoors ahead of time, but are limited in space, what plants (with a focus on vegetables and herbs) are the best to start with so that you have the most options during the growing season?
Peppers and tomatoes are the ones I always start from seed early. I like to get peppers started 6-8 weeks ahead of my last frost date and tomatoes around 6 weeks ahead. These are certainly required to get the most from them in a short season. I don't like to start them earlier than that because I don't want to have to transplant again before they go out.
I find that 8 weeks for peppers gets me buds all over the plants ready to pop by the last frost date or within a week or two of that. I always wait to plant peppers until a week or two after the last frost date unless the 10 day forecast is warm.
I find that 6-8 weeks for tomatoes gives me strong 6-8 inch plants that are ready to harden off and plant on my last frost date, provided the forecast looks good. I plant them very deep, at least 50% under ground, and they take off.
To get the most from both of these, remember to fertilize them once they have a couple sets of true leaves and again every 2 weeks and always water from the bottom by letting the soil wick up water from a tray.
If you are interested in eggplant you would include that with the peppers as well. I don't start other veggies indoors since most do just fine from see, though growing lettuce plants indoors starting 4-6 weeks early really helps as well and I have done it.
Good luck. It's time to start planting indoors!
Broad beans and peas can be sown now, also shallots and garlic sets, but not onions, shallots and garlic need the cold weather to cause the divisions, shallots are ok now but you will need to be quick to get garlic started although there are a few varities that can be planted in the warmer spring time. Most other seeds can be sown under glass now.
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