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Like clockwork every year I get hit with the gardening itch in early March. There is always still snow on the ground and frequent blizzard conditions but between those days there are temps above freezing and the sun shines brightly.

Where I live there our last frost date isn't until the last part of March and early June snowstorms are pretty normal.

So hopefully the soil will warm someday but in the meantime, I start what I can in my living room. It gives the plants a great headstart and helps me survive the last part of winter here in the north.

Why start your own seeds?

  • Starting seeds is also much less expensive than buying seedlings.
  • Most nurseries and garden centers only offer five or six popular and proven varieties of tomatoes. If you typically buy your seedlings from a store, you may not know that there are over 2,000 tomato types to choose from.  Starting your own allows you to experiment and grow wild and wonderful varieties that you will come to love.
  • Starting your own seeds allows you to choose varieties well-suited to your growing region.

Seed Starting

Many warm weather loving seeds need warm soil to sprout, and a long growing season to fully mature. If they were planted directly into the garden in early spring, they wouldn’t have time to fully mature before frost kills them off in the fall.

These are the 5 easiest seeds to start indoors…

Tomatoes-

Tomatoes are probably the most beloved vegetable of many gardeners and the best varieties are hotly debated. They should be started indoors about 6 weeks before predicted last frost. They’re a bit finicky. They don’t like it cold, and when you transplant them you need to make sure the soil is nice and warm and the nighttime temps aren’t going to dip below 50°F. These are some of my favorites!

Broccoli-

Plantings must be timed so that the clusters of small flower buds the plant produces can be harvested while the days remain cool. Around 7-9 weeks before your predicted last frost is a good number. Like lettuce, broccoli likes it cool so make sure you keep the sown seeds in an area where the temp is roughly 70°F.

Onions-

Forget about buying onion sets in the mesh bag from the garden center this spring! Growing your own onions from seed often results in bigger and better onions. Also, many varieties to choose from when ordering from seed distributors.

Lettuce- 

Lettuce likes it cool so make sure you keep the sown seeds in an area where the temp is roughly 70°F. Plant a few seeds into each container about 6 weeks before your predicted last frost. Once sprouted it grows quickly. I like to grow a variety so that I can have my own salad mix. 

Peppers-

Peppers should be started indoors from seeds about eight weeks before the date of the last expected frost. Like tomatoes, peppers like it warm and they take a while to actually produce fruit. Sweet pepper and hot peppers can be grown together!

These are my tried and true that I start every year indoors. It is great to get my hands dirty when there is still snow on the ground!

You can also check out my Top 5 Tips For Planning Your Garden. 

One of my favorite recipes to make with these early starts is fresh garden salsa.

What are your favorites to start indoors?

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