Tuesday, January 25, 2011

When should you start planting indoors?

When I started out taking this gardening thing seriously the first thing I came across was trying to figure out what Zone I lived in. I heard all this Zone talk and quickly realized that this Zone word was going to be an integral part of my vocabulary. But even though I started to understand what "zone" meant, I didn't fully understand until last year how I can use the information around each zone for planting. I'm pretty much the type of guy that reads something for the first few seconds and quickly loose steam anything short of brite lights and whistles wont get my full attention. Below is a chart for the last frost date in your area. 
 And pretty much this is easy, simple, stupid for people who are just getting started in gardening.  Locate your zone  and you will notice a starting date and an end date. The first date is the first possible date that your frost will end in your area. The Last date would be the last possible date frost will be in your area. Some seeds have specific guidelines for when to start them in doors; nevertheless, the majority of seeds will fall under the guidelines to start planting indoors 6-7 weeks from the last frost date. Keep in mind these are suggestions. But if you have a sun room or a sunny window sill, this will give you an idea for when you start planting your seeds indoors. There is one thing that separates green thumbs from non-green thumbs and that's timing. Happy gardening!!

•Zone 1: June1 - June 30

•Zone 2: May 1 - May 31

•Zone 3: May 1 - May31

•Zone 4: May 1 - May31

•Zone 5: March 30 - April30

•Zone 6: March 30 - April30

•Zone 7: March 30 - April30

•Zone 8: February 28 - March 30

•Zone 9: January 30 - February 28

•Zone 10: January 1 - January 31

•Zone 11 Frost Free Year Round


becky3086 said...

I don't pay attention to my zone anymore, they seem to change depending on which map you look at but still we end up on the line between zones 7 and 8. I understand how this might be helpful to first time gardeners but after that there are other factors that come into play. Where I start my plants, I can't get a decent sized tomato or pepper plant in 6 weeks, so I have learned to start them earlier than that. Other seeds get started later but tomatoes and peppers have to be started in late January, every time for me here.

Kenneth Moore said...

And living in a city, "zone" gets even more complicated because of heat-island effect. I was harvesting squash from a concrete window planter in front of a restaurant until December last year, and it's definitely not meant to live that long here!

Conversely, planting may be done earlier in such areas, but not by terribly much.

ATW said...

Becky- Your right, getting started early is very important. I learned the hard way. This week I am planting my seeds for the season. Gardening is so much trial and error, a few seasons go by and before you know it you'll be saying, "I have been Gardening for years." I look forward to every season. This season is going to be nice. Weather permitting.

Kenneth- this is crazy... my area is zone 8 but im surrounded by zone 7, my area is literally a spec that is warmer than the surrounding area. go figure!! I have also overwintered some tomatoe plants and have brought those in fro last year and as long as they are not exposed to frost they are still producing fruit. I have tomatoes and peppers and flowering in my sunroom producing fruit. SO I think if you have a place that can take the chill off it should be taken advantage of. Ill try some all year squash this season as well.

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