Timing of seed starting
It's that time of year - every day brings a new, glossy catalog to your doorstep. Each page is bursting with mouth-watering photos of the sweetest, the freshest, the healthiest plants ever. So many possibilities!
With a greenhouse, the proposition of when to start which seeds is a bit tricky. I'm curious at what other people do. Obviously everyone's circumstances are a bit different, such as where you live and if your greenhouse is heated and what you are growing. But this forum offers a great way to learn from others.
So here's my list - please add yours!
My greenhouse is in Montana, unheated but pretty well insulated.
mid Feb: Start lettuce, spinach, mesclun, broccoli, green onions, parsley, pansies, alpine strawberries. Broccoli and green onions will be grown inside the greenhouse in ground beds.
mid March: Start tomatoes, peppers. Start basil that will grow in the GH. Plant carrot seeds in the GH ground beds. Transplant lettuces into windowboxes. Harvest first salad!
early April: transplant herbs into windowboxes or larger pots. Harvest lots of lettuce and greens.
mid April: Direct sew cucumbers that will be growing inside the greenhouse. Planted a few seed potatoes in the ground beds as an experiment. (which worked and gave us potatoes in early July). Start flowering sweet peas in 4" pots. Pot up tomatoes and peppers into 4" pots. Plant up various containers of annuals (purchased at nurseries) to get nice big pots before bringing them outside in May. Start more greens.
mid/late April: Major planting of seeds for plants that will be grown outdoors. Start lettuce, broccoli, spinach, green onions, basil, plus cutting flowers zinnias, snaps, rudbeckia.
early May: Harvest first basil for pesto! Plant tomato and pepper starts into ground beds in greenhouse. Pot up remaining tomatoes into gallon pots. Harvest carrots that were planted in GH last fall. (Harvesting the carrots frees up room to plant tomatoes and peppers.)
mid May through late May: Transplant everything outside as needed. Hardy veggies go out in early May with row covers. Tender veggies go out in late May or early June. This year will add row covers for those too. Plant root crops outside.
mid-June: Second round of greenhouse-grown lettuces are done. Switch to outdoor greens. Start heat-tolerant lettuce for outdoor growing.
early July: Harvest GH broccoli; GH tomatoes and peppers growing strong. Outdoor lettuces are at peak, time to start more. (I am terrible at getting lettuce started on time)
mid-July: Harvest first tomatoes from greenhouse! Harvest greenhouse-grown potatoes. Outdoor lettuces/spinach are bolting.
mid-Aug or early Sept: Start new seeds of lettuces, spinach, pansies and greenhouse-grown carrots for fall growing.
Sept - Oct: Spend every free moment harvesting, canning, freezing. Start one last round of lettuces, some of which will overwinter.
Nov: Keep harvesting tomatoes, peppers, cukes from inside the greenhouse, until first deep freeze puts an end to that.
Dec: Plant a few bulbs in the greenhouse ground beds. Harvest lettuces.
Jan - early Feb: Harvest greens occasionally. They grow slowly so we get about one salad every other week.
mid-Feb: Go back to the start of this list and repeat! :)
Phew! I am interested in what timing works for the rest of you. I still find myself lacking in heat-tolerant lettuces to harvest in late July-August. I'm also always seeking the earliest, best-tasting tomato to grow inside the greenhouse.