How early is too early to start seeds?

gardennewbieiaFebruary 20, 2007

I live in cedar rapids and am wondering how early i can start my vegitable seeds. I would like to stat them as soon as possible indoors but not to early to cause poor production or weak plants. It is now late Feb. I am going to grow peppers, broccoli, tomatoes, squash, broccoli raab, cucumbers, mellons, and zuchini. If anyone could offer any help it would be a great help.

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I live in Ankeny, IA. I started sowing my pepper seeds and some perennial flowers today. Will be sowing the tomato seeds early March. Last year, I started doing this mid March, and the plants were quite small when I transplanted them in the garden, but they had a very long, productive life (I had tomatoes in late October!). So I guess it's not too early to start now, especially with the peppers.

Good luck!


    Bookmark   February 20, 2007 at 10:01PM
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jspece(Josh - z4 IA)

I'd follow the recommendation on the seed package. For tomatoes I'd go 6-8 weeks from mid May (last frost date). That puts it at mid-late March. You're better off putting smaller plants out than big lanky ones.

We'll be starting the first of our veggies in another week or two, but they'll be in the greenhouse.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2007 at 1:32PM
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Hey, I'm in Cedar Rapids too! I would suggest direct sowing your squash, zucchini, and cucumbers. I transplanted some last year that I started and really, the direct sowed ones caught up with the transplants in no time - not worth the trouble of starting them indoors. I've no experience with melons so I can't help you there.

Tomatos - I'd say mid-late March and you'll be okay - lanky plants really don't do that well. Broccoli can go out a bit earlier, I believe, so you could probably start that right now but I'm no expert as I've never grown it from seed. When in doubt, follow the directions on the seed packet! This my second year gardening here in IA and I can't wait! Good thing I'm having my third baby late-March/early April - gives me time to get into a routine before the gardening season really is in earnest!

    Bookmark   February 22, 2007 at 5:53PM
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