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is it too late to start seeds?

Posted by Glorysbrite z6PA-Berks (My Page) on
Tue, Mar 29, 05 at 12:15

I am not sure yet what my transplant dates are for this area where we moved. We are in Berks Co., near Bechtelsville, but we live up on one of the highest peaks in this area & it seems that frost comes approx. 1-2 weeks earlier than in the valley & likewise spring comes 1-2 weeks later, gauging by the neighbor's forsythia bushes the last 2 years.

So i am wondering if it is too late to order petunia & snap dragon seeds from Parks & start them to set out asap for this region? I don't know Parks record for shipping quickly, but their one petunia variety has caught my eye & i'd like to use it as the foundation for most of my flower beds.

I also don't know when to start my tomatoes. I don't want them to get leggy, a problem i usually have cuz i'm so eager to start 'em. I do have some walls of water (hope they're still good!), but not enough for all the tomato plants.

Thanks for your help. It's been many years since i have started my own seedlings & i just forget all these dates.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: is it too late to start seeds?

I'm outside of Philly and our frost-free date is Mother's Day. I don't know about your area, it may be a little colder. From what I know about seeds, Petunias take a while to get established. I would find this out before getting started. I think you should be good to go starting tomatoes inside at this point.

Good luck!


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RE: is it too late to start seeds?

I live in Bucks County and for our zone May 15th is the last frost date. I started my tomatoes a week ago under lights and amost always start them 6 weeks before plant out date. Snaps like the cooler weather and it might be too late for them and I don't know about petunias as I never start them. Most of the annuals I start from seed indoors..some zinnias,tithonias,nasturtiums etc.I'll start in a couple of weeks. If you grow tomatoes and they get leggy,just plant them sideways in the ground. All the stem which is underground will sprout roots and you will have a very strong plant.


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RE: is it too late to start seeds?

It is ok to start them now!
I started some way too early & I don't have enough space inside to repot all this stuff.....
Order your seeds & plant them now! You will be glad that you did!


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RE: is it too late to start seeds?

I moved into the area March of last year, I live in North East Pa, May 15th is also my frost date. Last year I got some snap seeds, prolly about this time. I sowed them inside simply in a clay pot (i know, very dumb way to grow them) on a window sill. They were very long and thin, but I put them outside anyway in May. Long story short, they ended up looking better than the ones I'd bought. I'd say give it a shot, Not sure how much they cost there, I bought my seeds for 10cents I think from big lots, and it worked out well.
Hope that helps some.

Praying For More Sun
~Nick


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RE: is it too late to start seeds?

Okay, listen up folks in NE PA, please. Don't mean to be a know-it-all, honest, but after gardening here for almost fifteen years I can say with certainty - Do not, do not, count on a mid-May date for the last frost. We get frost here, including in the valleys, as late as the last days of May, and I've seen it the first few days of June. If you're planting anything vulnerable to frost, and that would be especially true of tomatoes, hold off, or be prepared to cover 'em up.


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RE: is it too late to start seeds?

I agree completely with Sween. I live a little south of central PA, about 40 miles north of Harrisburg. Our house is built on an acre lot and has 12 mature trees. We get frost in some areas of are yard, and not in others on the same day. Pansies, sweet peas and prim roses will take a sudden chill, but I never plant tomatoes out until May 30, and later. Tomatoes need sun and heat. I find if I have the patience to wait, it saves me extra work covering everything, and the plants will thrive when warmer, instead of sitting there and shivering in the chill for a couple of weeks. The last frost date given on planting maps is an average. Make notes each spring when your last frost has appeared in your garden.

Good luck. Jane


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RE: is it too late to start seeds?

parks is having a great sale now....and they were very prompt to ship. i had great germination rates.
i planted my tomatoes last weekend. i planted my special petunias a few weeks ago. i think you're still ok to start them now.


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RE: is it too late to start seeds?

Here in NE PA I start planting seeds in a small corner of my basement that my husband surrounded with $1 shower curtains hung from the ceiling. I use flourescent lights on chains that I can adjust as my plants grow and a small electric heater with a thermostat set around 70.....and I LOVE it!!! I have at least 100 plants growing now including peppers tomatoes and eggplant. The cabbage/broccoli and ornamental kale are currently being "hardened off" and they are going in the ground this week!! Flowers are TOO numerous to mention but they include Zinnia, Calendula, Sweet Potato Vine, Begonias, etc. Give it a try. Even with the heater and the lights (on a timer set for 12 hours per day) I SAVE A TON!!


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