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When Should you Plan and Start your Indoor Garden?

As spring approaches, you begin planning and looking forward to a beautiful, well laid out garden of homegrown food and flowers.
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As one wise proverb says, “All the flowers (vegetables) of all the tomorrows are in the seeds of today.”

Buying Seeds

You may also be asking yourself, why do I want to start my garden indoors? There is more to just planting seeds, watering and hoping that they will germinate and be ready to transplant.

You want a head start to your growing season.

Some plants need to be started indoors because they may are warm season vegetables. This means that they want warmer soil and can’t be planted when the soil is still too cool in early spring. Tomatoes and peppers, for example are more tender plants and need that extra growing season, whereas many root vegetables do not like to be transplanted so there is no need to start them indoors. Giving some plants this head start will also increase your harvest yield.

There are also cool weather plants that need the extra growing time in the beginning before the summer heat stifles their growth.

Importance of Timing

Again, the question is when to plant. If you start too soon you could weaken them to the possibility of not surviving the transplanting process; and, if you start too late they will not be mature enough to transplant into your garden.

Many of the packages of seeds that you buy recommend planting dates for when to start your indoor planting. Some plants grow faster than others, so organization is key. With specific instructions for many plants on their packages, you create a schedule.

If you are going to include flowers, some of them also may need to be started indoors. After buying your seeds it is good to sort them by the recommended planting dates listed. If there is no date, the general rule of thumb is to plant 6-8 weeks before the last average frost date.

Create a Calendar

When you have sorted your seeds, begin a detailed journal. Make two major piles, seeds that can be planted directly outside and those for inside planting. Sorting and making a schedule will help to figure out what you should be planting each week.

Can you plant a group together? Do some need to start earlier or some later? Watch for the watering needs, and most of all take note when germination happens.

This year may not be that smooth, but you are journaling so you can learn and understand what it takes to start your garden indoors. Some adjustments will have to be made from time to time so next year will be easier.

You have arranged an area in your home to start your garden indoors and when your hard work is planted you can say along with Claude Monet, the artist, “My garden is my most beautiful masterpiece.”

NEW Community-Partners-small-blck-100 This story was made possible by our Community Partners Program. Thank you Big Brothers Big Sisters Dream Home Lottery for helping to expand local news coverage in Alberta. Learn more.




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