US First and Last Frost Dates

US First and Last Frost Dates

Growing Food, Soil & Compost, Starting Seeds, Weather, Year Round Gardening
USDA Hardiness Zone This information is useful for at least two reasons, to calculate when to plant seeds or plant seedlings outside in the garden to figure out how late in the growing season you can plant certain perennials, trees, and shrubs Dates on this chart are approximations, no one can KNOW the weather, every season is different. Most years, the first and last frost will fall within two weeks of the date on the chart, but some years, we get a very early frost or a late snow storm that throws the dates off. Please use discretion (and your local weather forecast!) along with this chart to plan your seed starting and planting. First, click on the map if you need to enlarge it and find your zone if…
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Ideal Temperatures for Seed Germination

Ideal Temperatures for Seed Germination

Starting Seeds
Seeds germinate (begin to grow/develop) at different rates. Some need warmer temperatures than others. Some seeds actually need light to germinate (like lettuce). Use the chart below on ideal germination temperatures to achieve more success starting your garden seeds growing! Shown below are the ideal temperatures for germination of many of the most common seeds. Temperatures are in degrees F. Asparagus, 75° Beans (lima), 85° Beans (snap), 80° Beets, 85° Cabbage, 85° Carrots, 80° Cauliflower, 80° Celery, 70° Corn, 95° Cucumbers, 95° Eggplant, 85° Lettuce, 75° Muskmelon, 90° Okra, 95° Onions, 75° Parsley, 75° Parsnip, 65° Peas, 75° Peppers, 85° Pumpkins, 95° Radish, 85° Swiss Chard, 85° Spinach, 70° Squash, 95° Tomatoes, 85° Turnips, 85° Watermelon, 95°
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Vegetable Garden Planting Chart

Vegetable Garden Planting Chart

Growing Food, Organic Gardening, Starting Seeds
Schedule your vegetable garden planting with this guide. As you plan which foods that you'd like to grow in your garden, remember that among other things, you must also take the following into account: Soil pH Requirements of Different Garden Vegetables Vegetable Gardening Basics (Planning, Preparing the soil, and Planting) Identifying Your Soil Type Note: This does not include plotting for Square Foot Gardening Food Vegetable Start Seed Indoors Plant in Garden S = SeedP = Plant Seed Spacing Distance Between Rows Seed Depth Days toMaturity YIELD PER100' ROW ArtichokesFeb-MarS - After FrostP - After Frost36"48"1/2"36535+ heads Asparagusn/aP - Mar-April8" between root tips34-36"1/4-1/2"365400+ spears Beans, Bush (snap)n/aS - After Frost4-6"18"1"60-6480 lbs Beans, bush (dry)n/aS - After Frost4-6"24"1"90-1008 lbs Beans, Polen/aS - After Frost8"36"1"70-85150 lbs Beans, Favan/aS - After Frost8"36"1"18020 lbs…
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Pre-Sprouting Seeds

Pre-Sprouting Seeds

Starting Seeds
Poor seed germination is often the result of planting in cold soil. Place pre-sprouting seeds between layers of moist paper towels. Keep moist and in a dark place. These "Pre-sprouted seeds" may become successfully established when dormant seeds fail. There is an article on ideal germination temperatures to achieve more success starting your garden seeds growing! Pre-sprouted seeds are fragile to handle. A planting gel can be made by suspending pre-sprouted seeds in a mixture of 1 tablespoon of cornstarch heated to a boiling 1 cup of water. When the mixture cools, put it in a plastic bag, add pre-sprouted seeds, and stir gently to distribute seeds evenly. Then cut a small hole in the bottom of the bag and squeeze the gel out along the planting furrow. Benefit of…
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How to clean and disinfect your seedling trays

How to clean and disinfect your seedling trays

Starting Seeds
I know it feels cold and seems like spring is in the far distant future, but if you are starting your own seedlings in pots and trays from last year, you know it is time to start! An important step in preparing is to clean and disinfect your seedling trays. Not cleaning them first can set your seedlings up for failure by exposing them to bacteria and fungus that can cause any number of issues from damping off to Botrytis. Step #1Be sure to clean the underside of the trays and pots and scrape off any spider eggs or old nests that you find. Most often they look like white fluffy spots and stick to your fingers when you try to move them. Turn your trays upside down and remove…
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Seed Starting Mix

Seed Starting Mix

Starting Seeds
What is a seed starting mix? Not all the ingredients listed here will be in ALL seed starting mixes. One may have perlite, the other vermiculite, but this is the basis of most prepared seed starting mixes. Many "top" brands have chemical fertilizers added that are not necessary and will defeat your purpose to grow organically, so be sure to read the labels! Before discussing prepared seed starting mixes, it is important to understand the process that is going on and what you will need this seed starting mix to do for your plants. Let's start by defining a few gardening terms... The first thing, when thinking about seed starting mixes, is to note that (... and especially if you are new to gardening...) "seeds" do not require fertilization until…
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Seed Stratification

Starting Seeds
As all good gardeners know entirely too well, as soon as the soil warms in spring, there will be an overabundance of new weeds to contend with. These are last year's flowers' posterity, just waiting for their opportune moment, waiting for conditions to be just right for germination. By delaying their initiation until spring, they will maximize their growth before having to contend with their first winter. Seeds use a variety of mechanical and chemical tactics to avert germination until their inside says "go outside". But not all seeds hibernate. Most seeds sold via commercial catalogs and nurseries have been hybridized for generations and will usually come up as soon as planted. Where the gardener is most liable to run into problems is with seeds of native and woody plants.…
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Seed Starting

Seed Starting

Organic Gardening, Starting Seeds
When mail-order catalogs and local garden centers are bursting with a dizzying array of seedlings of all kinds, why would anyone want to bother starting their own plants from seed? Because starting plants from seed is less expensive; there are more varieties to choose from; you can grow higher-quality plants suited to your schedule; and you will enjoy the simple satisfaction of growing your own seedlings. To be successful, you'll need to provide the right conditions for good germination and healthy growth. Here are the basics: Choosing the Best Seedling Pots You can start your seeds in almost any type of container as long as it has drainage holes and is at least 2 to 3 inches deep. There are many different seed starting containers on the market, including peat…
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