Seed Starting and Early Greens

 Seeds & seed pots—Photo credit: MG Jessica Klein DiStefano Seedlings—Photo credit: MG Jessica Klein DiStefano Early greens—Photo credit: MG Gia Parsons  

Photo credit: MG Jessica Klein-DiSteffano

Feb. 13, 2019 — Seed Starting and Early Greens

Growing plants from seeds is a magical process. So much is created from each tiny seed! When you plant from seed, you get to choose from intriguing and unusual varieties that at aren’t available commercially as transplants. While seed starting is relatively easy, it has it challenges due to the specific germination requirements of certain seeds. In the maritime northwest, some warm weather vegetables like tomatoes must be started inside in order to produce fruit by the end of our growing season.

Learn when to plant seeds indoors or outdoors, and how to raise, harden-off and plant transplants. Get tips on how to warm the soil and speed germination. Recognize the importance of tracking and labeling rows with the crop name and planting date.

The salad days of Spring give us our first taste of fresh food from the garden: lettuces, mustard greens, bok choi, arugula. This class covers lettuce, a member of the Asteraceae Family (aka Compositae), and includes variety selection, cultural requirements, fertilizer needs, major diseases and pests, and pest management techniques.

Below are resources to enhance your learning.

  • Propagating Plants from Seed — PNW Extension Publication PNW0170, a 20-page publication that describes seed selection, how to start plants indoors
    for later outdoor planting, and how to plant seeds outdoors.
  • Growing Transplants — WSU Snohomish County Extension, Community Horticulture Fact Sheet #7
  • Guide to Starting Crops — WSU Snohomish County Extension, Community Horticulture Fact Sheet #8 lists the planting date and seed depth for common crops.
  • Seed Starting and Intensive Plant Spacing — WSU Snohomish County Extension, Community Horticulture Fact Sheet #9 outlines the basic steps to seed starting, with a table for planting distance and thinning distance.     Photo by MG Gia Parsons

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