Starting Seeds Indoors: What to Plant When

LACINIA — With spring in the air, Kelly McAdam of the Belknap County Extension Service says it is time to think about starting those seeds indoors.

She says that it is critical not to start too early, with tomatoes and peppers leading the way at 6 weeks prior to setting the plants in the garden. If you are growing onions from seed, they can also be started easily indoors 6 to 8 weeks prior to setting out.

McAdam urges counting back from the day you plan on planting your ...

LACINIA — With spring in the air, Kelly McAdam of the Belknap County Extension Service says it is time to think about starting those seeds indoors.

She says that it is critical not to start too early, with tomatoes and peppers leading the way at 6 weeks prior to setting the plants in the garden. If you are growing onions from seed, they can also be started easily indoors 6 to 8 weeks prior to setting out.

McAdam urges counting back from the day you plan on planting your vegetables or flowers out in the garden, which for most plants will be at the end of May at the earliest. If you want a bigger plant, be prepared to transplant your plants into bigger containers before setting them out in the garden.

The most common problem in starting seeds indoors is overwatering. If you are using a plastic cover over your seed trays, you will not need to water much. The condensation created by the covering will naturally add moisture to your soil. The most efficient way to water is from the bottom of the seedling tray. Be sure that the tray or container you are using to start your seed in has holes in the bottom.

Simply place your tray or pots into a shallow pan of warm water. When you notice the top of the soil becoming damp, remove the seedling tray from the pan of water right away and allow to drain in the sink or on a towel.

When the time comes to transplant outdoors, be sure to harden off your seedlings. Set them outside for half a day for a couple of days in a sheltered spot. This way, you do not shock themwhen they move out to the garden for the season.

For more information, visit www.extension.unh.edu or contact Belknap County UNH Cooperative Extension at (603) 527-5475.