Are you interested in growing exciting varieties of your favorite vegetables? It’s time to get out those glossy seed catalogues and make an order. You can grow a wider variety of vegetable plants than you can find in garden centers if you grow your own from seed. Doesn’t “Sunrise Bumble Bee” tomato, “Rosa Bianca” eggplant or “Goddess” sweet banana pepper sound wonderful? And, it is so satisfying to eat food that you’ve grown from seed.
There’s plenty of cold weather ahead so you don’t have to get your shovel out yet.
If you live in the Northeast United States, it is almost time (mid - March) to plant your warm season seeds indoors. Examples of warm season plants include tomatoes, eggplant, and peppers. These plants need an earlier start indoors so that they can be ready to plant in your garden by mid-May.
You’ll need planting trays with a good seed starting medium and a warm spot in your house. Plant the seeds as directed, water well, and cover with clear plastic.
Seeds need warmth and water to germinate. A heat mat to provide constant bottom heat (around 80F) will encourage good root development during this 8-week indoor growing period. Keep a daily watch and as soon as the seedlings emerge, remove the plastic, and bring your planting tray (and heat mat) to the brightest part of your house. If you can supplement extra light that will help promote strong growth. I put mine on a timer with the light on for 15 hours and off for nine hours.
While it can be grey and cold outside, the new, green seedlings sprouting before you will brighten your days. Enjoy seeing the magic happen!
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