Get Those Seedlings Started! 5 Tips For Your Early Vegetable Garden.
Now is the time to start some of your vegetables and flowers from seed and to start planning your garden. Some tips:
1. Our garden zone in Fairfield County is 6b. For our garden zone, except for cool weather vegetables such as broccoli, Brussel sprouts and peas, most other vegetables plants should not be planted outdoors until Mother’s Day. Resist the urge to plant earlier if we have a warm sunny day – frost kills! And allow your plants to acclimate outdoors a few hours a day before permanently planting them outside.
2. Use a potting mix for seedlings: A potting mix https://miraclegro.com/en-us/shop/shop-all/miracle-gro-seed-starting-potting-mix/74978507.html does not actually contain soil and is specially designed to keep the soil from coming too compacted, which can suffocate roots and impeded the flow of nutrients and water to your seedlings. It does become dry very quickly, so monitoring the moisture level is important.
3. Use grow lights: A sunny window simply does not give enough light for your seedlings once they have sprouted. We purchased inexpensive grow lights on Amazon which work really well. https://www.amazon.com/Lights-Spectrum-Indoor-5-Level-Dimmable/dp/B085CDPSMR/ref=psdc_14252941_t2_B09QQQBR9S
4. Check seedling growing times: Tomatoes have a long growing season so I have found it best to start them inside about 6 to 8 weeks prior to planting outside. Brussel sprouts and Broccoli also need to be started about 8 weeks before planting outside. You can also start peppers, peas and cucumbers inside for an early crop.
5. Keep your seedlings warm: When you first plant your seedlings it’s best to use a heat mat – they are inexpensive and work well. Also, either cover your seedlings with plastic wrap or a dome until they sprout.