There are only a few things you need to get started using the seed starting guide below and ultimately making your life easier! No more wondering when to start seeds, or when to plant or even when you should harvest your bounty! To get started you will need to know your Hardiness Zone. Not sure what that is? Well let’s take a look.
Hardiness zones are a method of dividing up an area of land based on annual extreme minimums or basically how cold it gets. This is very important to know if you want to grow your own food. Pretty much all seed packages will include a note about what hardiness zone the specificities plant can endure. So it is important to know what hardiness zone you are in to ensure you are growing things that will prosper! If you are not sure what zone you are in and you live in Canada you can check your zone here. If you are located in the USA then you can check your zone here.
Last Frost Date
Why is this important? Well, this is the benchmark for everything you are going to do moving forward with the guide. You don’t want to start your seedings too early or put them outside too soon, only to watch them die due to an overnight frost! You can click here to look up your last frost date.
Using the guide
Armed with the last frost date you can now start using the guide below. Start by listing our all the things you want to grow in the first column, making sure to choose seeds that are appropriate for your hardiness zone.
Next check on your seed packets to see when they need to be started based on your last frost date. Most seed packets will include this vital piece of info, some however do not. If you find yourself dealing with this missing info, then you will have to head on over to google to look it up as best you can. Most seed packets will give you a number of weeks before the last frost date to start your seedlings. So go ahead and mark that down in the second column, for all your seeds. I just put “XX days/weeks”.
Then you can use your last frost date and count back the number of days/weeks in order to determine each of the start dates and then mark that down in the third column.
In the fourth column you are going to want to check the your seed packets for the number of days until maturity for each plant. This is one piece of info that I have found to be really hit or miss as to whether it is printing on the seed packets. Which is strange to me as how else are you going to know that things should be harvested! If it isn’t included it is usually easy enough to locate again with the help of the all powerful google.
This brings us to our last column, the one that let’s us know when to harvest our bounty! Using the Start date from column three, you can count forward the number of days until maturity (from column four) and use this to calculate the harvest date which you can then jot down in column five.
And there you have it, my little secret weapon to keeping myself organized with my planting and harvesting!