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Oh the possibilities of Spring

Click below to listen to my Garden Bite radio show:  The possibilities of Spring

 I just ordered some seeds and pepper plants!  I can hardly contain myself!  After suffering through the worst winter EVER, or close enough, I am SO ready.  I bought ‘Purple Dragon’ carrots, ‘Easy Peasy’ peas, ‘Red Russian’ Kale, n heirloom broccoli I’ve not tried called ‘Waltham’ and a hybrid zucchini.  Oh and there’s so much more I plan on buying!


It’s time to get those tomato and pepper plants started indoors.  I know some who’ve already started the process but you’re not too late, trust me.  These warm season veggies, are some of the last to be planted in the garden. For zone 4, typically, you plant near the end of May beginning of June for Zone 3 folks.  It’s really all about soil temperature.  Your soil should be 70 degrees or warmer to plant tomatoes and peppers.  You can pick up a thermometer for about $5 to $7 at your local nursery.  

Pepper seedlings

Pepper seedlings

What do you need:

  • a place to put your seedlings!
  • sterile containers or peat pots or those peat pellets
  • soil-less seed starting mix
  • light (I use an old shop light on a pulley system)
  • heating mat
  • fan
  • seeds!  Check out this comprehensive article about Seed Starting by the Unversity of Minnesota Extension

Place your planted seeds in a tray on a heating mat.  These are relatively inexpensive and well worth having, especially if you place your seeds in the basement.  Bottom heat will help your seeds germinate and will also help prevent Damping Off.  Once your seeds sprout, they’ll need light.  Always check out your seed packet for information on germination, soil and light conditions.  Generally speaking, your seedlings will need anything from 12 to 16 hours a day.  Tomatoes and peppers are a good example of 16 hour a day lighting.  Keep the light about 6 inches from the top of the seedlings (thus the pulley system).  Let a fan gently blow on your seedlings for about an hour a day, this will strengthen their stems.

If you have a warm sunny window, then by all means, use it!

Seedlings in trays and peat pots

Seedlings in trays and peat pots


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