Level Acres Farm - Garden Center - Seasonal Harvest

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Indoor Seed Starting!

We know our extended family of gardeners and planters are as anxious to get planting as we are. The days are getting longer, and before you know it, we will be free of the lingering chill.

In the meantime, why not get started indoors? Seed Savers and NESeed Company have sent us a wonderful collection of vegetable and flower seeds. Included are some new varieties and of course the tried and true favorites.

Many people aren't sure when to start their seeds and which are best to start indoors. We are going to break it down and simplify things...

What can I start indoors?

Most of your favorites can be started indoors here in New England: tomatoes, peppers, beans, squash, and melons, to name a few. Also, many herbs like basil, cilantro, dill and parsley can be started indoors. Starting some seeds is a great way to get kids involved and interested in gardening. It also gives you a chance to try some different things and keep your harvest eclectic!

When should I get started?

March-May is the time to seed most plants that will be set outside later in the spring. Start by choosing what you'd like to grow this year. Gather your containers and growing medium. Times will vary depending what you have chosen and it is important to check each seed packet carefully to see how many days to sprout, to maturity, etc..Tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant are a few that take the most time. These should be started 6-8 weeks before the last frost which is mid/late May in Southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Beans, pumpkins, and squash are among the easiest and quickest to start. These can be ready to transplant outdoors in about a week so no need to start them too early.

I've planted my seeds; now what?

The only other requirements you need are light, warmth, water and attention.

Seedlings need lots of light or they will be stalky, spindly, and feeble. A sunny south facing window will do for a handful of plants. If growing on a windowsill, rotate the plants every few days to avoid the plants bending toward the light. Some seasoned gardeners use artificial lights so they can raise more plants and make sure they get enough rays. Water gently as necessary to keep the soil evenly moist. With a little time and attention you will experience the pride of transplanting your own seedlings, where hopefully they will reward you with a bountiful harvest!