Saturday, January 30, 2010

Seed Starting Schedule 2010

I’ve been gardening for many years now. However, in the past I have mostly purchased my plants as transplants and planted them into the garden. This year I have decided to grow from seed. There are so many additional things to think about and plan out.

I have plotted out the garden and know how many plants to plan on. I have purchased my seeds. I have also decided to try soil blocks for growing my seedlings.

Last weekend, I spent several hours obsessing planning my seed starting schedule. I have no idea what will work and what won’t. Do I go by the individual seed packages? Do I follow Maine Organic Farmers and Gardners Association (MOFGA) suggestions in this article, “Huge Growth Potential, Pounds of Dividends: It’s Time to Order Seeds” by Jean English? Do I take Elliot Coleman’s advice and try to extend my growing seasons?

Eventually, I settled upon the seed schedule listed below:

Seed Planning 2010 (Last Frost Date: May 20)
Description Seed Starting Transplant Date
Parsley (curled) 2/8/10 5/3/10
Parsley (flat leaf) 2/8/10 5/3/10
Copra Onions 2/21/10 4/25/10
Patterson Onions 2/21/10 4/25/10
Evergreen Bunching Onion 3/7/10 4/25/10
Lettuce Blend 3/14/10 4/25/10
Simpson Elite Lettuce 3/14/10 4/25/10
Red Salad Bowl Lettuce 3/14/10 4/25/10
Marvielle of 4 Seasons Lettuce 3/14/10 4/25/10
Bib Butterhead Lettuce 3/14/10 4/25/10
Fernleaf Dill 3/21/10 6/6/10
Tyee Spinach 2/21/10 4/18/10
Indian Summer Hybrid 2/21/10 4/18/10
Japanese Eggplant 3/28/10 6/6/10
San-Marzano Tomato 3/28/10 6/6/10
Roma VF 3/28/10 6/6/10
Early Girl Hybrid 3/28/10 6/6/10
Calabrese Broccoli 3/28/10 5/10/10
Cayenne Pepper 4/4/10 6/6/10
California Wonder Bell 4/4/10 6/6/10
Jalapeno Chili Pepper 4/4/10 6/6/10
Anaheim Pepper 4/4/10 6/6/10
Sweet Basil 4/5/10 6/6/10
Snow Peas 4/18/10 N/A Direct Seed
Cilantro 4/18/10 6/6/10
Mesclun Mix Lettuce 4/25/10 N/A Direct Seed
Little Finger Carrots 4/25/10 N/A Direct Seed
Nantes carrots 4/25/10 N/A Direct Seed
Sugar Snax 4/25/10 N/A Direct Seed
Charantais Melon 5/2/10 6/6/10
Fastbreak Melon 5/2/10 6/6/10
Sugar Baby Watermelon 5/2/10 6/6/10
Cilantro 5/2/10 6/20/10
National Pickling Cucumber 5/2/10 5/30/10
Sumter Cucumber 5/2/10 5/30/10
Potatoes (soil temp at least 50F) 5/9/10 N/A Direct Seed
Zucchini Hybrid 5/30/10 N/A Direct Seed
Kentucky Wonder Pole Beans 5/30/10 N/A Direct Seed
Purple Trionfo Violetto Pole 5/30/10 N/A Direct Seed
Neon Lights Swill Chard 5/30/10 5/9/10

Revised: Feb 6, 2010


  1. If you can email me at anniebloom1 at gmail dot com, I have my favorite guide for planting times to send you. I love it, because it gives a range of dates suitable for planting.

  2. That's a nice looking seed starting schedule. You show an incredible restraint on your warm weather lovers - showing them going into the garden a few weeks after your average last frost free date. I shoot right for mine - but use protective covers. Your approach is actually probably better for those types of crops - I just don't have the will power not to get them into the garden as soon as is possible!

  3. I think you've done a good job planning it all out. That's half the battle! I'm from the Brunswick area and always visit Freeport when I com up that way. What a lovely part of the country Maine is-especially Mid-Coast.

  4. Oh I know just how you feel. I was there last year. In some cases I started my seeds too soon and others I hit right on the mark. Over all it turned out just fine and this year I'm starting a little later. Maybe even a little too late for some seeds... but there's nothing like trial and error to season you up a bit. Like you I was feeling very overwhelmed but I found once I has my schedule down and just stuck to it I was fine. I used the Farmers Almanac as my planting guide for my zone and will use it again this year. Be careful seed starting can become addictive. The only veggie I didn't start from seed was broccoli and I felt like I was cheating ;-) Have Fun!

  5. Looks good to me GM ! My LFD is a little later than yours, so taking that into account, we're pretty synchronized.

    I will be forcing a few summer crops this year. (beans, cukes, squash, melon). Some will be started indoors, others planted and protected outside. I've also wintersown many greens and am curious to see how/when they 'naturally' come out.

    I can't believe February is just 2 days away ! We're so getting there ! :D

  6. Wow! So much more organized than me. My way is more, I'm bored. What can I put in the ground.

    I have roughed out dates on my calendar, but I'm always off by a week or two.

  7. I just use this:
    Grow Guide
    Quick, easy, and if you keep changing the dates forward, you can make out your whole schedule months in advance.

  8. I've almost got mine finished too. I think experience is the best way to find out. Everyone starts their seeds at different times and plants the out at different times. Eventually you learn what is best for you garden plot.

  9. That is so organized! When I did seedlings I put them in some dirt and when they looked like plants I threw them into the garden LOL. I think your plan looks great :)

  10. Gosh, you have alot of different things to plant! No wonder it's a bit overwhelming.

  11. Thank you everybody for your encouraging replies!

    AG: I sent you an email. Thank you!

    KistsapFG: I may change my mind when the time comes. I usually shoot for having the garden planted by Memorial Day. However last year, we had two frosts after that date.

    Tina: Thanks for the encouragement! I agree, mid-coast Maine is beautiful.

    Liisa: You are correct, getting the schedule completed was the worst part. Now I can break it down and focus on in smaller groups. I am sure after one year I will have a better idea of what worked and what didn’t and adjust for the next time. Thanks for the reassurance.

    Miss M: Thank you! I am so worried about doing it right. I am sure that it will all work out. I am hoping with some protection I can plant out some cold tolerant plants early too. I have researched winter sowing and do want to try it some day.

    Ribbit: Since the garden is frozen solid and under snow right now, I have nothing but time to think things over and plan what I am to grow this year. I guess being off a week or two really isn’t too bad, right?

    Tina: Thanks for the link! I came across this a little while ago and did use it in my planning.

    Daphne: You are right, experience it probably the best way to figure this all out. Now that I have a rough schedule and as long as I keep notes, it will make the following years easier.

    Crystabel: LOL! I have a long winter to think about gardening and think about it I do.

    EG: The list seemed quite long when I was looking at each item individually. Hopefully, it will not be too overwhelming when I start organizing these seedlings under lights.