How late can i plant a garden from seed

How late can i plant a garden from seed to harvest?


While your question is quite comprehensive, there are a few points to consider:

In general, seedlings take a lot longer to grow (typically at least 2 weeks). However, some plants are able to survive as seedlings when grown at cooler temperatures. Some are even able to survive through seed until you plant them out.

The length of time that you can plant a seed before germination can be affected by soil quality, temperature, fertilization, timing, and seed type. For this reason, some plants (like peppers) will germinate at sub-optimal temperatures, which will greatly increase your germination rate.

Seed starting can save a lot of time on seedlings and be worth the initial investment in soil and other stuff to set up an actual seedling greenhouse.

If you use soil from a greenhouse and plant the seeds where you got your seeds (which is the easiest way to go) you will increase the likelihood of successful germination and survival.

Plants will mature at different times and some will finish maturing before you do, but other will take longer.

Some plants such as berry bushes have fruit that ripens at an extremely rapid rate. They are sold as "hothouse" plants because they need temperatures in excess of 90°F to ripen. The trick to get plants ready for sale by a certain date is to try to get them into production well before the first hard frost and then harvest them immediately when they are fully ripe. These are the "guaranteed" to sell by a certain date and don't need to be cooled off.

Most (if not all) commercially sold seed will be treated to some degree for "germination enhancement". I would not recommend using these seeds to start your own plants, but if you use the labeled seeds and let your plants grow to maturity, you can be reasonably confident that they will germinate the next year.

NOTE: I am talking about planting certified seed, not planting an open pollinated hybrid seed and claiming that you grew it yourself. I just meant that even if you buy seeds and let them do their thing, some are treated to speed up their germination.

Some plants may be started in a greenhouse before they are ever moved outside. I would usually just start the seedlings that I know I need when I can move them outside, but there is no law that says you can't start a seedling indoors and then transplant to the garden.

This is a question I have gotten asked many times. It's not simple. You have to consider a variety of factors. The germination rate of some seeds are higher than others (the one time seedlings). Some of the seedlings you buy are going to be bigger than your soil. Some seeds need a LOT of room and in turn need to grow a lot in order for them to reach maturity. Some seeds take longer to germinate than others. And some take a longer time to "break dormancy" and start producing mature fruit.

I would say that it depends on the plant. Some plants will start producing fruits much earlier than others. There are also plants that will go dormant and take a long time to re-germinate. Some plants will go dormant in the cold. Some plants will go dormant in the heat. There is a lot of different information out there and I'm trying to keep this as comprehensive as possible, but I would say that there is no generic answer to that question. There are no hard and fast rules for starting seedlings.

There are a few general guidelines to be followed, but they are not absolute. There is a lot of trial and error.

Growing seedlings that mature into the average crop plant is generally not all that fun. And waiting until the first frost is not all that fun either. There are a lot of plants that will not produce much until the second year and that is a huge drawback to the experience. You can mitigate some of the issues with growing plants from seed by using a container and growing them under lights. Seedlings generally don't need to be in full sun. They don't need a lot of light. Some even grow better in the dark. They can be started out with regular light bulbs (not fluorescent) and moved into a seedling greenhouse when they are ready to leave seed starting. The lights should be placed on timers. The lights should be set to a timer so that the lights are on from dawn to dusk and off for a period of time at night. The length of time during the night that the lights should be on will depend on the temperature. When the temperature is 35-40°F, the night time should be around 30 minutes. When the temperature is 45-50°F, the night time should be around 15 minutes. When the temperature is 55-60°F, the night time should be around 5 minutes. During the day, the plants should be kept cool with the lights on to help prevent them from overheating.

You can buy growing kits for the garden. If you're planning on growing fruit, you want to get seeds for the plants that will produce the best tasting fruit. If you're planning on growing herbs, you will want to get seeds for the varieties that will be grown all the time. They need to be done by a certain date and you won't be able to change them from a certified seed packet at the store. But a growing kit can be modified to your liking. There are a lot of seed companies that will sell you plants for a low cost. Often these are just clones that are raised from cuttings and then sold as seeds. But sometimes the seed companies can make better varieties that just don't have any seed yet.

Good luck!


I'd say "Don't plan until you have plants."

Germination time is not that great a variable (way less than 10% variance, IMO), and most plants take less than 6 months to grow to harvest. So being able to plant 5 months prior to harvest, or planting in time for winter/spring will leave you fine with keeping your dates.


Growing from seed can

Watch the video: How Late Can I Plant Plants? w. Tony Frisella Jr.

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