Senior Member
Posts: 129
Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2010 6:17 pm
Location: NorthWest NJ

Planting Veggies from seed

Hello! This is my second year gardening in my home (last year was not much of a success for most - bad weather) but this year I wanted to more growing from seeds (kids get a kick out of it and it's educational). My question is I started all of my seeds basically with only a week apart. Some are growing faster than others but is there a 'Rule of thumb' when these can be safely transplanted outside (besides the obvious - post last frost). I've also heard that you should take the plants outside during the day to toughen them? Is that accurate? Thanks for any help.

FWIW I am planting Beefsteak Tomatos, Climbing Cucumbers (the seed packages do not do a good enough job identifying them as such), Climbing string beans (same thing), Peppers - bell, Eggplant, Squash, spinage!

Greener Thumb
Posts: 955
Joined: Sun Apr 04, 2010 7:29 pm
Location: Central PA

Hi & welcome to the wonderful world of 'grow yer' own" !

>>moving them outside
often called "hardening off" - exposing the seedlings to wind/sun conditions perhaps more severe that the TLC then get in an inhouse-germination situation. works - typically results in 'sturdier' seedlings for transplant - generally a recommended practice.

beans, cukes, squash, spinach are usually "direct seeded" - plunk the seeds directly into the garden and let them sprout. spinach is an early crop - could have gone in 3-4 weeks ago (zone 5-6 time)

some seedling dislike having a root disturbance (unavoidable in transplanting) which is another 'direct seed' reason. you can soak the seeds overnight in tepid water which will shorten the plant to sprout time.

the peppers and eggplant you can hold off (post last frost) on transplanting - those are two that thrive best in good hot full sun. putting them in early they'll just sit there an smile at you without "doing much" - resist the urge to fertilizer / etc these should they languish.

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