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Green Thumb
Posts: 404
Joined: Sun Oct 14, 2012 3:55 pm
Location: Idaho

Learning a lot--need to learn more

I've gardened for over 30 years but mainly by the seat of my pants. Wait until last avg. frost date, then plant all the seeds at once. I just start tomatoes, peppers, etc. indoors 6-8 weeks before last frost date. I just read the Minnesota germination chart and have some dumb questions to ask. I just bought a soil temp. probe. It doesn't say how deep to stick it in the soil so-- the depth the seed is to be planted? 2 inches? 4 inches? Is it best to plant seeds at the shortest germination temp? That sounds reasonable to me. I'm taking it that the cooler temp. germinating seeds, if sprouted, can take frosts? I've never tried succession planting but would like to try it. Can this work with my short growing season? I'm really not a newbie gardener but learning better ways are always good.
High Altitude Gardener zone 4B or 5A

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Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

I just now saw this post...

Yes, I think planting your seeds more according to what the plants need, cool weather crops vs warm will help you make better use of your short season.

And yes, the seeds that germinate at cooler temperatures are typically frost hardy. But then so are some of the others. I started my cabbage and broccoli on the heat mats, because they germinate very fast that way (about 48 hr!). But they are cool weather crops. Once the seedlings get a little bigger and have true leaves, I will move them off the heat mat. Then after they grow out a little more, they will get hardened off and transplanted out into the garden at least a month ahead of my average last frost date.

So they will still go through some frosts and maybe snows, but they will be fine. I also have spinach and broccoli in my garden that I planted (direct seeded in the ground) in October. It is over wintering and has been through lots of frosts, snows, temp in single digits. It is just sitting there doing nothing, but still green. I expect as soon as things warm up a bit, it will take off and give me a very early crop as it did last year.

By planting early and late cool weather crops, you should be able to get more from your season.
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