Planting Seeds and Seedlings -- Gardening Series

This is the third post in our Vegetable Garden Planning blogs series.  

Now that we have talked about our garden location and the type of soil we are going to use, it's time to think about  what we want to plant in the garden.  The great thing about gardening is that you can choose exactly what you want to plant!  For example, you can decide to have a "Purple Ravens" garden that would include purple cauliflower, purple string beans, purple carrots, and purple potatoes. 

To start your garden, you will need seeds or seedlings.  Seeds can be bought from most garden stores and even grocery stores.  Meyers Seeds is a locally owned seed company with a store in Baltimore.  Seeds can also be ordered from an online seed catalog or you can have a catalog sent to your house (try searching for "vegetable seeds catalog"). Some vegetables are best started from seeds while others are best planted from a seedling (a seed that has already had some time to start growing).  Garden stores often sell these plants:  cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, tomato, peppers, and eggplants.

Planting Times

One way to make sure that your fruits and veggies grow is to plant the seeds and seedlings at the right time.  Some plants like the cold weather (in the fall/spring) while others grow best in the warmer weather (summer).  Some plants can be planted as early as late February while others need to be planted in mid-May.  Each plant is unique and knowing when to plant your seeds and seedlings is important.  It also depends on weather patterns too!  Below is a list of summer months and when vegetables should be planted.

MonthPlant seeds indoorsPlant seeds outdoorsTransplant seedlings outdoors
Late Feb./Early MarchCabbage, tomatoes, Snow peas 
MarchBroccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, collards, lettuce, kale, peppers, eggplantMid-March: Chinese cabbage, lettuce, peas, potatoes, spinach, turnips, parsnips, radishesMid-March: Cabbage
April Beets, carrots, Swiss chard, kale, kohlrabi, leeks, lettuce, peas, radishes, spinach, mustard greens. Mid-April: string beansBroccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collards, lettuce
May (after Mothers Day) Lima beans, snap peas, black eyed peas, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, zucchini, yellow squashMid-May: Eggplant, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, sweet potatoes
June Beans, cucumbers, melons, pumpkins, corn, winter squashCucumber, zucchini, beans, yellow squash, melons

** This chart is for spring and summer gardens. You can grow fall gardens too! Check out the Grow It, Eat It website for more detailed information on planting times.

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© Eat Smart, Be Fit Maryland!Maira Gall