When to Start Seeds Indoors for Spring Planting

Are you itching to get your garden planted? It can be tempting to get your seeds started in the house now, but you might need to wait for just a little while longer so you don't end up with dead plants before you are able to transplant them outside. When to start seeds indoors for spring planting is a big question.

When to Start Seeds Indoors for Spring Planting pinterest image of seedlings with text overlay

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When to Start Seeds Indoors for Spring Planting

There are a number of notable benefits to starting seeds indoors over planting them outside, highlighted below. Most avid gardeners start at least some of their seeds inside.

Northern gardeners and those with short growing seasons absolutely must start seeds indoors in order to successfully grow and harvest certain crops at all! 

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There are some plants that just take a long time to go from seed to harvest. Broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower for example. Giving these plants a head start in the house give them growing time for you to be able to harvest them before the end of summer/autumn.

Tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant can take a couple of months before they begin producing edible fruits. Starting them indoors means you’ll be harvesting sooner and longer before chilly fall weather returns once again.

You just want to avoid planting too soon. Cucumbers do not like to be moved once they have passed the sprout stage for example and it would be a shame to have your plants die after all your hard work.

When to Start Seeds Indoors for Spring Planting social media image of seedlings with text overlay

Plants to Start Indoor

  • broccoli
  • brussels sprouts
  • cabbage
  • lettuce
  • tomatoes
  • cauliflower
  • celery
  • eggplant
  • peppers

The following vegetables can be started indoors, but must be carefully transplanted:

  • Celery
  • Chard
  • Cucumber
  • Melon
  • Peas
  • Pumpkin
  • Spinach
  • Squash

Seed Planting Planning Tools

Use this calculator to determine when you should be starting your seeds. Below is an example from the calculator for when I should be starting seeds based on the last frost date of May 23.

when to start seeds indoor chart

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