Get a jump on the growing season
Seed starting is fun and easy, and can give your garden a jumpstart in the spring. When starting indoors, make sure seeds get lots of warmth, moisture and light – at least eight hours every day. South-facing windows work best, but if you don’t have them, use a grow light.
Direct seeding, or planting seeds directly in a garden, can happen as early as April for hardy plants, including kale, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, peas, cilantro, cauliflower and lettuce. Plants with edible roots, like carrots and radishes, should always be direct seeded, as it’s easy to damage roots when transplanting.
Rhode Island’s frost date is May 10 (the latest that a frost is likely). You’ll want to wait to direct seed heat-loving plants (tomatoes, squashes, melons, beans and basil) until after this date so that the soil has had time to warm up.
Always read the directions on your seed packets, and keep them for reference.
Steps for seed starting indoors
- Have these materials ready:
- seed starting soil
- containers with drainage holes at bottom: egg cartons or yogurt containers work well
- Fill container with soil
- Moisten with warm water
- Make a hole
- Put seed into hole
- Cover with soil
And watch for your seedlings to sprout!
Check out these online seed sellers:
For more information, here’s another great online resource for organic gardeners:
See the chart below from URI’s Master Gardeners program for information about the best times to transplant different types of plants in Rhode Island: