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First Spring Start

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First Spring Start

Post  ndgarden on 2/20/2011, 8:17 am

After getting a late start last year, this will officially be my first full season. I'm zone 4a/3b.

I'm ready to go. My "last frost date" is May 15th, so I'm at 12 weeks out (roughly). I'm set up with hoop gardens, as well as flourescents and indoor garden in my heated garage, so I have some flexibility.

Questions:

1) First, I know the "traditional" approach would be to start things like tomatoes, peppers, onions, etc, so I have good seedlings, or hopefully even decent sized plants to put in when I can, maybe 8-10 weeks from now given the hoop garden.

2) I'd also like to get some herbs started. I suppose that can happen whenever.

3) Do some also take advantage of "cooler" season plants, like spinach, chard, lettuce, broccoli by starting them now, and getting growth in my case from April-June before it gets too hot?

4) Do I seriously do the math and plant when I've counted back from when I think I can plant them outside? Given the erratic spring weather here in ND, the fact that I have hoops, and just normal variation in plants, I don't think its all purely a calculation.

5) I'm going to start on seed flats in my garage, its heated to about 60 deg F, and have heat mats so I think I'll be ok for germination. In the Seed Starters handbook, it looks like temperature is mostly determining the rate of germination, once within a certain range.

Thanks all, I look forward to a great season and appreciate in advance the significant help I will need.

John

ndgarden

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Join date : 2010-10-30
Location : North Dakota

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RE: First Spring Start

Post  Goosegirl on 2/20/2011, 10:11 am

Hello ndgarden! I am somewhere just south of you in SD - Zone 4b but plant for 3 if I want things to live! Here is a link that camprn recently posted on another thread that may help - it's an awsome calculator. This will be my first Spring Start for SFG. Last year was my first (reasonably) successful attempt at starting seedlings indoors early. Are you anywhere near the Blizzard Warning zone for today? I am right in the middle of it - so only dreaming of gardening today!

Seed Starting Calculator from Johnny's

Goosegirl
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Goosegirl

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Age : 52
Location : Zone 4A - NE SD

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Re: First Spring Start

Post  ndgarden on 2/20/2011, 11:02 am

Thanks very much.

No, just snow and wind, winter weather advisory.

Enjoy your day!

John

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