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When to Start Seeds Indoors

 
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The following table can be used to determine the appropriate time to start seeds indoors.  Seed starting date is based on the "last frost" date.  Most of the Kansas City metro area can expect a "frost free" date around April 15.  A couple of days earlier or later as you go south or north respectively. Careful here!  That means that there is still a 50% chance of frost on this date - not the best odds when your plants are on the line.  We are a bit conservative here at Savvygardener.com and as a rule don't plant any tender plants outdoors until the first full weekend in May.

It's up to you of course but whatever date you choose this chart will help you set your seed starting dates.

 

Plant

Approximate Number of Weeks
Before Last Frost Date
to Start Seeds Indoors

Time Seeds Take
to Germinate (Days)

Temp.
(oF)

Light/Dark
Requirement

Ageratum

8

5 to 10

70

Light

Alyssum

8

5 to 10

70

Either

Aster

6

5 to 10

70

Either

Balsam

6

5 to 10

70

Either

Begonia

12 or more

10 to 15

70

Light

Broccoli

8

5 to 10

70

Either

Browallia

12 or more

15 to 20

70

Light

Cabbage

8

5 to 10

70

Either

Cauliflower

8

5 to 10

70

Either

Celosia

8

5 to 10

70

Either

Centurea

6

5 to 10

65

Dark

Coleus

8

5 to 10

65

Light

Columbine 8 20 - 25 70 Light

Cosmos

4 or less

5 to 10

70

Either

Cucumber

4 or less

5 to 10

85

Either

Dahlia

8

5 to 10

70

Either

Dianthus

10

5 to 10

70

Either

Eggplant

8

5 to 10

70

Either

Geranium

12 or more

10 to 20

70

Light

Impatiens

10

15 to 20

70

Light

Larkspur

12 or more

5 to 10

55

Dark

Lettuce

8

5 to 10

70

Light

Marigold

6

5 to 10

70

Either

Muskmelon

4 or less

5 to 10

85

Either

Nicotiana

8

10 to 15

70

Light

Pansy (Viola)

12 or more

5 to 10

65

Dark

Pepper

8

5 to 10

80

Either

Petunia

10

5 to 10

70

Light

Phlox

8

5 to 10

65

Dark

Portulaca

10

5 to 10

70

Dark

Snapdragon

10

5 to 10

65

Light

Squash

4 or less

5 to 10

85

Either

Stock

10

10 to 15

70

Either

Tomato

6

5 to 10

80

Either

Verbena

10

15 to 20

65

Dark

Vinca

12 or more

10 to 15

70

Either

Watermelon

4 or less

5 to 10

85

Either

Zinnia

6

5 to 10

70

Either

Table courtesy of North Carolina State University Extension

 

 

 
 

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