Gardeners start your engines - Seed starting schedule for a vegetable garden

Seed2
Here is the schedule I follow in Spokane based on a May 15 last freeze date. I have a greenhouse which makes managing larger plants easier. You might want to push it back 2 weeks if you're putting them by a south facing window.

March 1 - 11 weeks ahead of last freeze date

  • Clean up greenhouse and get heater set up
  • Map out this year's garden plan
    • rotate crops to limit disease (for example tomato, potato, eggplant varieties should not be planted in the same place from one year to the next.)
    • Be aware of plants that like each other and plants that don't. Go here or here for an overview.
  • Start seeds for peppers, eggplant and onions.
  • Plant parsnip seeds in the garden

March 15 - 9 weeks ahead of last freeze date

  • Start seeds for tomatoes, perennials and some flowers (I'm experimenting with wildflower seeds I collected last year so I'll probably plant some trays of those for the fun of it.)
  • I'll either start pea plants in the greenhouse or more likely just plant the seeds in the garden. It's so mild this year you could probably get away with it.
  • Six weeks is probably more than adequate for starting most tomatoes but I like to make the most of the greenhouse. The bigger they are the more fun it is to give them to friends and neighbors.

March 29 - 7 weeks ahead of last freeze date

  • Start seeds for squash, lettuce, kohl rabi and other "cole" crops like cabbage. I might start the cole crops earlier. Every year I swear off growing cabbage, kale etc. because we don't eat them. But the chickens sure do like it.
  • I'll probably start a another tragic saga of the giant pumpkin somewhere in here too.

April 26 - 3 weeks ahead of last freeze date

  • Go cry on the shoulder of Bruce Metzger from GEM Garden and Greenhouse and ask him why my plants are dying.
  • Start seeds for cucumbers.
  • Buy some of his starts from his greenhouse and put them in my greenhouse and feel a lot better about the green in my greenhouse.
  • Plant pea and lettuce starts being sure to cover them at night if it freezes.

May 15 - historic last freeze date

  • Empty the greenhouse and get it all planted except the tomatoes and peppers that really like it warm. June 1 is the usual date to plant out tomatoes and peppers around these parts.
  • Beans really do best by direct seeding them into the garden so now is the time to do that. I don't bother with corn anymore. It takes up a lot of space, hogs water and fertilizer and generally disappoints come harvest time.

May 22 - one week before I told everyone on the blog to plant out their tomatoes and peppers

  • Plant out tomatoes and peppers because I just can't stand taking care of them in the greenhouse anymore.

The best way to learn is to try and try again.