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Vegetables & Herbs

Starting a garden is so exciting! Whether you start with one type of plant or 20, there is nothing better than the fresh, delicious flavor of something you grew from seed. Knowing your growing zone, when to start, and choosing a few beginner varieties are the first steps in growing a garden!

Planting 101: How do I plant a seed?

There are 2 methods to plant a seed, Seed Starting indoors or Direct Sowing outdoors. Deciding which way to grow your seed is dependent on the type of variety and the length of your growing season. If the ground is warm enough, you can plant the seeds where the plant will grow (i.e. the ground or in a pot) which is referred to as Direct Sowing. If a variety takes longer to mature or you live in a colder climate with a short growing season, it’s best to Seed Start indoors.

How do I know what to Seed Start?

Look on the back of your packet for recommendations and ask yourself these questions:

  • Is the maturity date on your variety over 90 days?
  • Is the variety happily transplanted and are the roots strong enough?
  • Do you have a short growing season?

If the answer is yes to any of these questions, you will be most successful if you start these seeds indoors.

How do I know what to Direct Sow?

Look on the back of your packet for recommendations and ask yourself these questions:

  • Is the variety a fast grower - maturing in under 90 days?
  • Are the roots too fragile to move? Root vegetables and shallow-rooted veggies prefer to stay put!
  • Do you live in a warmer climate?

If the answer is yes to any of these questions, you can Direct Sow these seeds.

Seed Starting Favorites

Start seeds indoors to give longer-to-mature plants additional growing time before the outdoor planting season begins. Warm climate gardeners benefit from starting indoors too – extra growing time to fit in a 2nd round of crops! Use seed starting supplies like Jiffy-Pots® or Jiffy greenhouses to set up a seed starting station.

Tomatoes & Peppers

Tomatoes and Peppers prefer to be more mature before heading outdoors as stronger seedlings. They transplant so well after 6-8 weeks indoors they are the poster children for Seed Starting!


Cucumbers are a tender, warm-weather crop that won't germinate in soil below 60 degrees. They can take a while to germinate so starting indoors is an excellent jump start in northern climates.


Thyme, rosemary, basil, sage, chives, and tarragon are great choices to start indoors. The seeds are very fine and take a fair amount of time to germinate. Starting them indoors before the last frost will give you a head start on the season.


Starting your eggplant 8-10 weeks before your last frost date is ideal as they prefer warmer weather and take a longer time to mature.

Direct Sow Favorites

Direct sow plants that prefer not to have their roots disturbed. These plants should be planted directly into the ground outdoors after the last frost has passed.


Carrots, radishes, turnips, and other “root crops” prefer direct sowing, so there is no damage to their roots during transplanting.


Most lettuces and leafy greens mature in 40-60 days which is perfect timing to get your soil warm and seeds planted. They grow so fast that it's often a good idea to put new seeds down every few weeks to enjoy leafy greens throughout the season!

Beans & Peas

While separate species, beans, and peas are very similar in growing. They are quick to germinate and don't respond well to transplanting so direct sowing is ideal.


A long frost-free growing season is ideal for corn, but it does not like to be transplanted so if you have a short growing season choose early-season corn like Early Bantam, Early Sunglow, and Bodacious varieties.