Starting vegetables from seed
starting seeds outdoors
Sowing seeds directly into the garden eliminates the need to transplant. The seeds are planted directly into the rows or beds where they are to grow. Most seeds are sold as loose seeds in a paper packet and should be planted at the depth and spacing indicated on the packet. Some seeds are also sold as seed tape, which eliminates the need for spacing. Many plants must be started indoors, in order to do well in our relatively short summers. They should be planted by start dates specific to individual plants. This information can be found on individual seed packets, as well as in Gardensense in the appropriate sections.
seed planting steps (outdoors)
- Plan area to be planted
- Work and condition soil.
- Sow seeds in individually marked rows or beds at the depth and spacing indicated.
- Water in well and keep beds moist.
- Plants can be fertilized with an appropriate fertilizer, such as 15-30-15, when they have two sets of leaves
starting seeds indoors
With Calgary's short growing season, plants grown from seed often do not have the proper conditions to complete their cycle of growth. Many seeds get off to a better start when they are sown indoors in containers and later transplanted outdoors. Many would not have the time to flower unless planted much sooner than is possible outdoors.
Plastic flats are the perfect containers for starting seeds, but any container with adequate drainage will do. Seeds that are started in February or March will do much better growing under fluorescent lights, as day length is short and windows do not provide light over a long enough period. Those started in April and early May will generally be fine in bright, sunny windows. Some seeds need heat to germinate, soe need cool; some need to be covered, and some need to be exposed to light. Experiment with likely spots in your home and remember that fluorescent lighting can be added to supplement natural light.