Seeds and Transplants To Plant Now

Germinated lettuce seeds planted outdoors about 10 days ago

Transplants of broccoli in large container planted outdoors

Tomato seedlings growing in wimpy greenhouse that were seeded about 10 days ago.

Finally, the weatherman is predicting a sunny weekend with normal temperatures. So why not consider planting certain seeds and transplants in your garden now. Lettuce, greens including kale and mustard greens, and carrots do fine in these temperatures we are expecting. I plant cole crops, broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower now, as well as dormant onions or onion sets. If you are impatient, lettuces are available to set out as transplants, too. But remember, don’t be fooled and plant peppers and tomatoes outdoors yet, as the typical last frost date is April 15. The weatherman is predicting we could have freezing nights next week. If you follow this blog you know several years ago I graduated from windowsill seed germination of my tomatoes to a wimpy greenhouse. As you can see from the above image, my first set of tomato seedlings have already germinated. There are two tricks for successful germination for most summer vegetable seeds: sunlight and bottom heat. I simply sowed the seeds in a fine potting mix, covered them lightly, labeled the rows (always left to right for me), placed on a heating pad in a sunny space, and misted them once or twice daily to keep the soil medium moist. Once the true leaves of the plants appear, I will move them to individual pots to grow until the are ready to be placed the the garden after April 15. Of course, if you do not have the time or the patience, just go to the Birmingham Botanical Gardens’ plant sale the second weekend in April and buy some.

John Floyd

John Floyd has been gardening--and learning about Birmingham area gardening--for more than 30 years. In addition to his day-to-day experience, John has degrees in horticulture from Auburn and Clemson Universities and was Editor-in-Chief of Southern Living.

4 thoughts on “Seeds and Transplants To Plant Now

  1. Trying some strawberries this year. Bought the little set of 10 crowns in peat moss. Can I put those in the ground yet?

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