Last Updated: September 20, 2019

I used to take that “start indoors 4 to 6 weeks before last frost” stuff on the back of seed packets pretty seriously. It took me about 5 years and umpteen dead seedlings before I figured out, regardless of what the weather tables say about my climate zone, that “last frost” could be anywhere from mid-February to late April.

So now, rather than trying to figure out when the last frost might be and working backwards, I always plant my first sets of seeds at the end of February. Spring veggies that don’t mind a cold snap or two when they’re young get planted outdoors in standard 4″ pots (I use floating row cover if it gets too cold). Cold sensitive plants get planted indoors in larger 6″ pots, which allows me to keep them inside until the weather is more accommodating.

Here’s the stuff I started on February 26

  • Arcadia Broccoli
  • Igloo Cauliflower
  • Romanesco Broccoli
  • Conquistador Celery
  • Bouquet Dill
  • Danish Ballhead Cabbage
  • Loose Leaf Lettuce Mix
  • Space Spinach
  • Oregon Sugar Pod II Pea
  • Napolitano Basil (pesto)
  • Brandywine Tomato
  • Sun Gold Tomato
  • Yellow Pear Tomato
  • Pink Stuffer Tomato
  • Riesentraube Tomato
  • Lemon Basil
  • National Pickling Cucumber

March 5, 2017 Update: Despite four inches of rain followed by three nights of freezing weather, the peas, lettuce and spinach have already sprouted outdoors. And I noticed this morning that all of the tomatoes and the cucumbers are sprouting indoors as well. Not a bad start.