This year's target date for seed starting..........


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......will NOT be "tomorrow" leading to OVERGROWN seedlings 3-4 weeks before last local frost date like last year. I am DETERMINED (right NOW) to wait, at least, until the 3rd week in February........with the possible exception of onion and beet seeds...........Now we wait and see if self-discipline kicks in "TOMORROW"..........as the excitement intensifies.......
 
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......will NOT be "tomorrow" leading to OVERGROWN seedlings 3-4 weeks before last local frost date like last year. I am DETERMINED (right NOW) to wait, at least, until the 3rd week in February........with the possible exception of onion and beet seeds...........Now we wait and see if self-discipline kicks in "TOMORROW"..........as the excitement intensifies.......
I followed the older gardeners last year, which includes @Chuck, and went by soil temp instead of freeze dates and it was tantamount to catching a heat wave and riding the thing in versus have to have a motor on the surfboard to make up for poor timing. The plant chemistry just does not have gears for slow down or speed up in the sense of seed starters messing with their timing imo.
 
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The following link is a good gauge to plant seeds by. Notice that on most of the plants the seed germination is optimum at the higher end of the spectrum. If one doesn't want large transplant seedlings just count back from the date of last frost, but, IMO large transplants will produce earlier and longer than the smaller plants due to being older and more mature. If one has room to plant seeds earlier than the recommended 4-6 weeks before last frost, IMO he should do so. Soil temperatures for setting out transplants is different than for seed germination but still very important. Transplanting into a too cool soil will greatly slow down growth on most garden vegetables, but especially on peppers. The warmer the soil is, the better and faster plant growth is. I have found that tomato transplants do OK when transplanted when the soil is 65F but peppers do not do as well. I have found peppers need a temperature of at least 70F and preferably a soil temperature close to 80F for seedlings to maintain their rate of growth.

 
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The following link is a good gauge to plant seeds by. Notice that on most of the plants the seed germination is optimum at the higher end of the spectrum. If one doesn't want large transplant seedlings just count back from the date of last frost, but, IMO large transplants will produce earlier and longer than the smaller plants due to being older and more mature. If one has room to plant seeds earlier than the recommended 4-6 weeks before last frost, IMO he should do so. Soil temperatures for setting out transplants is different than for seed germination but still very important. Transplanting into a too cool soil will greatly slow down growth on most garden vegetables, but especially on peppers. The warmer the soil is, the better and faster plant growth is. I have found that tomato transplants do OK when transplanted when the soil is 65F but peppers do not do as well. I have found peppers need a temperature of at least 70F and preferably a soil temperature close to 80F for seedlings to maintain their rate of growth.

Heat mats, surely, made my EARLY seed planting unexpectedly explode, last year.........but, in my defense, it was the first time I had used the mats as anything more than a "novelty".
 
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