It might be hard to believe, as the weather still has a bit of a nip in the air, but if you’re in agricultural zones 3 or 4, it’s time for you to get started with planting certain types of vegetables if you hope to be on schedule for the seeding season in Fargo, ND. Zones 3 and 4 are generally characterized as the upper Midwest, including portions of the Dakotas, Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan and other neighboring states.
If you’re planting from seed, we’re already in the window for getting indoor planting started for Brussels sprouts, broccoli, kale, lettuce, Swiss chard and more.
Planting from seed
There are a lot of gardeners who would rather not start from seed, and instead choose to get more advanced plants that they can then plant directly into their garden beds, rather than having to transplant from pots with seedlings they started indoors.
Other gardeners, however, find a lot of benefit and satisfaction in starting from seed. With home-started seedlings, you can get a much greater variety of vegetables, flowers and herbs than if you’re just looking for nursery-raised plants. Starting from seed is also much cheaper—seeds cost much less than nursery-started plants. People who enjoy gardening also enjoy giving their plants the special personal care and extra time that comes with starting from seed.
There are agricultural zone maps and various recommendations and charts that will help you determine when the best time is to start certain plants from seed if you want to be on schedule. Once you’ve determined when you should start, the next step is making sure you have everything needed to grow your seeds.
What does this entail? First, you need to make sure you have a growing medium. If you do not have proper mixes, they could get too hard after watering several times. The mix needs to stay light—plain garden soil will not suffice, as it will get compacted. Find mixes specifically designed for starting seeds, such as compost, peat moss and perlite. You can then put this mixture in deep-sided disposable aluminum pans, cutoff milk cartons or special seed-staging systems you can purchase from your local garden store, so long as you have at least three inches of depth for roots to grow and small holes underneath for drainage.
Next, you need to make sure the growing environment maintains a soil temperature of 70 degrees or above. You should look for warm spots—avoid window sills, because those will be too cool for germination. You might need to invest in growing lamps. In addition, you need to keep the seeds constantly moist. Regular watering to about the consistency of a wrung-out sponge (to avoid drowning the seeds) is the ideal solution. The seeds won’t need light to grow until the seedling sprouts up over the soil.
For more information about starting your garden from seeds inside your home and what you should know about getting the planting season in Fargo, ND started right, contact S & S Landscaping Company, Inc. today.