What types of plants can I start at this time of year?


I live in Cape Porpoise and have a cold green house. What types of plants can I start at this time of year?


Tori Lee Jackson, Extension Professor of Agriculture and Natural Resources,
Androscoggin and Sagadahoc Counties Office

At this time of year, days are getting longer and it is very tempting to start seeds of all kinds in anticipation of spring. The biggest thing to keep in mind is how quickly you will be able to transplant your seedlings. It is helpful to work backwards from your anticipated transplant date(s) and start your seeds then. For example, most people will plant tomatoes outside in mid-June, so seeds should be started in mid-April. Cole crops, lettuce, celery, and other greens are more cold-tolerant and may be your best bet for starting early. Some annual flowers require a long germination period as well. They will all likely require heat mats (whether inside or in the greenhouse) to keep soil temperatures high enough to germinate. Once seedlings are up, they will require some minimum air temperatures to grow as well. A high-low thermometer can help you monitor the temperature of your greenhouse to best predict when it is safe to leave your containers out there.

I recommend Bulletin #2751, Starting Seeds at Home for some basics.