In this posting, I provide a free, down-loadable Excel spreadsheet that will automatically calculate the date to plant seeds for 45 vegetable types. All you need to do is enter one bit of information and the spreadsheet does the rest of the work.
We are now getting into seed starting season. Over the course of the next few postings, I'll share information with you to help you get your garden going. In this first posting, I'm providing a free resource to my readers that will make determining when to begin planting seeds a snap.
Here's all you need to do:
- Download the Excel spreadsheet attached to this posting - Download PlanterTomato Seed Starting Calculator v2
- In the yellow box, enter the last frost date for your area. The last frost date is the last date that your area is likely to get hit by frost based on historical weather data. If you don't know your last frost date, you can find it at VictorySeeds.com/Frost. Click on your state and find a nearby city. Choose the Spring or Last Frost date and use this in the calculator.
- Enter this date into the yellow box on the Seed Calculator spreadsheet and it then calculates the planting dates for 45 varieties of vegetables.
The first two columns that are shaded blue show the date that you would start your seeds indoors and the date that you would then transplant the seedlings into your garden.
The third column that is shaded green shows the direct sowing date, or the date that you would plant a seed outdoors in your garden.
Most seeds can be either started indoor and transplanted or directly sown into the garden, so you'll see dates listed for both these options. However, there are some exceptions. For example, carrots and radishes are almost always sown directly into the garden, so I don't show dates for indoor seed starting. Likewise, Brussels Spouts are almost always transplanted because their seeds are hard to germinate outdoors, so I don't show a direct sow date for that vegetable.
In my next posting, I'll cover your equipment options for seed starting.
Sample Calculator for a last frost date of 3/1: