May 2013

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Anat B


I am new to gardening and just started following your blog and I love it. I was looking at this item in my local home depot last week. I live in an apt. and all of my plants will be in pots this year.

Do you think it is too late in the year to start germinating seeds? Should I start this year with small plants, given that its already Mid-April?


H. Mark Delman

Hi Anat:

Thanks for your comments. I appreciate the feedback. If you like my blog and Podcasts, please give them favorable ratings at
the iTunes store,, or just tell a few friends.

Im going to provide both a long answer for the future and a short answer and a recommendation for today.

Long Answer: Chances are it is not too late to start some of your veggies from seeds, but you need to evaluate a few things to know for sure. It depends on the type of veggies you want to grow, the variety and the length of your growing season. For example, leaf lettuces are generally pretty quick to mature - 40 days on the short side and 50 days on the long side. Tomatoes have a really long range of maturity times - 65 days for quick varieties and about 100 for others, including many heirlooms. You need to check the maturity times for whatever you want to grow. Heres a link to a chart that will provide some overall guidelines but you need to consider which variety you are
growing ( ). If you buy plants, you are going to be limited to what you can find locally or what you can order as plants through the mail. The selection will be smaller than if you buy seeds and start them yourself. If you have your heart set on a particular variety that you cant get plants for, youre not going to have a choice - youll need to start from seeds. Whether it is too late to start from seed also depends on the length of your growing season. In Northern California where I live, the growing season is really long. The growing season is defined by the time period between the last and first frost dates for your area. You can find information for you state and city at the following ( I wouldnt try to cut it too close; stay well within your growing season.

Short Answer and Recommendation: If you are new to growing veggies, start with purchased plants or a mix of some purchased and some started from seed. Purchased plants are just easier and you have a better chance of success. If youre successful, you can add some veggies grown from seed next year or go entirely to veggies from seeds.

Later in the season, let me know what you decided to do and how it worked out. If you have other questions, just reach out to me. Im happy to help.


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