Seed Starting At A Glance

Use this handy guide to determine when to plant your favorite veggies.

March 2, 2014

Vegetable seeds typically germinate best in warm soil. Whether starting seeds indoors or out, the soil temperature plays a critical role in successful seed starting. Here are the preferred temps for some common vegetables.

Starting Broccoli
Sow broccoli seed 8 weeks before the last spring frost to 12 weeks before the first fall frost. Seeds sprout in 3 to 10 days at 70° to 80° F. Grow seedlings at 60° to 70°F.

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Starting Brussels Sprouts
Sow Brussels sprout seed 14 weeks before the first fall frost. Seeds sprout in 3 to 10 days at 70° to 80°F. Grow seedlings at 60° to 70°F.

Starting Cabbage
Sow cabbage seed 8 weeks before the last spring frost to 14 weeks before the first fall frost. Seeds sprout in 4 to 10 days at 70° to 80°F. Grow seedlings at 60° to 70°F.

Starting Cauliflower
Sow cauliflower seeds 6 weeks before the last spring frost to 14 weeks before the first fall frost. Seeds sprout in 4 to 10 days at 70° to 80°F. Grow seedlings at 60° to 70°F.

Starting Cucumber
Sow cucumber seed 5 to 6 weeks before the last spring frost. Seeds sprout in 6 to 10 days at 70° to 95°F. Grow seedlings at 70° to 80°F.

Starting Eggplant
Sow eggplant seed 6 to 8 weeks before the last spring frost. Seeds sprout in 7 to 14 days at 75° to 85°F. Grow seedlings at 70° to 80°F.

Starting Leek
Sow leek seed 8 weeks before the last spring frost to 12 weeks before the first fall frost. Seeds sprout in 7 to 12 days at 65° to 80°F. Grow seedlings at 60° to 70°F.

Starting Lettuce
Sow lettuce seed 8 weeks before the last spring frost to 9 weeks before the first fall frost. Seeds sprout in 4 to 10 days at 60° to 75°F. Grow seedlings at 55° to 75°F.

Starting Melon
Sow melon seed 5 to 6 weeks before the last spring frost. Seeds sprout in 4 to 8 days at 75° to 95°F. Grow seedlings at 70° to 80°F.

Starting Onion
Sow onion seed 8 weeks before the last spring frost to 17 weeks before the first fall frost. Seeds sprout in 7 to 12 days at 65° to 80 °F. Grow seedlings at 60° to 70°F.

Starting Pepper
Sow pepper seed 6 to 8 weeks before the last spring frost. Seeds sprout in 10 to 20 days at 75° to 85°F. Grow seedlings at 65° to 80°F.

Starting Squash
Sow squash seed 5 to 6 weeks before the last spring frost. Seeds sprout in 3 to 10 days at 70° to 95°F. Grow seedlings at 60° to 75°F.

Starting Tomato
Sow tomato seed 5 to 7 weeks before the last spring frost. Seeds sprout in 6 to 14 days at 75° to 80°F. Grow seedlings at 60° to 75°F.

Starting Watermelon
Sow watermelon seed 6 to 8 weeks before the last spring frost. Seeds sprout in 3 to 12 days at 75° to 95°F. Grow seedlings at 70° to 80°F.