It is crucial to understand that soil temperature can significantly impact seed germination. Therefore, it is essential to know what vegetables can be sown directly outside and which must first be started indoors. Here are some tips for beginning vegetables now from seed.
For the best start, vegetables that require excellent soil can be planted directly in your garden.
This list of direct-sow vegetables will show a pattern. Lots of root vegetables and Brassicas. They don’t care if it is a bit cold. This allows them to germinate quickly and without extra heat.
You’ll also notice that these plants are more likely to reach maturity in a shorter period of time.
Many of these direct-sow vegetables are perfect for succession planting. You can learn more about succession planting by reading my post.
These plants can even be used as a perennial vegetable. In some cases, Swiss chard will come back.
Start Direct Sow Vegetables with Expert Tips
- Plant roots in fertile soil, which has been well-drained and sifted. This will remove any stones or debris that may obstruct root growth.
- Plant seeds in accordance with the recommended plant depth and spacing on the seed packet for each variety.
- will need to thin your plants as they grow. This can be done by cutting out (not pulling out) the weakest seedlings and leaving plenty of space for the strongest to grow a tasty root.
- When seeds germinate, keep them moist. After they sprout, ensure they get plenty of sun (8 hours per day) and water. They will grow and push their shoulders up from the soil. Mound soil around them regularly.
- Plant root vegetables in the spring and summer to harvest in fall or late summer to harvest in winter.
Cut-and-come-again lettuce can be harvested as you need it.
This list is incomplete. You can start many of these indoors if you prefer. You can direct-sow many other vegetables, but these are some of the most popular.
It would be a complete waste of time to grow arugula inside! Arugula germinates quickly and easily outside.
Direct sowing can begin six weeks before the last freeze. Get those seeds into the ground as soon as you can. In about 4-8 weeks, they will be ready for harvest. You can then plant more!
Arugula grows well in the fall because it enjoys cool temperatures. In the summer heat, it will probably bolt.
Bush and Pole Beans
Beans can be started indoors but are not worth the space and effort. Direct sowing is easy.
They germinate very quickly, particularly in warm soil. Direct-sow them after the last frost. Most varieties mature in 54-70 days.
Give your bean something for it to climb on as it grows.
This DIY Bean Tent is the perfect way to support your beans.
You can start beets indoors, but you must be careful not to disturb their roots when moving them. I skip the indoor part since they are easy vegetables to grow.
Plant them three weeks before the last winter frost for a spring harvest. It takes 35-60 days for them to mature.
You can speed up the germination by soaking your seeds overnight in lukewarm or warm water.
The leaves of the beet are as tasty and tender as the roots.
Broccoli loves cool weather, making it a good candidate for direct seeding. Beginners may need help growing broccoli.
Broccoli should be planted four weeks before the last frost. With cold protection, you can plant broccoli a few weeks earlier. It takes 80-100 days for them to mature so a head start can make a huge difference.
In true Brassica style, cabbage grows best in cool temperatures. Direct sow your cabbage four weeks before the last date of frost.
To ensure a second crop of cabbage in a row, plant the cabbage 12 weeks before the first frost date. You will have a good harvest in the fall.
The maturation of cabbage varies from 50 to 100 days, depending on the variety.
Members of the cabbage family taste better after a frost.
Direct sowing carrots is the easiest way to grow them. It’s not recommended that you start them inside. Direct sowing can be started 6 weeks before the last frost.
Plant carrot seeds every three weeks to stagger the harvest. Thin as necessary.
Carrots get sweeter at the end of the growing season after a freeze. Plant them eight weeks before the first frost for a fall or even winter carrot harvest.
There are many other colors of carrots than orange. Try experimenting with the seeds that you purchase!
Does this list include another Brassica? Absolutely. After the last frost, you can direct-sow cauliflower.
Remember that heat can cause cauliflower to bolt when planning your harvest. Depending on the variety, Cauliflower can reach maturity in 50-100 days.
For an extra harvest in the fall, if you live in a cold climate, plant seeds 12 weeks before the first frost.
We should add some vegetables that love the heat to this list. Save time starting sweet corn indoors.
Plant the corn about one week after the last freeze. This may vary depending on the type of corn.
The maturity of corn can range from 68 days to 120 depending on the variety.
Cucumbers are another warm climate favorite. They can be grown indoors or as a direct-sow vegetable. You can plant cucumbers outside directly two weeks after the last freeze.
Plant vining cucumbers far away from other plants. Place them near a fence or trellis where they can grow. Cucumbers mature in 55-60 days.