Ordering and Starting Seeds

I just got this email from the John Scheepers Kitchen Garden Seed Company. If you don’t know this company, you should! They sell wonderful varieties and have a super informative catalog to support them.This valuable information to get you started with early season gardening is reprinted here with the their permission. Thanks!

John Scheepers Kitchen Garden Seeds
The Essential Seed-Starting Timetable
Thank you for having signed up for horticultural emails from Kitchen Garden SeedsVan Engelen and John Scheepers*. Pictured from top to bottom: Quadrato d’Asti Bell PeppersMilano Plum TomatoesMagenta Sunset Swiss Chard and Heavenly Blue Morning Glories.

As winter settles in across the country, now is the perfect time to snuggle up with our Kitchen Garden Seeds catalog to plan your garden. Make a wish list of the vegetablesherbs and flowers that you would like to grow. Think about what you want to harvest for delicious homegrown and homemade dinners with family and friends, and bracing feasts to put up or freeze for hearty nourishment on cold winter nights like these. Don’t forget about flower seeds to fill your gardens with opulent summer and fall flowers~it is so much less expensive than buying individual plants later in the spring. By growing your own from seed, you can select from among the best varieties under the sun. There are few things more rewarding in life. It is contagious goodness borne of one’s passion and the magic of seeds. Never underestimate the power of planting.

Part One: Seeds to Start Indoors
Did you ever wonder why certain varieties of seed are started indoors? It is usually because the days to mature harvest exceed the amount of time between your spring Frost-Free Date and your first fall frost. By starting these varieties indoors in advance, you get a four to 14 week jump-start on the development of seedlings. Other varieties like to be started indoors so that you can really pamper them with consistent moisture and warmer temperatures. Real warmth-lovers, like Eggplants, Peppers and Tomatoes, like to be coddled with 24-7 grow lights until they are ‘toddler’ seedlings when they can start to handle cooler, dark nights.

It’s best to consider your seed order in two parts. The first should include the varieties that you must start indoors for transplant into the garden after your Frost-Free Date. You can find your reliable Frost-Free Date by using a nifty chart from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). GO HERE and select your State from the pull down menu. This will generate a PDF file with a list of NOAA data collection sites in your State. In the left column, choose the location nearest or most similar to where you live. Then read across. Use the middle threshold number (32F) and right next to it in the Spring column, will be the 90% probability date. This is your all-important Frost-Free Date.

Eight-week General Seed-Starting Timetable 
Here is the general Seed-Starting Schedule for seeds that should be started eight weeks before your Frost-Free Date in your Horticultural Zone.
Horticultural Zones 9 & 10:  Start seeds indoors in early to mid January.
Horticultural Zone 8:  Start seeds indoors in early February.
Horticultural Zone 7:  Start seeds indoors in mid February.
Horticultural Zone 6: Start seeds indoors in late February.
Horticultural Zone 5: Start seeds indoors in early March.
Horticultural Zones 1-4: Start seeds indoors in mid to late March.

Vegetable and Herb Seed-Starting Timetable 
Here is the seed-starting schedule by variety and the number of weeks before your Frost-Free Date.
Four Weeks: Bitter Melon and Cucuzzi Edible Gourds.
Six Weeks: AsparagusBasilEchinacea RootFennel (herb and vegetable), MelonsOkraOnionsRhubarb and Shallots.
Eight Weeks: AmaranthAnise HyssopBell PeppersCatnipChile PeppersChivesLovageMarjoramOreganoPaprika Peppers,ParsleySageSavorySweet PeppersSt. John’s WortThymeTomatillos and Tomatoes.
Nine Weeks: BroccoliCabbage and Kohlrabi (transplant out four weeks before the last frost date).
Ten Weeks: EggplantJicamaLavender and Lemongrass.
Eleven Weeks: ArtichokesCauliflower and Leeks (transplant out four weeks before the last frost date).
Twelve Weeks: Brussels SproutsCardoonsCeleriacCeleryCutting CeleryParsley Root and Stevia.
Sixteen Weeks: Rosemary and Strawberries (for first year crop).

Flower Seed-Starting Timetable 
These beautiful varieties prefer to be started indoors prior to transplanting out after your Frost-Free Date.
Two Weeks: Baptisia.
Four Weeks: Celosia.
Five Weeks: Alyssum.
Six Weeks: Dahlias and Echinacea.
Eight Weeks: AlternantheraAmaranthBaby’s BreathBalsamBlack-eyed SusansCutting AgeratumCanterbury BellsCatmint Nepeta,China AstersCleomeColeusCoreopsisEuphorbiaForget-Me-NotsGaillardiaGlobe AmaranthHardshell GourdsHelichrysum StrawflowerHeucheraMilkweedNicotianaNigellaPlatycodonScabiosaSnapdragonsStaticeStockThunbergiaTithonia andYarrow.
Ten Weeks: HibiscusPhlox and Victoria Salvia.
Twelve Weeks: DaturaDianthusDigitalisHelichrysum Silver MistHeliotropeHollyhocksJohnny JumpupsLobeliaSalvia and Viola.
Fourteen Weeks: Verbena.
Midsummer for Fall Use: Ornamental Kale.

Part Two: Seeds to Direct-Sow Easily Outside
The second part of your order should include varieties that prefer to be direct-sown easily into the garden after your Frost-Free Date. These are the vegetables and herbs that magically come to life after you gently nudge them into the warming spring soil for abundant reward: ArugulaAsian GreensBeansBeetsBelgian EndiveBorageBroccoli RaabBrown Mustard SeedCarrotsChamomileSwiss ChardChervilChicoriesChinese BroccoliChinese CabbageClaytoniaCollard GreensCorianderCornCress,CucumbersDaikon RadishesDandelion GreensDillEdamameEndiveEscaroleFava BeansFennelKaleKohlrabiLemon BalmLettuceLima BeansMacheMelons,MinutinaMizunaMustard GreensOrachPak choiParsnipsPeasPea PodsPumpkinsRadicchioRadishesRutabagasSalad GreensSalsifyShelling BeansShisoSnap PeasSorrelSpearmintSpinachSummer SquashWinter SquashTurnip Greens and Turnips.

It is similarly easy to direct-sow a multitude of flowers into the garden. Here is the complete line-up: AlyssumAmaranthBachelor’s ButtonsBells of IrelandCalendula officinalisCardinal ClimberCathedral BellsColumbineCoreopsisCosmosDelphiniumForget-Me-NotsFour O’ClocksHyacinth Bean VineLarkspur,LavateraLinumLupinesMarigoldsMirabilisMoonflowersMorning GloriesNasturtiumsOrnamental GourdsPoppiesRunner BeansShasta Daisies,SunflowersSweet PeasTithonia and Zinnias. Each of our direct-sow Habitat Gardens creates floral playgrounds with nectar-rich meals for Butterflies,BumblebeesHummingbirds and Songbirds.

We share our best-of-the-best recipes so you can feed your family and friends well without feeling frenzied. Take a look at our practical, hands-on horticultural tips to demystify gardening with seeds (it need not be tricky or difficult. Truth be told, it is a bit more like easy magic.) If you need help with anything, our office hours are Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Email us at customerservice@kitchengardenseeds.com or call us at (860) 567-6086. We can help you make your garden more easily tended and productive which in turn will help to keep gardening a happy, essential part of your family’s life. Lance Frazon, our seed specialist, is happy to help you in any way possible. He loves to talk seeds.

-To see our seed collection click: Flowersgourmet fruits & vegetables and aromatic herbs.

-To request a 2013 Kitchen Garden Seeds catalog, click: Request catalog.

-To look at our yummy recipes, like Crab and Shrimp Gratin, click: Recipes.

-Or, call us at (860) 567-6086: we will help you in any way we can!
*We never rent or borrow email addresses from anywhere. In the course of requesting one of our bulb or seed catalogs, you provided us with your email address. If you prefer to not receive any emails from us, please know that we honor all unsubscribe requests.

John Scheepers Kitchen Garden Seeds

23 Tulip Drive * PO Box 638 * Bantam, CT 06750
Phone: (860) 567-6086 * Fax: (860) 567-5323

About Susan Guagliumi

I am an author, craftsperson and a gardener. My proposal for a book tentatively titled "The Artful Gardener" was just accepted by Stewart, Tibori and Chang Publishers. Although this will be my fifth book, it is the first outside the area of hand/machine knitting. The manuscript is due early in 2013 and the book is scheduled for Spring of 2014. A somewhat longer process than giving birth to a child, embarking on an author's journey can be just as daunting, exciting and almost as fulfilling.
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