It’s time to start seeds for cool weather veggies in Western New York

Photo courtesy Lockwood's Greenhousesby Connie Oswald Stofko

It’s time to start seeds inside for cool weather vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower, said Julie Emerling, a grower at Lockwood’s Greenhouses, 4484 Clark St., Hamburg.

Wait until the end of March to start lettuce and spinach, she said. They’re cold tolerant, but they can’t take frost the way that vegetables like cabbage can.

Find out more about when to plant cool weather vegetable plants outside in this article from last year.

It’s still too early to start seeds for tender plants– the ones that you have to wait until Memorial Day to plant outside. You start most seeds six to eight weeks before you are going to plant them outside, and Memorial Day is still 11 weeks away. You can start those seeds around the first week of April.

Broccoli from Burpee
Broccoli. Photo from Burpee Home Garden.

In my experience, if you start seeds too early, the plants get leggy and die before you can even transplant them outside. However, Emerling pointed out an additional problem. If you use small seed-starting pots, your plants could become too large for the pot and become rootbound.

“Don’t jump the gun and start your seeds too early,” Emerling said.

Lockwood’s has everything you need including a tray with a clear domed top, containers to hold individual seedlings (see photo at top of article), potting mix and seeds.

Lockwood’s will officially open for the season on Saturday, March 15. If you stop by before then, go to the greenhouses in the back and the staff will be happy to help you.

If you don’t want to start your own plants from seed, you will be able to buy plants at Lockwood’s at the appropriate times.



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