Monthly Archives: February 2013

When to start seeds indoors

Cari ortolani,

One of my readers wrote: “Do you have a calendar of when you start seeds and plant everything? I follow your blog – that might be a good post. What you just planted and why. I never know when to plant or start the seeds – the directions on the packages so vague”.

Ciao, Steve; sowing seeds depends on the types of cultivar, and it’s important to know whether you’re growing a cool or warm season crop – below is a guideline for the Southern New England region:

  • Onions, shallots, leeks – 12 to 14 weeks before transplanting outdoors.
  • Brassica family members –  8 to 12 weeds.
  • Eggplant and peppers – 8 to 10 weeks.
  • Tomatoes 6 to 8 weeks, add a week when grafting.
  • Squash, cucumbers, melons, and pumpkins 3 to 4 weeks.

Last week I started shallots and onions from seeds (pre-soaked overnight), I also have broccoli steeping in worm castings, ready to be sown in food grade containers and placed on top of the furnace.

In case you’ve missed my article on Growing Saffron in Connecticut  in the Edible Nutmeg Magazine, check it out – maybe you’ll get inspired and grow your own.

For a complete chart of Guide to Growing Seeds Indoors, Outdoors, and Transplanting Seedlings, email me at:

Try to attend CTNofa (Northeast Organic Farmers Association) on March 2, 2013 at Wilton High School in Wilton CT – I’ll be presenting “Composting/Vermiculture/Bokashi” and “How to Prune and Graft Fruit Trees”.

Primavera e` una bellezza,

Nick Mancini the organic Italian