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If you prefer to start seeds indoors, most annuals and vegetables should be started between early March and mid-April in Minnesota. The University of Minnesota Extension service has a fine post about seed starting and recommends that brassicas (cauliflower, broccoli and cabbage) as well as lettuces be started indoors in early to mid-March. (Onions and celery need an even earlier start.) The brassicas are cold-weather crops and generally can be put outdoors earlier and do well in cold frames or hoop houses. A long list of popular annuals, such as petunias, ageratum, coleus and snapdragons, can also be started from seed in early March.
Start by finding the average last frost date in your area. You can get frost dates online by entering your zip code. To calculate your planting dates, you need to count back from last frost date in one-week increments. (I base my calendar on Saturdays, because that's the day that I usually have available for seedstarting). In my area, the last frost date is May 15. For me, when I count back from May 15, Week 4 is April 15, Week 11 is the week of February 26, etc. Simply write the week number (8,4, 6 or whatever) on each seed packet and use a rubber band to keep each pile together. When the planting week arrives, you just grab the right packet and start planting.ST. CLOUD - The official start of Spring is just a few short weeks away. While we wait you may consider starting a few seeds indoors. Starting garden flower and vegetable plants in the home can provide the home gardener with enjoyment as well as some definite advantages. One of the greatest of these advantages is that it allows the gardener to start varieties of vegetable and flowers that are not readily available from local bedding plant sources. In addition, it can save the gardener some money, particularly if large numbers of transplants are needed.
Wow, that is a lot — especially for a first vegetable garden. I’m not sure how much space you have, but it might be a good idea to focus on the vegetables you like the most this year. Many of the seeds you have can be planted directly, such as arugula, Swiss chard, lettuce—any of the greens—plus melons, beets, cucumbers, radish and squash. Tomatoes, eggplant and peppers are usually started indoors in mid-April, so you are a bit late for those, but you could try. If you are growing onions from seeds, I’d hold those until next year as they <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/xix6MPHQRa4" title="YouTube video player" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe> success with just the regular fluorescent bulbs. Last year, I started switching over to LED bulbs because I needed to replace some of my old fluorescent bulbs. I use a mix of cool and warm bulbs. I don’t think it matters to your seed starting efforts, but in the long run, LED bulbs are cheaper to operate. (Source: ginghamgardens.com)