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When to Start Seeds in Ohio (Zone 6) for Gardening Season

With winter ending soon, you are probably eager to see some plants growing in your garden.

In fact, you might feel downright impatient to get the garden started again!

But, starting seeds TOO early can be a major problem, and in the worst cases, result in you losing the plants you worked so hard to cultivate.

In this article, we’ll discuss why you shouldn’t start seeds indoors too early, when is the best time to begin, and which plants are best for starting seeds.

Why You Shouldn’t Start Your Seeds Too Early

You have your lights, your peat pots, you soil, and seeds! Why NOT start now?

Well, because if you start seeds too early, it can result in:

  • Plants growing too large, too soon, which causes you to have to re-pot into bigger containers and can cost you more money (plus these larger seedlings need more water!)
  • Bigger plants are more likely to bolt
  • Plants do much better when they’re transplanted outside BEFORE they start flowering

So, When Should You Start Seedlings in Zone 6 Ohio?

Plant anywhere between 6 to 8 weeks BEFORE the last frost.

In southwest Ohio (Zone 6), the last frost date is May 15th. This means you should start your seeds indoors between March 30 and April 30th.

Which Plants Can You Start From Seeds Indoors?

There are tons of plants you can start indoors! Here’s a list:

  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Eggplant
  • Kale
  • Lettuce
  • Onion
  • Okra
  • Pepper
  • Sweet potato
  • Tomato

Which Plants Should You Wait to Plant Directly Outside?

The Old Farmer’s Almanac says it best: “Plants that do not transplant well and are therefore best started outdoors or in containers include cucumbers, muskmelon, pumpkins, squash, and watermelon.”

Other seeds you should plant outdoors include corn and beans.

And other plants resist transplant completely, such as root crop like radishes, carrots, and turnips. Its best to plant these directly outside after our frost date of May 15th.

The best thing about waiting? More time to plan!
Take the time to plan out your garden and find out what plants grow best together. This will give you the best results for your plants, and makes the process much easier when the time comes to plant directly outside.

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