Seed Starting, Tomatoes Peppers and Much More in Zone 3


hi I'm Stephen of Alberta urban garden

dot CA spring is fast approaching and

it's time here at zone 3 to start

seedlings indoors today I'm going to go

through the different phases of seed

starting that they do in preparation of

the growing season there are a few

advantages to starting your old

seedlings the cost is often lower than

purchasing seedlings from a greenhouse

especially if you take advantage of a

natural light source you can also select

more unique varieties that are just not

available anywhere else finally it helps

me extend my gardening season by

allowing me to enjoy some greenery

indoors while I wait for spring outside

in order to get started you will need a

few things including a light source so a

south or south west facing window or

appropriate grow lights some potting

soil I usually do a one-part soilless

potting mix to one part compost mixture

recycled containers are my preference

water time and seeds optionally some

trays for bottom watering and a seed

starting mat to keep the heat or the

temperature of the soil higher it is

important to know the last expected

frost date in your area a quick Google

search usually helps you find this out

what I do with this date is I count back

and week to figure out what I need to

start my plants you can usually find out

how far in advance you need to start

your seedlings by taking a look at

gardening books online or even the back

of feed packages for the purposes of

today's video I'm going to address the

timing as it relates to zone three the

vast majority of the crops that I start

ahead of time are planted in four main

waves before the end of February early

April early May and late May I'm going

to name a number of varieties that I'm

going to be planting and if you're

looking for seed sources take a look at

the description below over the last few

years I've been looking for crops that

produce well in my garden once I find

them I generally keep growing them to

ensure the best possible harvest that

said a number of the new varieties I'm

going to grow this year have been

inspired by my son I want to continue to

inspire him to want to garden and know

where his food comes from an effective

ways that I have found to do this is

allow him to pick the varieties he wants

to grow that he can get excited to

track the progress prior to the end of

February planting there are a few crops

that I grow all winters such as herbs

and leafy greens but I usually finish

them off as I start planting my summer

crops in advance at the end of February

I start my peppers I usually start them

when I first get the itch to grow

something during the winter as they grow

I will use a pruning method to shape and

develop a pepper Bush anecdotally in my

cooler zone garden this allows me to

produce heavier crops of peppers this

year I will be growing a wide variety of

peppers some of them have always done

well for me including the super

Hungarian hot and Jimmy nerd ello I want

to see if there are other varieties that

I like and do well in zone 3 so I have a

longer list of new pepper variety has

been normal I will be trying Italian

pepper Cheney banana pepper file it

Sparkle pepper and mirror sweet pepper

it is also a good time to start

perennials from seeds such as the goji

berries that I have and the hot pink

berry strawberries that I'll be growing

in hanging baskets this year the next

wave of plantings is in early April six

to eight weeks before your expected last

frost and I generally focus on my summer

crops such as tomatoes last year I found

a few new varieties that I'll be growing

again this year including the Sun sugar

cherry tomato pink Brandywine and sweet

million to this list of tomatoes I will

be adding new ones based on your

feedback over the years including the

Sun Gold select pink Verna sod and tack

the organic yellow tomato in the

beginning of April it is also a great

time to start your leafy greens such as

kale Swiss chard collards sorrel and

herbs that you plan to grow outdoors in

early May to three weeks before the last

frost I will start both my melons and my

squash I have tried to direct sow them

in the past with limited success the

years where I've had the best results

were when I started them a few weeks

earlier and transplanted them into the

garden often what I'll do is I'll start

them outside taking advantage of the

natural sunlight and eliminating the

need to harden them off unfortunately in

early May nighttime temperatures often

drop below the freezing mark meaning I

usually take them into the garage

overnight to keep them nice and warm

last year I had pretty good success with

Minnesota and this year I'm

contemplating one of the following

either the collective farm woman melon

the cat

a watermelon the early Moonbeam

watermelon or the rich sweetness 1:32

melon as for squash I will be returning

to a number of my family's favorites

including the large Dutch yellow

cucumber Dragon's egg cucumber patio

star zucchini and pinnacle spaghetti

squash in later May two to three weeks

after the last frost I will continue to

start seedlings either inside the house

or outdoors I'm going to start plants

that I can plant in succession such as

peas and Dragon tongue beans I usually

plant the crops in my garden in a

high-density to take advantage of every

little bit of soil that I have starting

my succession plants outside of the

garden will help me get them established

while not allowing them to get choked

out this may also help me deal with some

issues that I've had in the last year

with slugs eating my seedlings if the

plants are large enough when they get to

the garden the damage the slugs do

likely won't harm my production once I

add the seedlings that I've started to

the direct sow crops of the perennials I

already have in the garden I'm setting

the stage for a large bounty of organic

food for my family in 2017 if you'd like

to learn more about the indoor growing

including which grow legs to buy there's

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