• Jessica Corner

11 Veggies to Start Indoors NOW



Fresh veggies to grow indoors before spring

Yes, it's March in Barrie - a land covered in snow, slush, and just basically all things grey. It's hard to imagine that in just a few short weeks there will be sunshine and even green things beginning to grow (unless you're like me and imagining that every day is the only thing getting you through each and every winter).


But spring is coming, and if you have ambitions to actually grow something edible in your yard this far-too-short summer, here's the things you should be planting indoors NOW (or at least soon).


1. Broccoli


Start: 7-9 weeks before the last expected frost (May 20th in Barrie)

Transplant: 2 weeks before the last expected frost





2. Brussel Sprouts


Start: 16-20 weeks before the last frost. Transplant: 12-14 weeks before the last frost, when plants are 4 to 6 inches (10-15 cm) tall with 2-4 leaves







3. Cabbage


Start: 5-8 weeks before the last frost

Transplant: when 3-4 inches tall, and as early as 3-4 weeks before the last frost








4. Cauliflower



Start: 6-8 weeks before the last frost, with 3-4 seeds in each pot.

Transplant: 2 weeks before the last frost, when they have at least two sets of true leaves








5. Eggplant


Start: at least 8 weeks before transplant - they require warm, moist soil. Soak the seeds in warm water for 24 hours before sowing.

Transplant: 2-3 weeks after the last frost, once daytime temperatures are averaging over 21°C












6. Kale


Start: 6 weeks before the last expected frost date.

Transplant: after last frost date when there are no temperatures below 7°C in your 10-day weather forecast, after hardening off the seedlings for a week





7. Head Lettuce


Start: 4-6 weeks before the last frost date

Transplant: between 2 weeks before and 2 weeks after last spring frost, after hardening off the seedlings for a week.




8. Onions


Start: 8-10 weeks before your last frost date

Transplant: after last frost date, after hardening off the seedlings for 10 days.




9. Peppers


Start: 8 weeks before the date of the last expected frost, in a warm place around 24°C.

Transplant: when the average nightly temperature is above 13°C



10. Sweet Potatoes


Start: 6 weeks before last expected date of frost put roots in a box of moist sand, sawdust, or chopped leaves in a warm spot (23-26°C). Cut off shoots at the root when 6-9 inches long, taking off about an inch from the bottom of each.

Transplant: 3-4 weeks after last frost.

11. Tomatoes


Start: 8 weeks before the last frost

Transplant: move to larger containers when they are 3-4 inches tall and have their second pair of leaves, transplant outdoors when 6-10 inches tall, or when it's height is 3x the diameter of its pot.



And there you have it! I won't lie - I don't think vegetable gardening is in the cards for us this summer, but hopefully one day it will be! Until then, feel free to share your fresh veggies with us, or reach out to a neighbour. From first-hand experience, I can tell you there's not much better than watching your kids wolf down grape tomatoes like they're candy simply because the nice man up the road let them pick them from his garden.


Happy gardening!

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