Seeds & seeding

Pease leave your comments about cold weather gardening seeds and seeding on this thread. If you have posted a comment or run across a comment concerning this topic in another thread, please paste a copy here.

 If you would like to comment on another topic, look for a dedicated thread in the column at the right. Please send suggestions for new threads to


9 Responses to “Seeds & seeding”

  1. Robin Says:

    I’m working on it. I’ll put on a pot of coffee and see what I can get done in the next hour or so.

  2. anonymousbloggers Says:

    Thanks Robin!!

  3. Robin Says: is going to donate packages of mixed greens seeds. They’ll grow in the greenhouse that’s already being used and in the ground as soon as the ground is ready to plant. Some of the seeds will say “as soon as the ground can be worked.” This means that as soon as you can squeeze a handful of soil and it crumbles instead of makes a mud ball, it’s ready to be planted. These should be “cut and come again” plants. You cut them 1-2″ from the soil and they’ll grow again. Some of these greens might last until fall. Mine last until it’s hot and makes them bolt (go to seed). is an excellent resource. They have the best prices I’ve found. If the order is more than $30 they don’t charge shipping. I’m going there to pick up my supplies this coming Friday. I’m going to do a little seed shopping for you while I’m there. I’m sure I’ll have the seeds from Johnny’s by then (excellent customer service!) and will pick up other things I’m sure you can use.

    Both Johnny’s and Fedco are Maine companies so they understand cool/cold climate gardening.

    If anyone is interested in rhubarb, horseradish and comfrey I can dig those up and send one box to Nunam Ique and another to Ugashik. They are perennials that I know survive zone 4. I’m also in 4b/5a.

  4. Robin Says:

    These greens will grow in cool soil.

    Beets and beet greens. These are cut and come again. You can cut the greens off and wait for new greens to grow. I cut the large leaves and leave the smaller. To thin them out so that they aren’t too close, pull some of the plants when the beets are quarter sized. You can eat or can the beets.

    Peas. I think you can grow these from spring to fall. They’ll be ok if a little snow falls on them and they’ll stand up to light frosts. If you choose varieties that are short they don’t have to be trellised. If you choose snap peas you eat the pod and the peas.

    Lettuce – Winter Density and Black Seeded Simpson are dependable.

    Spinach, kale, collard, arugula, tatsoi, mizuna, pac choi, claytonia and mache do well in cool weather. (I use thin strips of moose or deer, kale, tatsoi, pac choi and a little spinach for stir fry.) All of these greens can be seeded directly into the ground or started as seedlings inside and transplanted outside when the weather warms up. I start some of mine in the house so that I have a head start. We have only about 100 frost free days in my part of Maine.

  5. Robin Says:

    These plants will grow in cool climates in warm soil. Start them inside and grow them under grow lights or set them in windows and turn them four times a day so they don’t get tall, spindly and week. I use $15 heating pads instead of $40 grow mats to start my seeds. Put the trays of soil and seeds on the mat, keep moist and wait a few days. Peppers are slow though, it might take them two weeks to germinate.

    Tomatoes: Jim talked about Johnny’s in another thread. They have cold tolerant varities broken down into one category. It’s very helpful. Cold tolerant tomatoes. Start tomatoes inside and grow them under grow lights until they are six or seven weeks old. Transplant them outside when the soil warm. If you grow them in black plastic or IRT mulch they’ll do better. They like warm fertile soil. I use a small propane torch to burn a hole for each seedling. You’ll need to stake these up. I use a 4′ wooden stake pounded into the ground and tie the seedlings to the stake with twine.

    Peppers <a href=”″Cold tolerant peppers Peppers are grown the same way as tomatoes but don’t have to be staked.

    Cucumbers Cold tolerant cucumbers I grow these on black plastic or IRT mulch too. By the time the temperature is hot enough to heat the plastic up too much the vines should have covered it. I start some of mine from seed a month before they should be transplanted. They don’t like to have their roots disturbed so be sure to transplant them before they’re root bound.

    These are some of my seedlings from last year. I start them in trays, transplant them into containers when they have their first true leaves, and grow them under hanging lights. The lights should be 2″ from the top of the tallest plant. Robin’s seedlings

  6. Robin Says:

    These vegetables grow well in cool soil. They should be started inside and transplanted out when they are six or seven weeks old.

    Broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts. They’ll stand up to a little snow and frost. Cauliflower likes it to be a little warmer than the rest but does ok with frost.

    Fava Beans should be planted by seed “as soon as the ground can be worked.”

  7. Robin Says:

    These bush beans germinate better in cool soil than the rest. Darker colored bean seeds germinate in cool soil better than lighter colored bean seeds.

    Provider produces so well I get sick of picking them. They can and freeze well.

  8. UgaVic Says:

    Thanks for all your help.
    I will read in detail a little later this evening. Off to get food out.
    Hope the ‘farm’ duties are going well.
    PS – if you have any ‘critters’ give a pet for me – miss those days!!

  9. ugavic Says:

    Robin –
    Am home and we are laying out our plans for the community garden.
    I would love the starts. If you can get them into a flat pack right now before they get going much in your area I can heal them in at my place in a bucket until the ground lets us into it – late May or June.
    Email me at so I can give you an address to ship them to.
    I am working with a person up in Ann’s area to see what we can do there. She seems to have soem good knowledge of past efforts to garden and what might work for them. I can always heal in for Ann too and then get it up to her when planting starts.
    I got some tomatoes, a cuke and some peppers started. I am using your idea of the heating pad and a new LED grow light Jim got for me to try.
    I have the ‘greenhouse’ of tomato and cuke that do not take a pollinator.
    Did I read right and you said Johnny’s might help us with some seeds, greens? If so how do I do that – just contact them?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: