Zone 5 Seed Starting

hoagc(5 NW Ohio)January 27, 2010

Hey guys! This is only my second year gardening, and my first year starting seeds indoors. I just wanted to know if anybody knows when I should start some of my seeds for this year. I have checked the average last frost date info, but when it comes down to it, it's just info. Nothing beats real-world experience...which you guys/gals have aplenty haha. I am want to grow some bhut jolokias, as well as some other hot peppers, some tomatoes, zucchinis, cukes, and bush beans. I don't want to start anything too early, because I only have one 4 foot light set-up. I just want it to be big enough to go out when it needs to go out. I am in Zone 5 Ohio.

Any suggestions?

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laceyvail(6A, WV)

Well, only tomatoes and peppers need to be started inside. Everything else can go directly in the garden after last frost date--probably very late May/early June where you are. Peppers and tomatoes should be started about 8 weeks before you plan to set them out.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2010 at 6:35AM
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You probably should have started your Bhuts already. They take about 150-180 days to develop ripe pods. I started mine last season on December 26 and they did great. The year before, I didn't sow them until the end of January and they were starting to get pods when the killing frost hit.

I'm in Cincy so maybe a week ahead of you and I'll start my tomatoes around the Ides of March.


    Bookmark   January 27, 2010 at 7:22AM
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luke_oh(zone 5 NE Ohio)

hoagc, if your interested in starting seeds, you may want to take a look at the Winter Sowing Forum. I have some seeds out right now and will see how this works out. I think that it may work for most seeds but maybe not the bhuts that have such a long germination period. It's just an interesting concept.


    Bookmark   January 27, 2010 at 7:41AM
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It appears that most of all northwest Ohio is in zone 5b - which is the zone I am in for Central Illinois.

In 2009, it seemed our last frost date was a few weeks before the most accepted last frost date of around May 11th.

Note that cool weather crops can typically survive a light frost - but not a hard freeze. These peas, lettuce, and cabbage family members. So, these can be planted outside a few weeks before.

Last frost dates are not exact, either. For example, statistically speaking, If you plant out on May 11th, there is only a 10% chance of frost after this date. However, if you plant out April 4th, there is a 90% chance of frost after this date. Then, April 23rd is the middle point with a 50% chance of frost after this date.

You may go to this website that will detail climate information. This page is specifically for my town, but you can navigate to find yours and a wealth of information.

Climate Information

Here is a link that might be useful: BsnTech Gardening Blog

    Bookmark   January 27, 2010 at 9:37AM
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I am in zone 4b-5 in Iowa, and here is the basic chart I created to time the start of my seeds. I usually plan to plant my plants on the second or third weekend of May depending upon the current year's climate. I repot the plants at end of April and then start hardening them off on the end of the first week of May.

Approximate Seed Starting Dates:

  • March 7th - 8+ weeks - Peppers, Eggplant, Broccolli, Cabbage, Thyme
  • March 21st - 6-8 weeks - Tomatoes, Basil, Leek, Swiss Chard, Brussel Sprouts, Tomatillos
  • April 14th - 4 weeks - Cucumbers, Squash, Melons, Okra


    Bookmark   January 27, 2010 at 10:28AM
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bagardens (Ohio, Zone 5b)

I am in northern Ohio and I usually expect to plant my warm weather crops outside around Memorial Day which include all the things which you plan to grow, I do not know about the bhut have not grown that before myself. A lot depends on the year of coarse, you will have to watch the temps and weather to make sure it is safe to plant. I usually count back from Memorial Day and add a week just in case it is a warm year and I can start planting outside a week earlier, and start depending on what the package says. Last year I started some of my hot peppers on March 8th and started Tomatoes and the rest of my peppers on March 22th. If you would like you can start the zucchini and cucumbers about three weeks before planting out, but I prefer to just start them outside myself (I grow too many to start inside). You can always experiment with that if you have extra seeds. The beans I would just plant directly outside. I have heard of some people who start them inside but never really considered doing it myself. Good luck, and don't forget to have fun.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2010 at 12:16PM
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hoagc(5 NW Ohio)

If you guys think that the beans, zucchini, and cukes will do just fine if I start them outside, then I might just do that since space under my light is limited. Sounds like I need to get the Bhuts, Habs, and Fatalis started ASAP haha. The tomatoes can wait for a few more weeks.

Thanks for the help! Anybody that's grown the hotter many times will I need to transplant them if I start them now?

    Bookmark   January 27, 2010 at 3:27PM
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I'm in zone 5 as well and so ready to plant something. I plan to start everything in shifts this time around, with an exception for the tomatoes, cukes, melons, peppers and herbs.

I'll most likely start 3 week of Feb indoors. I have a nice setup going.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2010 at 4:10PM
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I transplant tomato and pepper seedlings a few days after they get their first true leaves. The containers are 3" square but 3.5" deep so I try to have the seedlings close to 3" minimum. That's the only potting I do until they go into the garden or permanent home.


    Bookmark   January 29, 2010 at 8:24AM
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