Starting Seeds

Many gardeners started their summer crops back in February–tomatoes, peppers, tomatillos, and more can be started indoors early to get a head start on the season.

If you have some seeds but didn’t have time this winter to start them, there are still things you can start to share with swappers at our Third Annual Seedling Swap on Sunday, May 5!


You can probably start tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants to share for May 5–they’ll be small, but other gardeners might just love to have what you are growing!

If you have toilet paper or paper towel rolls, or even newspaper, you can turn these into little pots to start your beans, corn, cucumbers, watermelons, peanuts, squash, pumpkins, zucchini, and more! These seeds germinate and grow quickly but don’t like their roots disturbed (like when transplanting). But if you make pots out of paper towel rolls or newspaper, fill them with seed-starting mix, and plant your favorite pumpkin seed to share at the swap, you will have nice seedlings to share in May and the pots can be planted whole directly in the ground!

Remember to give your seedlings plenty of light, warmth, and water. Visit the University of Maryland Extension Office’s Home and Garden Information Center for mid-Atlantic gardening tips, including seed starting and transplanting.

The gardening fellows at Hudson Valley Seed Library have a six-part seed-starting and -transplanting series (parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6)–these posts are a great educational resource for both new and experienced gardeners.

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