The catalogs have been coming in the mail, and some recent balmy days have people thinking about the upcoming gardening season. Seeds can be economical, offer a wide variety of plant options, and a fun project for gardeners of all ages.
Start by becoming familiar best practices. The Extension publication, Starting Seeds Indoors, covers all aspects of seed starting including buying seed, types of growing media, how to sow seeds, light and heat requirements, watering, transplanting, etc. Timing seed starting is critical. Start seeds too early and the plants can become spindly and weak. Start seeds too late, and you may not have a good harvest. Read the seed packets and start seeds at the appropriate time. In Minnesota, most seeds require 6-8 weeks of growing indoors before they can be transplanted outside after all danger of frost has passed. Find the spring frost-free date for your area.
Extension Vegetable publications. Some publications have lists of varieties that have proven to grow well in Minnesota gardens and have better disease resistance. If you are a flower lover, the University of Minnesota annual flower trials is a helpful resource for finding those varieties that performed well in locations around the state.