If indoor seed starting is not your thing, but you still want to have the variety and cost effectiveness of seeds, you can direct sow your seeds directly into the garden. If you are planting in mulch, be sure to open a hole in the mulch, plant the seed to the depth on the seed packet and cover with potting soil. Mulch can form a hard crust that only the strongest seedling (like beans and squash) can break through.
Here is the by-month seed sowing calendar for our Zone 6 garden. There are so many early and late varieties available that you should consult the seed packet on the best outdoor sowing times (always listed as the weeks before your last frost date).
February(as soon as soil can be worked)
Fruit trees and bushes
Lettuce (sow every 2 weeks if you are a salad lover for continuous salads)
Mache (corn salad)
Spinach (sow every 2 weeks through early May)
Beans (snap-bush & pole)
Bee balm (monarda)
Summer squash (like zucchini)
Beans (dry & lima)
Melons (cantaloupe, watermelons)
Malabar & New Zealand spinach
Winter squash (like pumpkins and butternut squash)
Never miss a plant date again — check out MOTHER EARTH NEWS When to Plant app for iPhones and iPads.
For more garden tips, see my blog at www.VictoryGardenOnTheGolfCourse.com.