Our first frost free day this year is Sunday May 15, 2011.
For those of us who start seeds indoors, here is a seed starting calculator from Johnny’s Select Seeds that I found online. It is on the upper right corner of the site. Once you open it, plug in the first frost free date for your area and it generate all kinds of useful information in a chart form from when to plant seeds for all kinds of common vegetables to when to set out the transplants into the garden. Then you can print it out and refer back to it as needed. So it is good for those of us who grow from seed and ALSO good for those of us who prefer to put out transplants we buy from the nurseries.
Here is Santa Fe’s (ZONE 5) Seed Starting Chart that I generated using May 15 as a date. To see the whole chart click this pdf- Johnny’s Selected Seeds – Superior Seeds & Gardening Tools . PDFs don’t show up on this blog only connections to them so you’ll have to click to see it.
HELPFUL HINT: If you have something that is longer than a page that you want to save from the internet on your computer. Go to FILE and then PRINT as if you were going to print it . Somewhere on your menu screen it says PDF. Go to that and then go to SAVE AS PDF. Click yes and now you have your document saved in it’s entirety on your computer desktop. You can also print it as well. This has been a very useful tip for me ins aving long documents.
I actually make several different seed starting charts-one based on the actual frost free date and one where I ‘push’ the date a little earlier to see if I can plant my tomato transplants early. For most other veggies I go by the frost free date but the tomatoes I try to sneak in the ground as early as possible because I grow some varieties that ripen very late in the season and I want them to ripen before the first frost. Two years ago I got my tomatoes in the ground on April 15th because we had such a mild Spring but last year some plants didn’t even make it in till June-so it depends on the year and what the weather is like in Spring… So play with this chart to see when to plant your seeds or transplant you plants and then watch the weather!