Seed Starting Guide: 5 Super Useful Things to Consider When Growing Flowers From Seed

Flower Seed Starting Cheat Sheet

1. Last Frost Date

The first thing you need to figure out is your last frost date this spring. I use the Old Farmers Almanac website. It's great, you enter your postal code or zip code and it lists your last expected frost date in the spring, your first expected frost date in the fall, and your growing days. 
Once you have your last frost date you should mark it in your calendar. Then count back and mark weeks to last frost date so you know which seeds need to be started each week. Anything you are starting inside will likely be seeded between 4 and 14 weeks prior to your last frost date. In my area our last expected frost date is May 26th, you can view, or print the calendar below if it is the same in your area.

2. Seed Starting Guide

Once you have your ‘last frost date’ and have marked the ‘weeks to last frost date’ you can check the back of your seed packages for when to start sowing the seeds. Most seed packages will include information on when these seeds need to be started. Some seed packages come with no information which is mildly annoying, especially if you are a new grower! I have created a ‘cheat sheet’ for all of the crops that I have grown in the past. It will be updated every year to include any new information.


3. My Favorite Seed Suppliers

Okay, I don't have a favorite seed supplier, I have a list of favorites! I purchase seeds from many different Canadian and American seed suppliers. The lists below include only companies that I have personally purchased from and was totally happy! I have included links to both Canadian and American Seed supplier directories below as well in case you are looking for more options.
Canadian Seed Suppliers:
  1. Early's Farm and Garden
  2. Incredible Seed Company
  3. Stems Flower Farm
  4. Veseys
  5. West Coast Seeds
  6. Whiffletree Farm and Nursery
  7. Whistling Prairie Flowers
  8. William Dam Seeds
American Seed Suppliers:
  1. Baker Creek
  2. Floret Flowers
  3. GeoSeed
  4. Johnny's Seeds
  5. Swallowtail Garden Seeds

This is a list of seed suppliers I have purchased seed from, but there are many Canadian and American seed suppliers. The following links are Canadian and American seed supplier directories to satisfy all of your seed needs.

4. Reasonably Priced Grow Lights

Grow lights can be quite expensive depending on the brand you buy. They don't need to be! I found an 8 pack on Amazon two years ago and bought it. I have been very happy with these lights! They come with connector cables so you can turn them all on with a single switch. I just checked again and there is a $15.00 off coupon check box on them right now. If you need some reasonably priced grow lights go check out these Kihung LED Grow lights


5. Book: 'Cool Flowers' by Lisa Mason Ziegler

Cool Flowers by Lisa Mason Ziegler is one of my all time favorite flower books. Not all flowers love heat. In theory we all knew that, but before reading this book I never thought to plant cool loving annuals out six weeks before the last frost date in the spring! It takes a bit of faith to plant these little seedlings out when it is still freezing every night, but the cool season hardy annuals love it. It actually works! If you've never looked through this book I definitely recommend it to anyone living in an area that has a cool, or cold season.

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