It’s Seed Time

“In seed time learn, in harvest teach, in winter enjoy.” ~William Blake


I am trying to live up to this quote as March ends, probably like a lion.  And with April, I am ready to get out and start planting seeds.  But my seed starting happens months in advance of April.  Actually it starts before the new year.  In December, I begin putting my list of seeds together….just in time for the new seed catalogs to start coming.  I sort through old seed packets discarding any that are open and more than 3-4 years old. 



I love flipping through the catalogs looking for new varieties of veggies, herbs and flowers to try each year in the garden.  



Over the last few years, I have put together a calendar of when to start my favorite flowers, herbs and veggies. By late January, I start pansy (above), viola, torenia and snapdragons (top of post) as these take time to germinate and grow.  And the pansies, viola and snapdragons can be planted in containers a bit earlier than most annuals in my zone 5b garden.



Alyssum (above), amaranthus(above) and coleus are started a few weeks later.



By the beginning of March, I have started eggplant, peppers (above), tomatillos and celery.  I won’t start tomatoes until late April as they grow fast.  And I do start cucumber, squash and sunflowers a week or 2 before I plant them out in late May just to give them a head start.



In early March, I also start marigolds and many herbs such as basil (above), Italian parsley, savory and marjoram.  All other flowers, herbs and vegetable seeds are started, at different intervals, outside as the weather warms.



This is what my seed starting station looks like by mid-March.  By the end of March, I have already transplanted many of these seeds into bigger pots.  Next week, I’ll be giving you a glimpse into my what my veg garden will look like this year….what varieties I am trying, and what my planting scheme may look like.


Are you starting seeds already?  What new seeds are you trying this year?


In February, when the weather was very warm, I cut a few sprigs of forsythia and willow to force.



As you can see they have leafed out.  The forsythia did not flower which may be a signal that our crazy winter may keep my forsythia from blooming this year.  I hope not.



The willow are still flowering slowly.  I love seeing the little fuzzies….



And all the beautiful green willow leaves.



With all our March snow, still covering most of my garden, it has been a joy to see the forsythia (above) and willow leafing out, and giving me green that has sorely been missing.


I am joining Cathy@Rambling in the Garden for her wonderful In A Vase on Monday meme. The pictures shared here were created with my iPod Touch camera and two free apps, Pixlr and Prisma.

I am posting poetry, almost weekly on Sundays, on my other blog, Living From Happiness.  You can read my latest poem here.

All original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Gardens Eye View, 2010-2018.  Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only.

40 Replies to “It’s Seed Time”

  1. Flowering branches are beautiful and uplifting. I tried planting Stocks from seed this year. Seeds germinated well, but after growing a couple inches just started withering away. Any idea? Too little light, too cold?

    1. Usually I find it has to do with moisture and light when planted indoors if they wither away. Not enough light and/or too much moisture. I planted Stock outside last year in lots of sun and kept them good and moist in the cutting bed, but the cool temps kept the plants small. Even though they flowered the flowers were small too.

  2. An exciting time when, even though the weather may not feel very springy, at least the sprouting seeds give a gardener hope for warmer days sure to come!

    1. Exactly Peter…so much fun to see the seedlings grow bigger knowing soon they will soon be planted outside giving me flowers, herbs and veggies!

  3. I’m late sowing this year, the weather isn’t a bit encouraging. Bravo for being so motivated, Donna. Hope this flower forcing business will end soon and spring will come and stay. Happy Easter 🙂

    1. No it is not an encouraging forecast either Annette….seems after Easter will not be encouraging either for a week or 2.

  4. I love your bare bones vase, Donna; twigs always look so elegant. And my goodness, yes, I have been sowing for some time, probably to excess!

    1. I love sowing but not so much the transplanting into bigger pots. Hundreds of seedlings later and my back is aching with still a hundred more to pot on another day. But oh it feels good to see all the growth. Pleased you liked the twigs.

  5. My list of seeds that I’m starting this year is too long to tell here, but I’ve posted about it. I have zilllions of sprouts. They’re such a joy to see. I still have more seeds to sow, but no more room, and I’ve run out of pots. I hope the Forsythia in your garden does flower. Mine is in full flower right now and it’s a wonderful spot of brightness.

    1. I am with you as I will run out of room soon too. The new veggies I am growing indoors and out will be in my post next Monday. I’ll go back and check to see what you are growing already. I am holding hope for my forsythia too!

  6. So much vigour in this post despite the weather getting you down!
    now am starting to feel behind the times already Donna – only just started some seeds – Marigold and Candytuft.
    I like the name ‘bare bones’ for your vase – I just bought some Pussy Willow twigs for a touch of indoor Spring – more cold weather on the way here!

    1. Seems we are both going to get more cold. I have to start my seeds early because of the growing season here and they take a long tome in my cool basement. Enjoy those willows and seeds. Hoping forecasts are wrong for once.

  7. Really, what is it with Mother Nature this year?! Our rains were late (and brief) and you still have snow and cold. I hope your forsythia in the garden surprises you. I’ve got more zinnia and calendula seeds than places to put them, especially as the sweetpea, snapdragon and larkspur seeds sown in the fall have been slow to bloom since the weather in February and March has been colder than usual here.

    1. I know it is crazier each year. Your flowers sound wonderful. I hope to plant many of the same finally in May.

  8. It looks like spring at least under your lights. How soon before the snow melts do you think? Half our yard still has snow, but it is slowly melting!

    1. Well if we had sun and temps above freezing day and night I’d say another week or so….but with the forecast it won’t be until early April or later. We are due for rain, 40s/day, 30s/night but it is changing next week…cold and rain/snow. But I may be surprised and it may melt sooner.

  9. I wasn’t going to sow tomatoes until April but a friend said he sowed his weeks ago and being in a new area I thought I’d better too . . . so I sowed squash and peas as well and now the squash and peas are getting all tangled together on the window sill while the tomatoes sit placidly, not getting beyond their seed leaves.

    1. My tomatoes are started in mid April as we don’t plant them out until late May here….I tried starting squash one year in April and oh the tangle I had….so now I just start them in mid-May to give them a jump start. Hope those seeds behave for you.

  10. It was interesting to read your seed sowing schedule Donna. I’ve sown a few half hardy annuals in a heated propagator as well as sweet peas and beetroot in the greenhouse. I won’t really get going until April 🙂 A shame that your forsythia didn’t oblige but those lovely fuzzy caterpillars on the willow make up for it.

    1. It is fascinating how different our seed starting schedules are Anna. I only start about half of the flowers and veggies indoors and the rest by seed outdoors when the weather and soil warms. Hoping April warms and stays warm but not the forecast so far.

  11. What is more exciting than starting off seedlings? I’m happy to see yours all looking so healthy. Let’s hope the weather is kind now and they can really get going. I’m keeping mine tucked inside for now. I start almost everything in trays so it’s a lot of work but I get better results. (It’s not really what I call work!). Pretty catkins.

    1. Thanks Alison. Mine will also stay inside until it warms enough here. I start half of mine inside, the rest outside. Let’s hope for warm weather for both of us!

  12. Our seed starting schedule looks to be much the same. I’m always wondering how some people can start their tomatoes and peppers at the same time – peppers take forever to grow large enough for transplanting compared to tomatoes, in my house, anyhow.

    I’ve been wanting to get a forsythia into the garden for a while now – I just realized (as in right this minute) that the overgrown bed that I’m cleaning up this spring would be the perfect spot…thanks for the reminder 🙂

    I’m really looking forward to seeing what your plans are for this season – planning is almost as exciting as doing!

    1. I agree…peppers take forever for me too. My forsythia sprouted a few baby plants that I need to find good homes for around the garden. I am determined to clean up old beds and refresh with a forsythia here and there for more spring color. And I agree…the planning is as exciting as the actual planting out of the veg garden. I have a question for you so I am sending you an email soon.

  13. I’ve never been very good at starting seeds indoors; but two years ago, I took a class with Heather McCargo of the Maine Wild Seed Project about how to sow seed in fall or winter, let them winter over in pots outdoors and then transplant them after they germinate in spring. This year, I have seeds of flax-leaved aster, Virgin’s bower clematis and Rudbeckia hirta outside in pots waiting to germinate.

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