Alberta is not known for having an extensive growing season… which can make it difficult to grow some vegetables, herbs, flowers, or other garden plants from seed to maturity! With only 3-5 months of decent weather to grow in (depending on the year), most gardeners ’round here need to get creative. A quick and easy way to get around the short growing season is to purchase bedding plants and vegetables that have already had a good start from your local garden center (Hey! That’s us!) in the spring. But if you want to enjoy the reward of growing your garden from tiny seeds to a full-grown, planty-paradise, then your best bet is to start some of your plants early and indoors.
This quick-start seed planting guide will walk you through 6 easy steps to get your seeds growing happily. You can even reference our Seed Starting Date charts below, to help you figure out exactly when to plant each variety you’re planning for your garden.
Annual Seed Starting Dates | Perennial Seed Starting Dates | Herb Seed Starting Dates | Vegetable Seed Starting Dates
Let’s Get Started
Like any good project, you’ll want to start by gathering your materials. You will want to have your materials ready on a table or another suitable space with a fair amount of room to work. You will need:
- Growing tray
- Humidity Dome (clear plastic lid for your tray)
- Growing Medium: seed starting soil or peat pellets (if using soil, consider using tray inserts to separate seedlings)
- Plant labels and a marker
- Optional: Grow light (if you’re going to grow your seedlings where there isn’t much sun)
- Optional: Seedling heat mat (if you’re going to grow your seedlings where there isn’t much warmth – like a basement)
You want to prepare the area you are going to use (the kitchen table works great). Don’t forget to cover the area with something to catch any rogue dirt – old newspaper is perfect. You can fold up the soil in the paper and dispose of it easily.