Now is the Time To Start Summer Transplants (plus a spring vegetable garden update)

Looking for a positive activity that benefits your health and wellness while you are maintaing social distancing?  It is time to start planting summer vegetables!

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I try to get my summer vegetables like tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and tomatillos started in the Mid-March to April 1st time period.   I do not rush them into the ground as they like to go into warm soil so my target is about Memorial Day to plant.

I started peppers and eggplant first.  They grow slower initially and I do not have a ton of space under lights right now due to working from home.  The technique is demonstrated in the Seed Starting Video.

My kitchen counter is my new seed starting work area while working from home.

I will start seeds in 4″ and 2.5″ pots and then transplant them in to cell packs later.    They could be started in cells or smaller pots right off the bat, but I have limited space under lights at home.

This four inch pot is gridded with pepper seeds every 3/4th of an inch or so. I will thin as needed but hope to get about a dozen plants out of this small pot when I transplant them into cells.

CLICK HERE to see a Transplanting Video to demonstrate how I will seperate them into individual cells in the next couple of weeks once they germinate and get a little growth.

I lightly covered the planted pots with plastic wrap to maintain humidity since the cells were on a heat mat and that would rapidly dry them out.

I check every day although I do not expect germination any faster than about a week.  I will start my tomatoes and tomatillos in the next few days once I get some space under my lights by putting some more transplants out in my container garden.

Container Garden Update:  From Last Weeks Post on Planting Spring Seeds

I had wrapped up the container garden with double row cover after also adding a layer of bird netting.  I bird netting keeps out the squirrels who would eat all my produce instantaneously.  The row cover was for frost protection as we had some nights in the 20s this past weekend.

I was a little worried about the lettuce, it is cold tolerant but not tremendously hardy. It came through like a champ.


The spinach I was not worried about at all with temperatures in the 20’s. I harvested a bowl about 5 days ago and it looks like it is getting ready for another harvest.

I will replace harvested produce with more transplants that are under the lights right now.  That will free up space to start the tomatoes.

I start a small amount of lettuce for my home garden every two weeks or so in season so that I have a constant stream of lettuce instead of a large harvest all at once.

Hopefully my community garden will get plowed on time this season.  It will depend on the rainfall as wet clay soil cannot be worked without creating problems.  Then I can get more seeds as well as the transplants under the lights in the ground.



7 thoughts on “Now is the Time To Start Summer Transplants (plus a spring vegetable garden update)

    • Barb, I recommend a several day hardening off period before planting to reduce transplant shock. I am hardening off a 6 pack of lettuce right now to go into the ground in the next few days.

  1. Hi, Tim, first-time commenter, long-time fan! 😉 Can you tell me which grass varieties are the ones already greening up here in central Ohio? I ask because I have patches of brown in my front yard – spots where the utility company dug and then “restored” the lawn – but the rest of it is already a lush green. I’d like to dig out the brown spots and patch with the variety of grass that’s already greening. Thanks for any insights!

    • Hey there! What I would do is tailor your grass seed purchase to the amount of sunlight that you get in that space. It is very common for the seed companies to now list their products by sunlight amount as opposed to a varietal selection to make it easier on the consumer. Good Luck!

  2. I need containers and/or peat pots. Where can I get these when most stores are closed for the next few weeks?

    • Greetings, Most stores where gardening supplies are sold are still open. Make sure to follow all guidance from the Ohio Department of Heatlh regarding social distancing. If you do not wish to purchase in person, many gardening supply online companies plus Amazon carry needed gardening supplies and can deliver.

    • I saw a video online where someone used a toilet paper roll cut in half, fold one end so that it’s closed, fill with seed starter soil and insert seed. When it’s time to plant, the whole thing is biodegradable so you can plant it as is, though I would probably open up the closed end.

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