I was tempted to share ‘seeds to never transplant,’ yet never is such strong, dominating language.
There is always more than one way to do things.
In fact, we transplant some of these seeds…
…but only because it keeps our lives more simple …
…not because the plants prefer it.
So yes, it’s true, there are some seeds whose sensitive root systems simply prefer to grow where they’re planted. Planting them in soil blocks, cow pots or peat pots is always an option — just be sure you’re transplanting them as soon as seedlings emerge from the soil.
It’s counter-intuitive, I know, but directly sowing these seeds in deliciously warm soil after final frost will surround you with earlier and more abundance than their transplanted kin, even in short seasons. Planting them earlier is simply not an equation to get an earlier harvest.
Resist Transplanting These Seeds
The cucurbit botanical family includes zucchini, summer & winter squash, melon, & cucumber. Only sow them after final frost, once the soil is warm.
~ we love these rich & nutty cocozelle zucchini ~
~ salt & pepper is our favorite cucumber, followed by silver slicer ~
~ we developed August Ambrosia watermelon with Michael Mazourek of Cornell ~
~ Cornell’s new Bush Delicata is lusciously sweet, perfect for raised beds or even container gardens ~
Legumes include beans, peas & peanuts. Peas don’t hesitate to germinate in cold soil, though beans and peanuts quickly rot unless the soil is deliciously warm, after final frost.
~ we often have hummingbirds nest in our chocolate runner beans ~
~ northern hardy peanuts are easy to grow! if you can grow bush beans, you can grow peanuts ~
~ Our dwarf Laxton’s Progress pea is a breeze to trellis at 2.5′ tall ~
Cilantro & Dill
Have you noticed they always bolt, getting tall & flower too quickly? That is a sign of stress. Keeping them well-watered and out of direct full-day summer sun will also extend their harvest window.
~ We love this Caribe cilantro which is remarkably cold-hardy, so go ahead & plant it now, even in short seasons ~
All root vegetables prefer to grow where they’re planted, from radish to beets, turnip to carrot. You’ll find some carrot germination tips here!
Corn prefers to be direct-sown in warm soil. For your ears to be fully pollinated, cultivate at least 20 plants. Also, blocks of corn pollinate more effectively than rows.
Glass gem is certainly beautiful and we love to grind it for polenta, as well.
It’s true! Sunflowers will grow tallest & with more abundant blooms when direct-sown. This is our Lemon Queen, by the way.
If squirrels & chipmunks munch your sunflowers relentlessly (they’re delicious, after all!), try Tithonia, Mexican Sunflower, whose seedlings are bitter and hairy by comparison. You’ll likely have met your new best friend!
Whether you’re sowing straight lettuces or diverse mixes like our Winter Green Mesclun, baby greens are always best densely direct-sown.
And friends, whatever you do…
Notes help us learn from our mistakes rather than repeating them, though we repeat plenty of them, trust me!
Our Across the Seasons perpetual calendar is a beautiful way to record what you do when, making it easy to notice patterns and surround yourself with more abundance in the future. Almost daily I hear from someone who is just loving it!
Happy Direct Sowing, Friends!
Sow Seeds & Sing Songs,
& the whole Fruition crew