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Pinetree Garden Seeds

Natural Selection

The experts at Pinetree Garden Seeds offer tips on how to grow your own garden and why it matters.

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With its long winters and rugged terrain, you might think Maine is an impossible place to grow flowers, fruits, and vegetables from seed. But think again. 

“It just means we have to be smarter and more flexible to grow a successful garden,” says Melissa Emerson, co-owner of New Gloucester’s Pinetree Garden Seeds, which has helped Mainers grow their own fresh, healthy food for more than 40 years. Planting a wide variety of items can ensure you get some garden goodness no matter what the weather has in store. A super-hot summer? Your tomatoes will be thrilled! Lots of rain? Your pumpkins and watermelons will be huge!

A packet of seeds costs just a fraction 
of what you’d pay for a tray of seedlings.

And there are plenty of good reasons to make the effort. A packet of seeds costs just a fraction of what you’d pay for a tray of seedlings. What’s more, seeds offer total quality control. You don’t have to worry that your seedlings have been sitting on store shelves for weeks and will be destined for wilting. Seeds offer many more unique varieties to choose from than seedlings, and they often result in more flavorful and visually interesting produce. Pinetree has more than 75 different varieties of tomatoes alone.

If you are going to start a garden, act fast: To enjoy tomatoes in August, you’ll want to sow seeds indoors in February. Digging into your summer garden work will likely offer a little lift to get you through winter.

“Nothing says spring is on its way,” Emerson says, “more than the rich, earthy smell of fresh soil.”

WHEN TO PLANTHOW LONG DOES IT TAKE SEEDS TO SPROUT?WHEN TO TRANSFER TO THE GROUND
Broccoli6 weeks before last spring frost date to 12 weeks before first fall frost3–10 days at 70°–75° soil temperatureMay 15 to 30
Cabbage8 weeks before 
last spring frost 
date to 12–14 weeks before first fall frost
4–10 days at 70°–75° soil temperature.May 15 to 30
Cauliflower
6 weeks before last spring frost date to 12–14 weeks before first fall frost

4–10 days at 70°–75° soil temperature 

May 15 to 30

Cucumbers

4–5 weeks before last spring frost date

6–10 days at 70°–80° soil temperature

After the last frost, last week of May io early June
Lettuce
6 weeks before last spring frost date to 9 weeks before first fall frost

4–10 days at 60°–70° soil temperature

Starting in late April to early May and into early summer
Onions
8–12 weeks before last spring frost date 

7–12 days at 65°–80° soil temperature

Early May to late May
Peppers
8–10 weeks before last spring frost date

10–20 days at 75°–85° soil temperature

After the last frost, last week of May into early June

Squash

4–5 weeks before last spring frost date

3–10 days at 70°–80° soil temperature

After the last frost, last week of May into early June
Tomatoes
5–7 weeks before last spring frost date

6–14 days at 75°–80° soil temperature
After last frost, last week of May

To learn more about Pinetree Garden Seeds, visit superseeds.com.

Pinetree Garden Seeds
Pinetree Garden Seeds
Pinetree Garden Seeds