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My Seed Starting Calculator: A Tool Every Gardener Needs!

Seed Starting Calculator

Have you ever had a hard time figuring out the right date to start your seeds? I have! I’ve been starting seeds for years and I still need to stop and think about the right date to plant some of them.

This is the reason I’ve created my brand new tool.

Seed packages can be confusing with their often general language of “early spring” or “as soon as the ground can be worked”.

If you’re new to gardening, what does this mean?

I don’t always know when my ground can be worked? Every year, the weather is different. Do I go out there with a spade and stab at the ground, hoping to make a hole, wishing it’s ready?

With my new Seed Starting Calculator, I’ve taken the guesswork out of doing complicated math equations, counting backwards, trying to remember the weather patterns of years passed or even attempting to guess.

Plants work the same way, no matter which part of the world they grow in. They all need a specific number of weeks to grow, regardless of where they will be planted. Once planted, they’re either frost tender and can’t take any exposure to freezing temperatures, thereby immediately killing or damaging them. Or, they’re capable of taking some cool weather or are frost hardy and can handle several weeks of occasional freezing temperatures.

Whether you live in a harsh winter climate, a sunny and warm climate, or even in an opposite climate to the rest of the world, this calculator will work in your hardiness zone. As long as you enter your final frost date/first frost date, the calculator will make the appropriate adjustments for your hardiness zone.


  • After entering your final frost date on the left side of the chart, two dates will be displayed, “Indoors” and “Direct Sow”. The “Indoors” date, is the best date to start your seeds indoors. The “Direct Sow” date is the best date to plant your seeds directly into the garden. Some plants are capable of being planted either way and planting them indoors gives them the added benefit of a head start.
  • In a shorter growing season, starting your seeds indoors gives the plant the needed additional weeks to reach maturity. In a longer growing season, there’s more flexibility when starting some of the seeds and a choice can be made either way, for how to start them.
  • After entering your first frost date on the right side of the chart, two dates will be displayed, “Transplant” and “Direct Sow”. During this time of year, the days are getting shorter and the nights cooler. Some plants benefit from being started indoors, then transplanted into the garden.
  • Under the “Transplant” column, this is the best date to plant out seedlings. These seedlings should have been started indoors, as a head start, prior to planting out. To acquire this number, simply look at the left side of the chart, at the “Indoor” column and add the number of weeks to the number of weeks under “Transplant”. This will be the total number of weeks needed to start these seeds, prior to the first frost. Under the “Direct Sow” column, these seeds are more hardy and perform better in cooler temperatures. These seeds may be planted directly in the soil, within the specified number of weeks in this column.

Please watch the following video, for simple instructions on using this chart.

Try my new Seed Starting Calculator today!


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Julia Dimakos

Hi, I'm Julia from Mono, Ontario, Canada. I began my gardening adventure after having children. Since then, my interest grew into a passion. I love growing vegetables, herbs, flowers, fruit and medicinal herbs. I'm here to show you that growing your own food is not difficult and in fact can be simple.