It may be too early for many of our frost-sensitive vegetables to go in the ground but a few are ready to be started indoors ASAP! Here in Zone 6, broccoli, cauliflower, beets, carrots, onion, peas, spinach, kale and tomato should be started inside now. Stop by the Cincinnati Recycling and Reuse Hub for recycled plastic starter pots or purchase a set ready to go at your local department store.
There’s no better way to get the kids involved with gardening than starting off with arguably one of the most fun parts; playing with dirt. Put on some old clothes, spread out your soil and let’s get messy! We love to use this basic soil for our fruits and vegetables.
Zone 6 Gardening
In Southern Ohio (Zone 6), the rule of thumb is to wait until after Mother’s Day for outdoor planting. This ensures your plant can survive the evening temperature drops and occasional lingering frost. Starting plants indoors gives them extra time in the sunny warmth of your home to grow into hearty seedlings and plants.
For our vegetables, we skip the planters and use a Jiffy Peat Pellet Pro Seed kit for ease of transplanting. The kiddos can help along the way as there are a few steps to fluff the peat, make holes for seeds and watering. The Jiffy kit fits perfectly on our washer and dryer where the Sun mostly shines.
For the best yield, always start with fresh, new seeds and simply follow the directions on the packet. Burpee or Ferry Morse seeds are a family favorite and can be purchased alongside greenhouse kits, soil and fertilizer at your local Home Depot or garden center.
Starting seeds indoors is a fun way for children to watch the entire growth process, from seed to fruit-bearing plants. While gaining respect for farming and what the Earth provides, children learn hands-on where healthy choices begin. In the meantime, head to Krohn Conservatory for plant inspiration!