Summer's Bounty Starts Here

When winter is still hanging on outdoors but spring is around the corner, it is time to give summer a flying start indoors.  

Leafy greens and all the cabbage family (kale, broccoli) like cool weather and can go outdoors as soon as the ground is not soggy and doesn't freeze. Summer crops like tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants will want a warm spot indoors.

In warmer zones, a greenhouse or coldframe will be enough shelter. The key is to provide a space that is frost-free, has bright light, and maintains temperatures in the 60's to 70's. 

For tomatoes and peppers, optimum germination temperature is 86 degrees. For melons and eggplant, it is a couple of degrees higher. The best way to achieve warm soil temperatures without cooking your seeds or overheating your house or greenhouse is to use heat mats. Typically, they heat the trays that are in direct contact with the mat to 10 degrees above room temperature, making them perfect for germination of seeds indoors.You can still use unheated flats or pots in the house or greenhouse if it is in the 60's or 70's--your plants will germinate and grow more slowly. Some people believe that such plants are more sturdy and pest-resistant.

Popular This Season:
Vto 5740 tomato amish paste web2
On Sale 10%

Amish Paste Tomato

Outstanding flavor raw as well as cooked--selected for the Slow Food Ark of Taste. Meaty long red fruits from August til frost on vigorous vines. Mid-season,...
  • Days to maturity: 69-80
  • Spacing: 24
  • Seed code: N
Vto 5750 arkansas
On Sale 10%

Arkansas Traveler Tomato

Takes extreme heat Heart-shaped pink fruits are smooth, glossy and nearly flawless. Early and dependable, with lots of 2" pink fruits on indeterminate but sm...
  • Days to maturity: 55-68
  • Spacing: 24
  • Seeds per packet: 25
Veg 3499+bb+eggplant
On Sale 10%

Black Beauty Eggplant

Globe Eggplant-a nice big, dark purple oval fruit, weighing up to 3 lbs. A standby for many years for early big fruits with good flavor. BOTANICAL NAME: ...
  • Days to maturity: 77
  • Germination days: 10-17
  • Seeds per packet: 40
Vto 5768 0088g.05.blackcherry.cat
On Sale 10%

Black Cherry Tomato, organic

Mid season. Not only the best dark cherry tomato, it is just plain delicious by any standard; the perfect balance of sweet and spritely, with a lot of depth....
  • Days to maturity: 69-80
  • Spacing: 18
  • Seeds per packet: 25
Brandywine+heaven
On Sale 10%

Brandywine Tomato

Sets the standard for tomato flavor. Big pink heirloom from 1885;  Rich, perfectly balanced taste, and meaty texture. Mid-season. Indeterminate vines. Potato...
  • Days to maturity: 69-80
  • Spacing: 24
  • When to plant: Early summer
P1010044
On Sale 10%

Cal Green Globe Artichoke

The hardiest artichoke variety, to zone 6. Produces big flavorful 3-5" flower buds (the part you eat). Likes sun but not excessive heat, so give afternoon sh...
  • Planting depth: 1/2"
  • Germination days: 10-20
  • Days to maturity: 120
Collards+champion
On Sale 10%

Champion Collards, Organic

Developed in the 1930's to be bolt-resistant and compact in size. Flat, thick leaves offer some resistance to pests and weather, giving it a long harvest sea...
  • Days to maturity: 60-80
  • Germination days: 5-17
  • When to plant: Mid-summer
Vto 5800 cherokeep
On Sale 10%

Cherokee Purple Tomato

 Mid-season. Pre-1890 Tennessee heirloom on most "top ten" lists for flavor. Large, deep burgundy fruits with a green shoulder much like a "black" tomato. Re...
  • Days to maturity: 69-80
  • Spacing: 24
  • When to plant: Early summer
Vpe 4940 corno 2 web
On Sale 10%

Corno di Toro Red Sweet Pepper

Hotness: 0. Huge heirloom Italian sweet pepper, with long, curved fruits that do look like a bull's horn. May be the longest stuffing pepper at 10" long. Red...
  • Days to maturity: 75-90
  • Germination days: 8-25
  • Seeds per packet: 30
Vpe 4881
On Sale 10%

Criolla Sella Hot Pepper

Jalapeno heat/Habanero flavor! What a find! Huge crops of small (2 inch) golden peppers with a citrusy, smoky habanero-like flavor, but a manageable level of...
  • Days to maturity: 85-100
  • Germination days: 8-25
  • Seeds per packet: 30
Vbr 2540 109 broccoli di ciccio terra web
On Sale 10%

Di Cicco Broccoli, Organic

A rich-tasting old Italian heirloom. A best-seller year after year-reliable and tasty. Compact 2-3' light-green plants. Harvesting the 3-4" central head stim...
  • Days to maturity: 48-85
  • When to plant: Early fall
  • Germination days: 5-17
Vpe 4900 jamie pics october 2010 197 web
On Sale 10%

Early Jalapeno Hot Pepper, Organic

Distinctive meaty flavor for salsa, pickling, cooking, seasoning. Smoked, they become chipotles. 24" plants will produce in cooler conditions than most.  ...
  • Days to maturity: 60-80
  • Germination days: 8-25
  • Seeds per packet: 30
Glacier
On Sale 10%

Glacier Tomato, organic

The best flavor of any extra-early tomato we've tried. This very early tomato produces attractive orangey-red 2 1/2" fruit. Bears over a long season. Perfect...
  • Days to maturity: Less than 60
  • Spacing: 24
  • When to plant: Early summer
Melon+ice+cream
On Sale 10%

Ice Cream Melon, Organic

DESCRIPTION: The Ice Cream Melon is a green-fleshed, very sweet and luscious melon, also known by some as "the green machine" because it pumps out so many me...
  • When to plant: 3 wks last frost
  • Days to maturity: 80
  • Spacing: 15
Tomato+italian+heirloom
On Sale 10%

Italian Heirloom Tomato

We love this tomatoProductive, great-tasting, and dual-purpose.  Big heart-shaped fruits are excellent as a slicer with bright and sweet fresh flavor. Also c...
  • Spacing: 21
  • Days to maturity: 69-80
  • When to plant: Early summer
Eggplant+long
On Sale 10%

Long Purple Eggplant

 Slender, Asian-style eggplants slice easily and cook fast in stir-fry and other dishes. These ripen early. Tender fruit don't need peeling. BOTANICAL NAM...
  • Days to maturity: 68
  • Germination days: 10-17
  • Seeds per packet: 40
Vcu 3441 jamie+pics+october+2010+215
On Sale 10%

Marketmore 76 Cucumber, Organic

Dark green 8" blunt-ended fruit. Prolific and vigorous plant, tolerant to mosaic. Great home garden variety of the "supermarket" type cucumber. BOTANICAL NA...
  • Days to maturity: 58-75
  • Seeds per packet: 40
  • Germination days: 7-10
Vto 5633 tomato peacevine2 web
On Sale 10%

Peacevine Cherry Tomato, Organic

 Midseason. Indeterminate.Delicious cherry tomato from breeder extraordinaire Alan Kapular. Big trusses of sweet, cherry-size tomatoes like the "sweet 100" t...
  • Days to maturity: 69-80
  • Spacing: 18
  • When to plant: Early summer
Kale+pentland+brig
On Sale 10%

Pentland Brig Kale

A very special kale, which we carried for many years until it became unavailable. We are so glad to have it back! Tender and succulent leaves, with curled ed...
  • Days to maturity: 50-60
  • Seeds per packet: 50
  • Planting depth: 1/4-1/2
Kale+portugese+2
On Sale 10%

Portugese Kale (Tronchuda Cabbage)

A very juicy, sweet, and tender heirloom kale from Portugal. Stands heat better than other kales, and doesn't require cold to sweeten the flavor. Succulent t...
  • Germination days: 5-17
  • Days to maturity: 50-60
  • Seeds per packet: 50
Vca 2750 cabbage primo2 web
On Sale 10%

Primo Cabbage

An old favorite. Very early, and fast growing with sweet flavor. Compact, ball-headed Golden Acre type. These heirloom cabbages are becoming hard to find as ...
  • Days to maturity: 52-65
  • Germination days: 6-12
  • Seeds per packet: 85
Pepper+red+pimento
On Sale 10%

Red Pimento Sweet Pepper, Organic

These thick-walled, juicy, crunchy peppers are like a sugar snap pea--almost too wonderful raw to get to the kitchen. But when they do, they are great stuffe...
  • Days to maturity: 75-82
  • Germination days: 8-25
  • Seeds per packet: 30
Veg 3520 dscf2286 web
On Sale 10%

Rosa Bianca Eggplant, Organic

Treasured Italian heirloom. Beautiful plump fruits are shaded rosy pink and white, and the flavor is out-of-this-world: creamy, mild, totally bitterfree. Rea...
  • Germination days: 10-17
  • Days to maturity: 70
  • Seeds per packet: 40
Jamie+pics+october+2010+323
On Sale 10%

Russian Red Kale, Organic

From 1885, very hardy, with delicate flavor. Beautiful bluish oak-type leaves with bright purple midrib turn all purple with frost. Survived weeks of heat in...
  • Germination days: 5-17
  • Days to maturity: 50-60
  • When to plant: Late summer
Vto 5900rutgers
On Sale 10%

Rutgers Tomato, Organic

Mid season. Wilt and rust resistant. Large vigorous productive thick-stemmed determinate vines with heavy foliage. Round 8oz, bright red fruits with thick wa...
  • Spacing: 21
  • Days to maturity: 69-80
  • When to plant: Early summer
Vka 3925 kale siber frill
On Sale 10%

Siber Frill Kale, Organic, OSSI

The first really cut and curled Siberian/Russian kale, combining the look and fluffiness of frisee with the nutrition and cold-hardiness of a Russian kale. W...
  • Days to maturity: 50-60
  • When to plant: Late summer
  • Planting depth: 1/4-1/2
Tomato+sleeping+lady
On Sale 10%

Sleeping Lady Tomato, Organic

Heirloom flavor on a patio-size plant Bears heavily until frost.Strong plant only 3 ft tall.  Dwarf tomatoes are a traditional but little-known form of tomat...
  • When to plant: indoors, 2 months before last frost
  • Planting depth: 1/4"
  • Days to maturity: 70
Broccoli+solstice
On Sale 10%

Solstice Broccoli, Organic, OSSI

Ready very early and produces for a long time. Heads are on long stems above the foliage-easy to see and harvest and safer from slugs and snails. Small org...
  • Days to maturity: 45-84
  • Germination days: 5-17
  • When to plant: Late summer
Vegetable+basket

A Garden Planning Guide

Planning for Space, Time... and a Bunch of Other Things This is a departure from our usual action-based tip format, but taking time to think and plan now will avoid a lot of headaches for the rest of the season.We've tried to make it simple--how o...
Mixed+lettuce

Gardening Seasons

There are more than four seasons in the garden world. Cycles of plant growth, temperature, and day length dictate the rhythms of the garden. The gardener who learns to work within these rhythms will be rewarded with abundance.Every locality is a b...
Companion+planting+2

Know your Transplants--Movers, Divers, Sprinters and Sprawlers

Garden vegetables can be grouped by their root structure and their tolerance for transplanting.  This system tells you which crops like to be transplanted; which don't want to be disturbed; and which can wait the longest to get to their final posi...
Nat+red+amaranth+brite

Rotation--A Guide to the Plant Families

Garden vegetables belong to families of related plants.These families tend to share pests and diseases. Rotating families can keep you garden healthy.Pests and disease spores overwinter in the soil and on crops residues. You can prevent many probl...