Planting Success: Seeding Terms

The back of each seed packet has all the information you need about growing the seed into the plant.  Determine the date you want to plant your garden (see Frost Free Dates below), then count back the recommended weeks recommended on the packet for the peak planting size.  Some seeds can be planted now to get a jump on the harvest (tomatoes) while other seeds can be directly planted in the ground (radish).  Be sure to pick up our Vegetable Planting Chart at the Garden Centre for all the timing information needed.

Canadian Hardiness Zone:  considered the standard measure of plant hardiness.  Canada is divided into 9 major zones with the harshest is 0 and mildest is 8.  There are also subzones (ie 5a or 5b) that are also quite common. 

There are exceptions to every rule.  A property that is well protected from wind and cold might have a higher hardiness zone while a very exposed site might have a lower hardiness zone.

Orangeville is considered in the 5 zone.  Dufferin Garden Centre carries plants that are hardy in Orangeville and for colder temperatures.  Some plants like Japanese Maples and Rose of Sharon are considered tender plants that need a more protective spot and may not be available.

Planting Depth:  Each seed will be different, but a general rule of thumb is to plant no deeper than a seed’s diameter.  The shallowest planting is on top of the soil and the deepest is usually no more than an 1”.

Pre-Planting Prep:  Some seeds may need some extra help to start the germination phase such as…

Scarification – gently sand the seeds before planting

Soaking – place the seeds in water prior to planting

Stratification – layer the seeds in moist soil

Days to Germination:  If the seed package reads ‘from 5-7 days’ then you may see sprouts as early as five days after planting the seeds.

Days to Maturity:  Represents the days needed for the plant to go from a seed to a mature plant.  This is important so we can ensure our harvest will be before our first frost in the fall.  Be sure to count backwards to mark the date that the seed should be planted.

Frost Free Days:  These dates are approximate and are gained from information recorded over a number of years.  In Orangeville, our last spring frost is approximate May 28 and the first fall frost is approximate September 21.  These dates are considered approximate as we have had frost warning in the beginning of June and we all know people who have harvested veggies well into October!