For spring gardens, order seeds now


Urban Farmer owner Noah Herron said amid the COVID-19 pandemic, seed sales on his online site soared in 2020. He’s already seeing similar trends this year.

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Noah Herron

“Right now, starting the beginning of January is kind of when garden seed orders come in and people sit down with catalogs and start to plan out their garden and decide what they want,” said Herron, a Westfield resident. “When everything happened with COVID, seed sales online began skyrocketing and there was a long delay to get seeds.”

Herron said because of the increased traffic, at one point last year Urban Farmer fell behind one month on shipping.

“That was the same with pretty much all other seed companies, so starting off this year we are already starting to see a delay on shipping, so I definitely recommend that if you’re planning a garden this spring to put your orders in very soon,” Herron said.

Herron said cool-season crops like broccoli and cauliflower can be started indoors in February and placed outside in March. He said to plant warmer season plants like tomatoes and peppers inside in March.

Gardeners don’t need grow lights or a greenhouse to start their growing season early. Herron said most people use either an electric blanket or heating pad below seed-starter trays until the plants germinate, and if those aren’t available, Herron recommends a place available in most kitchens.

“If you don’t have any of those, on top of the refrigerator is a warmer spot to start seeds,” Herron said. “Plant the seeds in a grow medium inside and keep the soil somewhat moist and put them on top of the refrigerator, and once they start to have germination, you can move them to a sunny location.”

Windows are a great option for light, Herron said, but during the winter, they allow the soil to get cold, which can be harmful to the plants.

“If you’re going to do that, it’s best to bring them away from the window at nighttime and put them back on top of the fridge,” he said.

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