Gardening Sowing Seeds

Seeds to Sow Indoors in Early March*

Yes, seed-sowing time is nigh! Photo: The Rusted Garden

In areas with frigid winters, March is truly the season when gardeners begin starting their seeds indoors. Of course, I’ve seen many enthusiastic gardeners gushing over their new seedlings of tomatoes and peppers on Facebook over the last few weeks, but, in most cases, they’ve jumped the gun. I used to as well: it’s hard to resist those lengthening days. You feel you just have to sow something.

Well, I’ve become wiser as I grow older. I’ve learned that what I want are not spindly, overgrown plants that have a hard time recuperating when I plant them out, but young, energetic seedlings that may look small but will take off like a rocket once they’re outdoors. So, I hold back. In gardening, you sometimes have to rein in your enthusiasm if you want the best results.

Start These Indoors in Early March*

*All dates are based on northern, short-season climates

Gather your sowing materials: it’s time to start sowing! Ill.: Claire Tourigny, from the book Les Semis du jardinier paresseux.
  1. Alternanthera (Alternanthera spp.)
  2. Clematis (Clematis)
  3. Climbing Snapdragon (AsarinaLophospermumMaurandya asarina)
  4. Columbine (Aquilegia)
  5. Dusty Miller (Senecio cineraria)
  6. English Daisy (Bellis perennis)
  7. Flowering Maple (Abutilon)
  8. Goatsbeard (Aruncus)
  9. Honeywort (Cerinthe major)
  10. Houseleek or hen and chicks (Sempervivum)
  11. Ivy Pelargonium (Pelargonium peltatum)
  12. Knautia (Knautia)
  13. Knotweed (perennials) (Persicaria and Polygonum)
  14. Leek (Allium ampeloprasum)
  15. Leopard’s Bane (Doronicum)
  16. Madagascar periwinkle or vinca (Catharanthus roseus)
  17. Mealy Sage (Salvia farinacea)
  18. Penstemon (annual forms) (Penstemon hartwegiiP. gloxinioides, etc.)
  19. Red Valerian (Centranthus rubra)
  20. Silver Sage (Salvia argentea)
  21. Toothache Plant (Acmella oleracea, syn. Spilanthes acmella)
  22. Wax Begonia (Begonia x semperflorens-cultorum)
  23. Zonal Pelargonium (Pelargonium hortorum)

When to Sow Other Seeds? *

But what if the seed variety of your dreams doesn’t figure on the above list? It’s probably too early to sow it… and it is still quite early to be sowing plants for the outdoor garden. Patience then: your plant’s turn will come, probably in April or May.

Here are some other titles in the series:

Seeds to Sow Indoors in Mid-March

Seeds to Sow Indoors in Early April

Seeds to Sow Indoors in Mid-April

Seeds to Sow Indoors in Early May

Seeds to Sow Indoors in Mid-May

Having fun with this year’s sowing!

Main text adapted from an article published on March 1, 2016.

Larry Hodgson is one of Canada’s best-known garden communicators. He has notably been editor-in-chief of HousePlant Magazine, Fleurs, Plantes et Jardins, À Fleur de Pot and Houseplant Forum magazines and is currently the garden correspondent for Le Soleil and radio garden commentator for CKIA-FM Radio. He has written for many garden publications in both the United States and Canada, including Canadian Gardening, Harrowsmith, Horticulture, Fine Gardening and Organic Gardening. He also speaks frequently to horticultural groups throughout Canada and the U.S. His book credits include The Garden Lover’s Guide to Canada, Complete Guide to Houseplants, Making the Most of Shade, Perennials for Every Purpose, Annuals for Every Purpose, and Houseplants for Dummies, as well as nearly 60 other titles in English and French. He is a past president of the Garden Writers Association (now Garden Communicators International) and the winner of the prestigious 2006 Garden Media Promoter Award offered by the Perennial Plant Association. He resides in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.

2 comments on “Seeds to Sow Indoors in Early March*

  1. There are too many seed to fit into lists. within reason, some get sown when we get around to them. I so some of the tree and woody perennial seed (such as yucca) late in winter just so they are out there when the weather changes. There is no specific time for them, as long as they are out there before things get too warm and dry for them. (They get watered anyway of course.)

  2. Pingback: Keeping Seedlings Short and Compact – Laidback Gardener

Leave a Reply

Sign up for the Laidback Gardener blog and receive articles in your inbox every morning!

%d bloggers like this: