Why do I have to wait until the weather is warmer to sow seeds? I know I can plant some in the fall before it is too cold, but why can't I start to plant them now? The seeds I plant in the late summer or fall are just as cold as can be lying in the ground now.
Hardiness Zone: 5b
I don't know with certainty (and I also don't know to which seeds you are referring), but I suspect it depends on the hardiness of the various plants. You don't want to have your tender seedlings coming up, get a frost, and lose all of them. Not all plants will be affected this way. Seed packets will give different guidelines, depending on the plants.
If you feel confident, why not go ahead and give it a try? You might lose some seedlings, but you might have success. Enjoy your gardening!
I think Mrs.Story is pretty much right. The plants we sow are natives to all parts of the world. A plant that's used to long cold winters and short summers won't grow the same as one adapted to the tropics. A few days' of warmth in the spring might call some plants into life only to be killed off by the next cold snap. In reverse, some plants actually need a period of cold to germinate properly.
There are some tricks we can play if the season isn't just right, like covering vulnerable plants or putting seeds in the refrigerator to chill them. But if just left on their own some plants might not make it. So in our gardens we try to make them feel as "at home" as possible! :-)
More to consider: seeds planted in the fall will have germinated, and it will be the seedling overwintering. For seeds planted in the spring, if the soil is not warm enough for them to germinate, the seeds themselves will rot.
But I agree with the others; some time when seeds are ten cents a pack, or if you have seeds left from last year, try planting. Some probably won't make it; but if conditions are just right, you might have some make it, and have the earliest harvest ever!
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