Seed Starting Calculator


  1. Beth W. says:

    Hey Karen!

    Just an FYI… this post is still the one linked on your “vegetable gardening” page… not the corrected one that you mentioned in the last comment above this one.

    Also, are you going to add more vegetables to the seed calendar as time goes on? I didn’t see carrots or beans…. and assume that zucchini is on the same clock as squash?

    Thanks for this great tool! I just updated my excel sheet with the dates from your calendar (and the almanac)

  2. Sarah says:

    Hi Karen,

    I tried taking a look at this today, but nothing shows up. Tried on a couple different browsers with the same results. Wondering if this is maybe a glitch from the changed web format, or something else? Anyway, I found this to be a really helpful tool – is there something I’m missing?

    Thanks :)

  3. Mel says:

    Wow! You my friend (oh you didn’t know we were friends? Hm.) are amazing! I sure didn’t expect a response and resolution until days, well weeks, from now! Not until well after your vacation. I love you (like cool friend love, not blog stalker live, because that would be weird).

  4. Mel says:

    Oh no! I pinned this post last year so I could calculate when to start my seeds, but the calculator isn’t here anymore, just the post title. Glitch or did you delete it?
    And happy extremely well deserved vacation. Enjoy yourself!

  5. brandie says:

    this is great! is there a printable version??

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Brandie. Sorry, there isn’t a printable version. All you have to do though is highlight and copy the calendar. Then you can paste it into either a Word document or email and print it from there. ~ karen!

  6. Leona says:

    I. Love. You. (sniff, sniff)

  7. Erin says:

    Awesome calculator Karen. It works so fast – even on dial-up!

    Every winter I make a rough planting guide going by the previous year’s planting dates and successes or failures. It requires lots of page flipping and deciphering. This is so much easier. It will be great to add these calculations onto my big life calendar and see how they match up. Then all we need is spring. I saw my raised beds yesterday. Now they’re covered in more snow. No heat wave yet.

  8. Sara says:

    Oh my! I think I love you! Now hmmm…I hear gardens around here die in our August heat and that we can replant for a long fall harvest. If only I wasn’t behind in catching your articles, maybe some of your other Southern U.S./Texas readers could shed light on that.

  9. Anemone says:

    OMG! This is tooo awesome. Thank you soo much. OMG!

  10. SweetJeanette says:

    I bow to your awesomeness!!!! Thank you
    I don’t have a clue when my first frost-free day is here in Florida, but thank you all the same!

  11. Feral Turtle says:

    Thanks for a great post! Had to forward this one to my sister with the green thumb! Cheers.

  12. Marty says:

    This is by far the best thing to find today. I just bought 100.00 worth of seeds from

    • Karen says:

      That’s a lotta seeds! ~ karen!

      • Marty says:

        Yes it is a lot of seeds. Not only for my garden at home but I also have a community garden which currently has 11 4X20 raised beds.
        Oh by the way, I bought the seeds at not the autocorrect version of rapeseeds, which I don’t even want to know what that is. I don’t always have luck planting from seed, I’m not good at soil testing. Everyone says do it but I never have.
        Would love for you to do a post or series of posts on seed saving. All the seeds I just bought are non-GMO. I need to learn the proper way to save them year to year. Apparently I don’t need a post on soil testing since I won’t listen anyway.
        Good day

        • Karen says:

          Marty – Most seeds are easy to save. You pluck them out, dry them and plant them next year. (provided they aren’t hybrid seeds … they need to be heirloom/heritage seeds that have never been modified) Some plants are biennials which means you save the plant, replant it the next spring and it grows a shoot of flowers and seeds. Celery is an example of this and some radishes. Carrots too. One of the only things that has a trick to saving the seeds is tomatoes. Here is my post on it … ~ karen!

  13. Karen Page says:

    I don’t garden (yet) but even I appreciate the time saver this is! Despite my love of veggies, I just don’t get enough sunlight anywhere on my wooded property to plant a garden… or even a container. I have just recently kill an innocent basil plant that my friends convinced me would be hardy. I’m doomed to be dependent on the grocery stores!

  14. Ingrid says:

    You’re AMAZING!!! You’re the BEST!!!

    Thank you!

  15. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    OK..I just realized that I don’t understand a couple of things..Yeah..a real amateur..Does “When you can plant outside.(from your frost free date) mean that is when you can plant the seeds directly into the ground?? Also I am not sure what “Setting out date” means..Thanks again Karen..

    • Karen says:

      Hi nancy – Setting out and plant outside are the same thing. And yes, it means the day that it’s safe to plant your seedlings outside. ~ karen!

  16. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    This is so awesome Karen..Thanks to you & Wayne & Selina & also to Jennifer Graham for the link to Dave Garden to calculate frost dates..This is all so helpful for an amateur like me..I think I shall do the happy dance now..

  17. Leslie says:

    This is so cool I’ve already Pinned it (you taught me how to do that! Thanks!)! If only I knew how to figure out the first frost-free day thingy. Yes … I’m new to gardening. Does it show?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Leslie – Just google it if you’re in Canada. If you’re in the States, somewhere in the comments above someone has linked to a site that will give you your frost free date based on your zip code. ~ karen!

  18. Office Wench says:

    Hahahahahahahahaha. Frost free! Hahahaha. Sorry, just got a little overwhelmed there. I can get frost in July.

    I live in a little town in north central Alberta that, while not in the mountains, is at the same elevation as Jasper. Basically, I’m zone 1. My dearest, darlingest husband has promised me a greenhouse since that’s about the only way we’re going to get tomatoes that taste like tomatoes. And he likes tomatoes.

    I love your blog, I read it every morning while I should be getting ready for work. If my husband knew about it he would blame you for my new obsession with pressure canning.

  19. Susan says:

    Brilliant. Thank you!

  20. susan says:

    Thanks SO MUCH Karen!

    Because of your post last week, I got the seed starting medium/seeds over the weekend. So I am good to go now! I copy/pasted/printed this off so I can keep it by the seed trays.

    BTW – have you/anyone you know ever tried malabar spinach? Supposedly it is a vining plant, and actually likes hot weather, so lasts longer…..

    • Karen says:

      Susan – You’re welcome! I knew the vegetable gardeners would appreciate it. :) I have a feeling I tried Malabar spinach when I was touring Linda Crago’s Tree & Twig farm last year, but I can’t quite remember. :/ I should look into it. I had trouble with spinach last year. ~ karen!

  21. Cheryl says:

    OMG!!! On my to-do list for today it was to write down when to start my seeds indoors and get started gathering everything together to do that because time is going quickly. And here is your post! Thank you!!

  22. Barbie says:

    What an awesome gift! Thank you so much Karen. I will use this for my entire garden! This was my whole goal this week!

  23. qtpuh2tme says:

    Great tool!! Thanks for the work and the sharing! ~:)

  24. Sarah ATD says:

    Wow, this is so great! Last year I had tomatoes just ripening in November, because I planted to late. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

  25. Mel says:

    Thank you oh so very much! The time that you took to do this, saves me so much time, frustration and plants that are all scraggly from starting them too early.

  26. Mary Kay says:

    How Perfect – hubby and I were just having this discussion – THANK YOU

  27. Donna says:

    Just printed a blank chart off the Farmers Almanac site. I kept thinking why they hadn’t used Exel. Was going to do it myself but this is better. Thank you. I love your blog.

  28. Lisa says:

    GTFO! This is amazing. I like that everything is in one place instead of jumping aroudn to find all of the info. I’ve already started most of my seeds but this will help to streamline the process in the future. Thanks, Karen!

  29. Sandy says:

    This is great!! Thanks so much.

  30. For anyone wondering when your frost-free date is (like I was), here’s a calculator I found via Google:
    Mine’s not ’til the end of April. I will be hovering over the garden with a blow dryer until then. Jennifer

  31. Very cool! Thanks so much! Now I know when to plant the seeds that just arrived from Cubit.

  32. deneen says:

    I love you with all my heart and soul.

  33. Trish says:

    Have I told you lately, that I love you?

    Was coming into work today with the expectation of spending most of my time looking this up online…of course now I have time to actually do my work.

    Thank you! You are truly the best!

  34. Terry Sears says:

    Very Impressive “Most Exciting Thing You’ve Ever Done” for the first time. I did not read your complete instructions. So I right clicked and copied it to my desktop. I know its plagerism, but its so impressive I just had to copy it. So now I have gone back and read the complete instruction statement and deleted the desktop version. Why? Because now it requires that I come back and read you daily postings. Wonderful site. I enjoy reading it while drinking my coffee every morning. Oh how far into the future are the spreadsheet calculations good for. ie does it take into account leap years?

  35. Rebecca P says:

    THAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANK YOOOOUUU!!!! This is so FLIPPIN AWESOME!!!!!! I can’t imagine how much work this was for you!!

    Thank you!
    Thank you!
    Thank you!
    Thank you!
    Thank you!
    Thank you!

  36. Laura Bee says:

    Brilliant! Thank you! May the Stuff in your head continue to pour forth onto our screens.

  37. Sally says:

    Brilliant! Normally I have to do all the counting with a calendar—BUT alas no more.

    Thank you Karen!

  38. Mary Werner says:

    WOW and thank you Karen and Waylay – ingenious idea! I pinned it so you and Waylay should grow too!

  39. Amanda says:

    SQUEE! We just tilled the garden yesterday and I’ve been wondering about this! Thank you!

    • Amanda says:

      Here’s a question, though – it seems I’ve missed quite a few indoor start dates. Can I start from seed outside at the same dates as the setting-out date?

      • Karen says:

        Amanda – Sometimes yes, sometimes no. It depends on how long it takes to grow something and how long your growing season is. Check the calculator again. The dates give a range. If you’re only a week or so off you’ll be fine. ~ karen!

        • Amanda says:

          Our last frost date is 4/15, so we’re quite a bit off on some of the early spring stuff. I think I’ll just toss the seeds out and give those a go – worst case, I’ll have to wait for fall to get some kale! Thanks! :)

  40. Cindy Marlow says:

    WOW!!! What a useful and magical gift. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! (BTW, did I say, Thank you?).

  41. Erica says:


    You’re amazing. One more question for the guru of all things living. This whether is hanky, how do we know when our last frost will be haha?

    • Karen says:

      Erica – Just Google it if you don’t know. Most people have a general idea of when they can put plants outside based on frost. Here in Southern Ontario it can be anywhere between the beginning and end of May depending on which microclimate you’re in. ~ karen!

    • allie says:

      Hi Karen I got the date from the Farmer’s Almanac. There is a page for average frost dates for ontario. This year it’s May 9th.

  42. Linda J Howes says:

    How awesome are you??!!??!?!!
    I am sharing this with my horticultural society!

  43. Beckie says:

    this is awesome!! thanks!!

    I bought a mini-greenhouse to try this year (essentially a 5-shelf bookcase with a green plastic shroud over it) and I keep wondering what that would do to planting times

    I’m just giving myself a 6-weeks start and calling it good

  44. Caarin says:

    This just made my crappy Monday awesome ~ Brilliant!

  45. Crybrug says:

    Thank you for sharing!

  46. Tricia Rose says:

    I never have a frost – how does this affect my calculations?

  47. Pati Gulat says:

    Wonderful ! Thanks, Karen ! You’re my horse if you never win a race ! ;o))))

  48. OHMYGAWDILOVEYOU!! This.. is the sort of “stuff” I always need help doing!

    I’ve always used a blank chart, I believe mine came from Gayla at You Grow Girl. But I had to enter all the dates and do all the math myself…

    You, have created magic! Now, do you have any advice about wrangling Excel documents?

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