How to Start Plants From Seeds in Georgia


Georgia is known for mild winters and warm, humid summers. The state sits between USDA temperate zones 6 through 8, with a costal climate. Much of Georgia soil is red clay, which makes growing plants from seed challenging in the state. Farmers from Georgia who wish to grow plants from seed will have better luck if they amend their soil or start plants indoors from seed.

Starting Seed Outdoors

Step 1

Have your soil tested to determine what amendments are necessary to start plants from seed. Determine the last frost date in your area and know your temperate zone by consulting with the USDA temperate zone map.

Step 2

Break up the soil with a garden tiller to a depth of 6 inches. Spread any necessary amendments over the soil to a depth of 4 inches and till them into the soil.

Step 3

Plant the seeds two weeks before the last annual frost date. Dig a furrow into the ground that's twice as deep as the seed. Close the furrow over the seeds and water so that the soil is as damp as a wrung-out sponge.

Starting Seed Indoors

Step 1

Start seed indoors up to eight weeks before the last annual frost date. Soak the seeds in water for 24 hours before planting to encourage germination. Skim off any seed that floats. Floating seed will not germinate.

Step 2

Fill a seedling tray with peat moss. Wet the soil so that it is as damp as a wrung-out sponge.

Step 3

Hollow out planting holes in the peat moss with a pencil. Drop the seeds into the holes and cover with peat moss.

Step 4

Place a freezer bag or plastic wrap over the seedling tray to help hold in moisture. Place the tray in a sunny windowsill out of direct sunlight. Remove the plastic once the green tops of seeds poke above the soil.

Step 5

Check the peat moss daily and water if it becomes dry.

Step 6

Move the seedling tray outside in the shade on warm days to harden off the plants. Transplant them into the ground once the last average frost date passes.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Gypsum
  • Lime
  • Compost
  • Garden tiller
  • Garden hoe
  • Peat moss
  • Seedling tray
  • Pencil
  • Plastic freezer bag
  • Plastic wrap


  • N.C. State University: Starting Plants from Seeds
  • Grow It: Georgia USDA Hardiness Zone Map
  • Natural Resources Conservation Service: Why are Georgia Soils Red?
  • Victory Seeds: Average First and Last Frost Dates for Georgia

Who Can Help

  • University of Missouri Extension: Starting Plants From Seeds
Keywords: starting Georgia gardens, growing vegetables, germinating seeds

About this Author

Tracy S. Morris has been a freelance writer since 2000. She has published two novels and numerous online articles. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers, including "Ferrets," "CatFancy," "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World."