Long-time gardeners know that to produce the best vegetables, it's often smart to start seeds indoors to give the plants a head start on the growing season. The key to starting seeds is to understand whether they are cool weather plants or warm weather plants. Seeds are started in either growing flats or peat pots; in some instances they are transplanted to larger pots before being put in the ground at the right time of the season.
Start cool weather plants, such as broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage, approximately six weeks before the soil can be worked in the spring.
Start slow to germinate crops, such as peppers or eggplant, eight weeks before the last frost date in your area.
Start tomatoes and squash plants three to four weeks before the last frost date.
Transplant the young plants to larger 6-inch pots if weather conditions keep you from transplanting to the garden at the normal time.