Today my average last killing frost is just three weeks away! It is so exciting to think about planting my garden; I can hardly wait! I hope the rain & cool weather we've been having will stop so my soil drys out enough to continue my garden site preparations!
According to my Seed Starting & Planting Guide, I can start some of the more fragile plants up to four weeks prior to transplanting. Most of the vine crops (ex: cucumbers, squash, mellons) do not like having their roots disturbed and do not readily transplant from pots into the garden. This does not mean that you can't do it, it does mean that they do best if they are young & disturbed as little as possible at planting time.
Most of the time I will start one or two "hills" in a pot to be transplanted and then direct seed another one or two hills in my garden. At planting time I will thin my "hill" to 2-3 seedlings each to reduce competition & give them their best chance. By starting these seedlings early, it grants me an earlier harvest if my transplants survive and no loss if they do not (besides my early time & 'love' in the house).
I did plant cucumbers, summer & winter squash and basil today.... Please, please rain, will you go away & sun, will you come out! I'm trying hard to be patient. Are you planning on planting your garden soon?
Happy Gardening! :-)