Planting at School*


Our school’s eco club would like to start indoor planting. It’s the last week of March and we were wondering whether it’s too early to start planting. If not, what should we start with…vegetable seeds? What types of seeds grow easily and quickly. We were hoping to have shoots come before Earth Day in April. Thank you!


Thank you for contacting Toronto Master Gardeners.

What a great project for the students. You do not mention the ages you are working with, but from kindergarten to Grade 12 there are so many aspects of the seedlings to be studied.

I work at a school that just completed this assignment. After looking through the many charts on line showing germination times, we used radish seeds. The students had plants breaking through the soil as early as day 3 with most showing by day 5.

It is important to review the planting requirements with the students before beginning. Three of our four classes followed the planting directions very carefully.  The forth class, with a different teacher, did not receive as clear direction and they planted the seeds much deeper than recommended. The results for that class were markedly different and disappointing. Many did not emerge at all.

Other seeds we considered were the different lettuce varieties as they also germinate fairly quickly. Both radishes and the lettuce seeds are familiar to student and are available at most stores. The reason we chose the radish seeds is that they are a larger seed and easier to handle.

I am including a link to the Toronto Master Gardener guide for planting seeds. It discusses the equipment and supplies you will need as well as the steps and care needed for success.

Good luck!

Growing from Seed: A Toronto Master Gardener Guide