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I am starting a vegetable garden for the first time. I had read that I should be starting some of the seeds indoors, but I am past the dates listed to do so, but before they can be planted outdoors in my zone. Can I start the seedlings indoors outside the recommended window?
You can certainly start seeds indoors now; the crop will just be a little late in ripening. As long as the "days to maturity" falls before the first expected frost date, or, for early cool-season crops, before the heat of summer, you should be OK. (There are also ways to pamper early cool-season crops to help extend the harvest as temperatures rise in summer--such as using shade cloths and irrigation). Another option is to choose some early-maturing varieties of the crops that you are interested in, which can help shorten growing time, since they will now have a slightly later start. Compare seed packets of various varieties and select the ones whose "days to maturity" or "days to harvest" are shorter than others. For early cool-season crops, you might be able to find heat-tolerant varieties, which would help if they are still maturing during part of the summer.