With a short growing season, high altitude, and late frosts any advantage you can give transplants and seeds will be helpful when gardening in the Ruidoso area.
The good news is that Mother Nature provides a powerful incentive for all seeds to germinate and become productive plants.
Most seeds will readily germinate several years after harvest or purchase if stored properly. Older seeds can be tested for viability by placing a few in a ziplock bag in a moistened paper towel. Check to see how many germinate and you can sow more seed as needed for a good crop.
Warmth, light, and moisture are the three requirements for most seed to pop. Root crops: carrots, beets, etc. should be direct sown into the garden. Squash, peppers, chard and lettuces will be happy to have a head start in trays…