No matter if you are new to gardening or experienced vegetable cultivator, knowing when and how to plant garden vegetables is an integral component. Timing should depend on factors like your growing zone, frost dates, maturity dates of specific crops, as well as any specific requirements or preferences of crops you are growing.
Staggered sowings of similar vegetables enable you to reap fresh produce throughout the season. Salad greens such as spinach and arugula should be planted every couple of weeks in order to provide a consistent supply.
Nothing beats watching a garden grow from seedlings into an abundance of harvest. An experienced home vegetable gardener knows when and how best to plant different vegetables – planting at just the right moment may make the difference between an abundant harvest and one that fails.
Vegetable seeds and plants are readily available all year-round, but spring is the ideal season for starting a vegetable garden. Springtime also marks an opportunity to start sowing warm weather crops like beans, squash, and melons for planting later this summer.
Planning ahead can ensure the success of your spring garden by following a planting calendar. A pro gardener knows this is essential to making the most out of their gardening experience and increasing how much food can be harvested from each plot.
As a starting point, consider your average frost-free date; this date indicates when outdoor temperatures are generally suitable for planting. Some vegetables such as strawberries may need to go in immediately while other cool-season crops need time before they sprout up in your soil.
If you want a traditional St. Patrick’s Day pea planting experience, early March would be optimal; if it remains chilly during this period however, planting them in April can still yield results quickly and catch up with those planted earlier.
Early-riser crops to sow outdoors include radishes, which should be direct-sown from late February to early March outdoors; spinach, lettuce, kale and carrots may be sown indoors or outdoors from mid- to late March either indoors or outdoors; peppers, tomatoes and other warm-weather vegetables can be started indoors from late February to early March or potato slips planted.
Late March and April are ideal times for sowing another succession of radish, beet and carrot seeds outdoors as well as sowing cabbage, kale, broccoli and cauliflower seed outdoors, along with cabbage kale, escarole fennel leeks fennel escarole lettuce as well as transplanting okra basil eggplant Swiss chard tomatillos tomato plants into your greenhouse or directly into the ground outdoors. In late March you can also sow sweet corn melons both directly into the ground outdoors!
As summer heat sets in, spring vegetables that were planted may start to decline. To keep your garden producing at full strength, sow second crops of quick-maturing veggies that don’t require cool temperatures; such as arugula and other greens such as spinach and chard which don’t bolt or go to seed in hot weather; peas and radishes work equally well in late season sowings; additionally fennel is another fantastic choice as it matures by July allowing harvest later that year.
Many hardy annual vegetables can be started indoors in March or April for transplanting outdoors between May and June. Broccoli, kale and cabbage thrive when grown from seed in an ideal germination medium such as peat moss or fine perlite in cell trays or flats for cell propagation. Eggplant, peppers and squashes should also be started this way before moving them outdoors once there is no risk of frost.
From June on, you should sow direct seeds of corn, beans and squashes directly in your garden alongside melons, okra and summer carrots. A second planting of bush snap beans that can be picked at 3-4 inches long as fresh snacks during hotter summer months as they are resistant to frost is also possible since these crops won’t go to seed until then.
Kale and other cabbage family vegetables that require cool temperatures for growth may be planted later in the summer to ensure they reach maturity without being killed by light frosts. Leafy herbs like dill, parsley and cilantro may be planted again midsummer to produce fresh leaves from then until autumn arrives; similarly root vegetables such as beets and carrots may be planted again late summer for harvest in autumn. Meanwhile the heat of summer provides ideal conditions for sowing garlic seeds between July and September; in warmer climates another round of fast-growing greens such as turnips or leeks may even be planted for overwintering overwintering purposes!
After harvesting summer veggies, it’s time to fill the garden space vacated by them with fall plantings that will extend your crop harvest into winter. Such crops include cold-tolerant leafy greens and brassicas as well as hardy root vegetables such as turnips.
Starting seeds of frost-tender vegetables follows the same method as spring planting, though you should use a higher-grade seed-starting mix instead of soilless mix. Sowing can take place outdoors from March to July for crops such as radishes and peas that mature before first frost, such as radishes and peas; leeks and fava beans can be directly planted outdoors until risk of frost has passed – they then need to be transplanted once frost danger has passed.
To determine when to plant garden vegetables in the fall, begin by gathering information about your region’s average date of first frost from local nurseries, garden websites or almanacs. Subtracting that number from your average first frost date and subtracting that from how many days until maturity your variety needs (called days to harvest on seed packets and catalog descriptions), will provide a solution as to when you should sow seeds.
If you want to extend the growing season into autumn and winter, use row covers or cloches as a protective measure against freezing temperatures. These lightweight fabrics allow light and air through while simultaneously increasing soil temperatures around your plants, helping them grow faster than they would normally.
Your climate may allow you to grow some frost-hardy veggies well into winter, such as lettuce, spinach, collards, kale and mustard greens. In frost-free zones you could even sow root vegetables such as carrots and turnips; just ensure a thick layer of mulch protects these frost-hardy crops as they grow; these frost-hardy crops should stay mostly dormant throughout winter but start growing again as soon as spring arrives, providing fresh produce for your table!
As summer veggies fade in the heat, it may be tempting to put an end to your garden for good. With careful planning and inexpensive season-extending techniques, however, you can continue harvesting favorite veggies until winter or early spring arrives.
To identify which winter crops to grow, it’s first important to determine your USDA hardiness zone, which measures the average low temperature at which it typically freezes in your area and serves as a guideline for what can and cannot be grown unprotected in your garden.
Once you know your zone, it’s important to conduct a bit of garden networking and learn what plants have been successful for other gardeners in that environment. Browse garden catalogs in search of cold tolerant seed varieties; these will ensure maximum success without becoming bitter or wilted during harsh weather conditions.
As the season advances, sowing quickly growing leafy vegetables that will mature before frost arrives can be done; examples include radishes, kohlrabi, turnips and mustard greens. Also consider planting some root crops such as rutabaga beets and carrots; these crops retain their shape after harvesting and make great additions to soups stews and casseroles.
Fall and winter can be ideal times for gardening vegetables, since insects tend to be less of a pest than during other times of the year. Furthermore, cool temperatures allow seedlings to mature without overheating too quickly; plus as soil replenishment continues in your garden beds this is also a good opportunity for adding organic matter and fertilizers for improved soil health.
If you own a greenhouse, cold frame or cloche, planting additional crops becomes much simpler. Broccoli, kale, cabbage and chard can all be planted between August and September for harvests from late winter through to springtime. For an added creative twist try growing mizuna; its peppery flavor makes it great for salads or garnishing. ‘Golden ball’ turnips should also be planted late autumn for harvesting midwinter through springtime.