When to Plant Vegetables: Preparing For the Year Ahead

by on January 4, 2013


The biggest challenge for many new gardeners is not tending to their garden vegetables, it is knowing when the right time is to plant them. Today we will help to take the guesswork out of the relatively simple process.

As I’ve mentioned here before, most vegetables in both spring and fall are best planted in relation to the last frost date in your area. If you need to refresh your memory about when that date will be, here’s the tool I use. The seed packaging itself is your best resource for determining exactly when your specific garden vegetables should be put out in the garden, so use the information here as a guideline  only. Armed with the frost date information for your zone, you can use the handy chart below to help determine the best time to plant your urban garden favorites.


1 –2 Weeks BEFORE Last Frost

  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Celery
  • Chard
  • Kale
  • Lettuce
  • Mustard Greens
  • Onions
  • Peas
  • Spinach



1 – 2 Weeks AFTER Last Frost

  • Bush Beans
  • Corn
  • Cucumbers
  • Okra
  • Peppers
  • Squash
  • Tomatoes



6-8 Weeks BEFORE First Frost

  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Kohlrabi
  • Greens
  • Rutabaga
  • Spinach


No matter where you live, now is a good time to plan your garden year so that you know exactly what you want and, with the help of this chart, when to plant it. As always, please leave your questions below and we’ll be happy to answer them.

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