Planting Calendar: When to Plant These Popular Vegetables

Current interest in vegetables and other home-grown produce is at its highest level in decades. But to bring your produce to your table, you need to plant at the right times. So how do you know when to plant? We’ve got you covered!

Suggested planting times vary by hardiness zone, as determined by the USDA and based on annual low temperature averages. The continental U.S. includes Zones 3 to 10, with most falling into Zones 4 to 9. To find out what zone you live in, refer to this chart from the USDA.

A couple of quick notes: There are many more factors that determine how well your vegetables will grow, everything from rainfall and wind to temperature variations and the makeup of your soil. So the best planting dates for your specific garden may vary from this list. If you or your neighbors succeed with a different date range, go with what works for you.

We’re including many items that technically aren’t vegetables, but are considered as such in common parlance. Basically, if it’s produce that could be served as a side dish and wouldn’t go into a fruit salad, then it’s fair game!
When to Plant Tomatoes

Tomatoes are a favorite addition to meals ranging from BLTs to salsa to caprese salad. They’re also not vegetables; tomatoes are technically fruits. The fruit/vegetable debate has a long history, and it ultimately had to be resolved by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1893!

Zone 3: Indoor growing recommended
Zone 4: May / June
Zone 5: Mid-May
Zone 6: April / May
Zone 7: April
Zone 8: Late March / Early April
Zone 9: Late March / Early April
Zone 10: Late March / Early April

When to Plant Cucumbers

Famously easy-growing, cucumbers are a favorite of gardeners nationwide. They’re perfect for livening up a salad or adding to a sandwich. They can also be turned into pickles, which are equally delicious on a sandwich, while also being a surprisingly traditional Christmas Tree ornament.

Zone 3: July
Zone 4: May / June
Zone 5: Mid-May
Zone 6: Early June
Zone 7: March/April
Zone 8: April
Zone 9: April
Zone 10: April

When to Plant Onions

Available in a variety of strengths and flavors, onions are a go-to addition for countless meals. They store well and can even help keep away pesky insects, including the carrot rust fly. And that makes onions a great companion for our next entry!

Zone 3: Indoor growing recommended
Zone 4: April / May
Zone 5: Mid-April
Zone 6: March
Zone 7: Early February
Zone 8: Mid-January
Zone 9: Mid-January
Zone 10: January

When to Plant Carrots

This root vegetable is often orange-hued, but other varieties come in multiple colors. For your home garden, you may want to grow an assortment of colors, sizes and sweetness to throw a little variety into your cooking. Carrots are fast growing and can often be planted and harvested multiple times in a season. The planting dates below are the earliest suggest dates.

Zone 3: July
Zone 4: Late May
Zone 5: Mid-April
Zone 6: Mid-April
Zone 7: February
Zone 8: February
Zone 9: Early February
Zone 10: January

When to Plant Summer Squash

Squash and pumpkins are staples for autumnal meals such as Thanksgiving dinner. Their size makes them dramatic additions to the garden; they can be as much fun to look at as to eat.

Zone 3: Not recommended
Zone 4: June
Zone 5: May / June
Zone 6: Mid-May
Zone 7: April
Zone 8: March / April
Zone 9: March / April
Zone 10: March / April

When to Plant Corn

This tall-growing grain is undergoing a modest home gardening renaissance. Its size can potentially overwhelm small gardens, but it’s popping up in home gardens much more frequently lately.

Zone 3: Not recommended
Zone 4: Mid May
Zone 5: May / June
Zone 6: Early to Mid-June
Zone 7: March / April
Zone 8: April
Zone 9: April
Zone 10: April

When to Plant Bell Peppers

There are a wide range of pepper flavors and spice-levels, from pleasantly spicy jalapeños to blazing hot ghost peppers. If you want to raise some mild sweet bell peppers, here’s when you should plant them.

Zone 3: Indoor growing recommended
Zone 4: Mid-May
Zone 5: May / June
Zone 6: April / May
Zone 7: April
Zone 8: Late March / Early April
Zone 9: Late April / Early May
Zone 10: May

When to Plant Potatoes

Delicious baked, fried or roasted, a potato rounds out almost any meal. Decked out with toppings, it can stand on its own. Note that the planting times for potatoes don’t follow the usual pattern.

The high-temperatures of Zones 8 to 10 can be too much for them to bear, and you’re better off starting a little later to get the best harvest. If you really love potatoes, there’s even an Airbnb that brings the potato experience to your rental!

Zone 3: April
Zone 4: Mid-April
Zone 5: March / April
Zone 6: March
Zone 7: Early February
Zone 8: May
Zone 9: May
Zone 10: May

When to Plant Radishes

Radishes are another root vegetable, and some varieties carry a powerful taste. Radishes are a great choice to fill a small section of your garden. Notice that for Zones 9 & 10, the best planting time comes later in the year and continues past December.

Zone 3: June
Zone 4: Mid-April
Zone 5: March / April
Zone 6: March
Zone 7: Early February
Zone 8: January
Zone 9: August
Zone 10: September

When to Plant Eggplant

These large vegetables lend themselves to a wide range of recipes, especially those requiring robustness, such as eggplant lasagna. Note that due to their long growing season, many gardeners prefer to start these plants as indoor seedlings.

Zone 3: Indoor growing recommended
Zone 4: Mid-May
Zone 5: May / June
Zone 6: April/May
Zone 7: April
Zone 8: Late March / Early April
Zone 9: Late April
Zone 10: Late April

When to Plant Peas

Peas are packed with vitamins and protein. According to the experts at Peas.org, one serving of peas contains as much vitamin C as two apples, and as much protein as a large egg. They freeze easily, making them great to store for the off-season, and a handful can liven up almost any dish or casserole.

Zone 3: Mid-July
Zone 4: Mid-April
Zone 5: Late March / Early April
Zone 6: Mid March
Zone 7: February
Zone 8: February
Zone 9: Early February
Zone 10: January

When to Plant Green Beans

Hardy green beans are a garden classic. They’re available in varieties that grow as a bush, or vertically to conserve space. That’s just one of the reasons green beans made our list of the 17 easiest foods to grow at home.

Zone 3: July
Zone 4: Mid-June
Zone 5: Mid-June
Zone 6: Early-to-mid June
Zone 7: Mid-April
Zone 8: April
Zone 9: Late April
Zone 10: Late April

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