When determining the best planting dates in the spring for seeds, the date of the last spring frost is important to your success. NOTE: Our chart calculates U.S. frost dates only, based on historical data. Other factors can also influence planting dates, including soil temperature, altitude and slope of land, nearby waters, and day length. Keep records of your garden's conditions each year to plan more accurately.
- Seeds for plants with a long growing season should be started indoors during the periods shown below.
- Seeds for plants sown in the ground should be planted during the periods shown.
- When no dates appear in the chart, that starting method is not recommended for the particular vegetable.
- To start transplants, see our Best Dates to Transplant (by region).
Planting by the Moon?
Above-ground crops are planted during the light of the Moon (new to full); below-ground crops are planted during the dark of the Moon (from the day after it is full to the day before it is new again). Planting is done in the daytime; planting at night is optional!
This chart includes the most popular crops. For more information, consult your cooperative extension.
Click on the underlined crops below for free "how to" plant and grow guides!
50% probability of frost free after April 9 (at NATIONAL ARBORETUM DC, MD climate station).
|Crop||Start Seeds Indoors||Moon-favorable Dates||Set Out Plants/|
Start Seeds Outdoors
|Beans||Apr 16-May 7||Apr 29-May 7|
|Beets||Mar 26-Apr 16||Mar 26-29, Apr 16|
|Broccoli||Feb 25-Mar 12||Mar 1-12||Mar 19-Apr 9||Mar 30-Apr 9|
|Brussels sprouts||Feb 25-Mar 12||Mar 1-12||Mar 12-Apr 2||Mar 12-16, Mar 30-Apr 2|
|Cabbage||Feb 11-25||Feb 11-14||Mar 12-26||Mar 12-16|
|Carrots||Mar 4-19||Mar 17-19|
|Cauliflower||Feb 25-Mar 12||Mar 1-12||Mar 12-26||Mar 12-16|
|Celery||Jan 28-Feb 11||Jan 30-Feb 11||Apr 16-30||Apr 29-30|
|Collards||Feb 25-Mar 12||Mar 1-12||Mar 12-Apr 2||Mar 12-16, Mar 30-Apr 2|
|Corn||Apr 9-23||Apr 9-15|
|Cucumbers||Mar 12-19||Mar 12-16||Apr 23-May 14||Apr 29-May 14|
|Eggplant||Jan 28-Feb 11||Jan 30-Feb 11||Apr 23-May 14||Apr 29-May 14|
|Kale||Feb 25-Mar 12||Mar 1-12||Mar 12-Apr 2||Mar 12-16, Mar 30-Apr 2|
|Kohlrabi||Mar 12-Apr 2||Mar 12-16, Mar 30-Apr 2|
|Leeks||Jan 28-Feb 11||Jan 30-Feb 11||Mar 12-Apr 2||Mar 12-16, Mar 30-Apr 2|
|Lettuce||Feb 25-Mar 12||Mar 1-12||Mar 26-Apr 23||Mar 30-Apr 15|
|Melons||Mar 12-19||Mar 12-16||Apr 23-May 14||Apr 29-May 14|
|Okra||Apr 23-May 7||Apr 29-May 7|
|Onion sets||Mar 12-Apr 2||Mar 17-29|
|Parsnips||Mar 19-Apr 9||Mar 19-29|
|Peas||Feb 25-Mar 19||Mar 1-16|
|Peppers||Jan 28-Feb 11||Jan 30-Feb 11||Apr 23-May 14||Apr 29-May 14|
|Potato tubers||Apr 2-23||Apr 16, Apr 17-23|
|Pumpkins||Mar 12-26||Mar 12-16||Apr 23-May 14||Apr 29-May 14|
|Radishes||Feb 11-Mar 4||Feb 15-28|
|Spinach||Feb 25-Mar 19||Mar 1-16|
|Squash||Mar 12-26||Mar 12-16||Apr 23-May 14||Apr 29-May 14|
|Sweet Potatoes||Mar 12-19||Mar 17-19||Apr 23-May 14||Apr 23-28|
|Swiss Chard||Feb 25-Mar 12||Mar 1-12||Mar 19-26|
|Tomatoes||Feb 11-25||Feb 11-14||Apr 16-May 7||Apr 29-May 7|
|Turnips||Mar 12-Apr 2||Mar 17-29|
|Watermelon||Mar 12-19||Mar 12-16||Apr 23-May 14||Apr 29-May 14|