Planting Calendar: When to Plant Vegetables

Find the best dates for planting, transplanting, and harvesting vegetables and fruit in your garden! 

Our free planting calendar covers all four seasons, calculating the best time to start seeds, plant outside, and harvest your hard-earned crops.

Planting dates are based on frost dates, which are customized to your location and planting zone. 

Note: The planting calendar below covers 30 of the most popular vegetables and fruit. For nearly 200 more edibles and flowers, try our complete online Almanac Garden Planner

See Planting Dates for Your Location

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Example Planting Calendar

Fruit and Vegetable Planting Calendar

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Why Should You Start Seeds Indoors?

Starting seeds indoors gives your crops a head start on the growing season and the chance to grow in a stable, controlled environment. Outdoors, the unpredictability of rain, drought, low and high temperatures, sunlight, and pests can take a toll on young plants, especially when they're just getting started. Indoors, you can control these elements to maximize your plants' growth and give them the best shot at thriving when they are transplanted outdoors. In regions with a short growing season, starting seeds indoors lets you get a jump on the season and have more time to grow, resulting in a greater harvest. Read more about starting seeds indoors.
 

Q. Which Seeds Should You Start Indoors?

Most vegetable seeds can be started indoors, but some are better off being sown directly into the garden. Some plants, such as root vegetables, do not transplant well and should be started outdoors. Tomatoes and peppers, on the other hand, do transplant well and are typically started indoors. Consult our table, below, to see where other crops are commonly started.

Whether you start seeds indoors or outdoors also depends on the length of your growing season, as well as your climate. In cool regions with shorter growing seasons, most seeds should be started indoors, as they need to get a head start on the growing season and should be protected from potentially-freezing spring temperatures. In warm regions with longer growing seasons, more seeds can be started outdoors, as they don't need as much of a head start on the season and are not in danger of being killed by a spring frost. 

The table below shows which crops are typically started indoors, which are typically started outdoors, and which can be variable. For seed-starting information customized to your location, use our Planting Calendar, above.

Start Indoors Start Outdoors Variable
Broccoli Beets Beans
Brussels Sprouts Carrots Celery
Cabbage Garlic Corn
Cauliflower Parsnips Kale
Eggplant Potatoes Spinach
Lettuce Radishes  
Okra Squash/Zucchini  
Onions Sweet Potatoes  
Peas    
Peppers    
Pumpkins    
Swiss Chard    
Tomatoes    
Watermelons    

 

Q. When Should You Start Seeds Indoors?

For most crops, you should start seeds indoors about 6–8 weeks before your last spring frost date. This gives the plants plenty of time to grow large and healthy enough to survive their eventual transplanting to the garden. Consult our Planting Calendar to see the best time to start seeds in your area.
 

Q. When Should You Transplant Seedlings?

When seedlings have grown too large for their seed trays or starter pots, it's time to transplant. If it's not yet warm enough to plant outdoors, transplant the seedlings to larger plastic or peat pots indoors and continue care. If outdoor conditions allow, start hardening off your seedlings approximately one week before your last frost date, then transplant them into the garden. Get more tips for transplanting seedlings here.
 

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