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2023 Planting Calendar: When to Start Vegetable Seeds | The Old Farmer's Almanac

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Planting Calendar for Waukee, IA

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The planting calendar below tells you when to plant in the SPRING and also plant in the FALL, based on your zip code or postal code.

Fall Planting Calendar

When we say "fall," we really mean planting in summer in time for a fall harvest. Think of this as a second summer! It's easy to keep the crops going if you're already prepared the soil! 

Many crops that would be started indoors for a spring crop can just be plunked into the soil directly for a fall crop. Not only is the soil already warm but also there are less pests and it tends to be rainier so you don't need to water as often. Some fall vegetables need to be harvested by the first frost but also many are frost-tolerant—and even taste better after a kiss of fall frost!

See each plant's individual Growing Guide for more specific planting, plant care, and harvesting information.

Spring Planting Calendar

Our spring planting calendar starts with the very first dates that you can plant (based on the last spring frost). But if you've missed these dates, no worries! This is why we've added "last planting dates" to our spring calendar; this is meant to help new gardeners understand that if they missed the first spring planting window, they can still get crops in the ground.

In fact, many crops with short maturity times (such as radishes) can be succession planted all the way through the summer in northern areas. However, note that some cool-seasons crops such as kale and lettuce do not grow well in hot tempertures, which can cause bolting issues.  For some gardeners, especially in the South, a break to avoid summer heat is needed, but they can start once the heat has passed. 

The dates provided are based on the number of weeks before or after frost, so we can provide a unique calendar to every user in the country. Thus several crops (especially similar crops) may appear to have the same date. Kale and lettuce, for example, or dates for starting seeds, like broccoli and cabbage. 

Specifically, on the charts, there are different columns labeled as follows:

  1. Start Seeds Indoors: When to sow seeds indoors to get an early start on the season.
  2. Plant Seedlings Outdoors: When to put small seedlings that you grew indoors (OR starter plants that you bought at a garden nursery) in the outdoor soil.
  3. Start Seeds Outdoors: When to plant seeds directly into the outdoor soil.
  4. Last Date to Plant: You may plant any time from the "start seeds" dates until this "last date." Don't wait any longer, or the crop won't have time to get to harvest before fall/winter frosts.

The "Moon Dates" indicate the best planting dates based on Moon phases. You can learn more about this age-old technique below.

When N/A appears in the chart, that starting method is typically not recommended, although it is likely still possible. 

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Planting Dates for Fall

On average, your first fall frost occurs on October 12 (at DES MOINES WSFO-JOHNSTON, IA climate station).
CropFrost Based on Frost Dates
Moon Based on Moon Dates
Start Seeds OutdoorsTransplantAverage Days to MaturityFrost Tolerance
ArugulaFrost Aug 24-Sep 28
Moon Aug 24-30, Sep 14-28
N/A40Frost-hardy
BeetsFrost Jul 20-Aug 17
Moon Aug 2-15
N/A50Frost-tolerant
Bok ChoyFrost Aug 3-24
Moon Aug 16-24
N/A50Frost-tolerant
BroccoliFrost Jul 13-20
Moon Jul 17-20
Frost Aug 3-17
Moon Aug 16-17
60Frost-tolerant
CabbageFrost Jul 13-20
Moon Jul 17-20
Frost Aug 3-10
90Frost-tolerant
CarrotsFrost Jul 27-Aug 3
Moon Aug 2- 3
N/A70Frost-tolerant
CauliflowerFrost Jul 6-13
Frost Jul 20-27
Moon Jul 20-27
75Frost-tolerant
ChivesFrost Jul 20-Aug 17
Moon Jul 20-Aug 1, Aug 16-17
N/A70Frost-tolerant
GarlicFrost Oct 26-Nov 8
Moon Oct 29-Nov 8
N/A120Frost-hardy
Green BeansFrost Jul 27-Aug 10
Moon Jul 27-Aug 1
N/A55Tender
KaleFrost Aug 3-17
Moon Aug 16-17
N/A60Frost-hardy
KohlrabiFrost Aug 10-31
Moon Aug 16-30
N/A45Frost-tolerant
LettuceFrost Aug 3-17
Moon Aug 16-17
N/A60Frost-tolerant
PeasFrost Aug 3-17
Moon Aug 16-17
N/A55Tender
RadishesFrost Aug 31-Sep 14
Moon Aug 31-Sep 13
N/A25Frost-tolerant
SpinachFrost Aug 24-Sep 14
Moon Aug 24-30, Sep 14
N/A30Frost-hardy
Swiss ChardFrost Aug 3-17
Moon Aug 16-17
N/A60Frost-tolerant
TurnipsFrost Aug 10-24
Moon Aug 10-15
N/A50Frost-tolerant

Planting Dates for Spring

On average, your last spring frost occurs on April 25 (at DES MOINES WSFO-JOHNSTON, IA climate station, elevation 958 feet).
CropFrost Based on Frost Dates
Moon Based on Moon Dates
Start Seeds IndoorsPlant Seedlings
or Transplants
Start Seeds OutdoorsLast Date to Plant
ArugulaFrost Feb 27-Mar 14
Moon Feb 27-Mar 7
Frost Apr 4-18
Moon Apr 4- 5
Frost Mar 28-Apr 4
Moon Mar 28-Apr 4
Sep 14
AsparagusN/AN/AFrost Apr 11-25
Moon Apr 11-18
Apr 25
BasilFrost Mar 14-28
Moon Mar 21-28
Frost May 9-23
Moon May 19-23
Frost May 9-23
Moon May 19-23
Aug 31
BeetsN/AFrost Apr 11-25
Moon Apr 11-18
Frost Mar 28-Apr 4
May 9
Bell PeppersFrost Feb 13-27
Moon Feb 20-27
Frost May 9-16
N/AJul 20
Bok ChoyFrost Mar 14-28
Moon Mar 21-28
Frost May 9-16
Frost May 9-16
Jun 6
BroccoliFrost Feb 27-Mar 14
Moon Feb 27-Mar 7
Frost Apr 11-25
Moon Apr 19-25
Frost Mar 28-Apr 4
Moon Mar 28-Apr 4
Aug 10
Brussels SproutsFrost Mar 14-28
Moon Mar 21-28
Frost Jan 16-30
Moon Jan 21-30
Frost Dec 19-Jan 2
Moon Dec 23-Jan 2
Jul 6
CabbageFrost Feb 27-Mar 14
Moon Feb 27-Mar 7
Frost Apr 11-25
Moon Apr 19-25
Frost Mar 28-Apr 4
Moon Mar 28-Apr 4
Jun 29
CantaloupesFrost Apr 4-18
Moon Apr 4- 5
Frost Apr 25-May 9
Moon Apr 25-May 5
Frost May 2- 9
Moon May 2- 5
Jul 6
CarrotsN/AN/AFrost Mar 28-Apr 11
Moon Apr 6-11
Aug 3
CauliflowerFrost Mar 14-28
Moon Mar 21-28
Frost Apr 18-May 2
Moon Apr 19-May 2
N/AAug 3
CeleryFrost Jan 30-Feb 13
Moon Jan 30-Feb 5
Frost May 2-16
Moon May 2- 5
Frost Apr 25
Moon Apr 25
Aug 3
ChivesFrost Feb 27-Mar 14
Moon Feb 27-Mar 7
Frost Apr 4-11
Moon Apr 4- 5
Frost Apr 4-11
Moon Apr 4- 5
Aug 17
Cilantro (Coriander)N/AN/AFrost Apr 25-May 9
Moon Apr 25-May 5
May 16
CollardsFrost Mar 14-28
Moon Mar 21-28
Frost Apr 11-25
Moon Apr 19-25
Frost Apr 4-11
Moon Apr 4- 5
Aug 3
CornN/AN/AFrost May 9-23
Moon May 19-23
Jul 27
CucumbersFrost Apr 4-11
Moon Apr 4- 5
Frost May 2-16
Moon May 2- 5
Frost May 9-16
Aug 3
DillN/AN/AFrost Apr 18-May 9
Moon Apr 19-May 5
Aug 17
EggplantsFrost Feb 27-Mar 14
Moon Feb 27-Mar 7
Frost May 9-16
N/AAug 3
Fava Beans (Broad Beans)N/AN/AFrost Mar 28-Apr 4
Moon Mar 28-Apr 4
May 9
GarlicN/AN/AN/A
Green BeansN/AN/AFrost May 2-23
Moon May 2- 5, May 19-23
Aug 3
Jalapeño PeppersFrost Feb 13-27
Moon Feb 20-27
Frost May 9-16
N/A
KaleFrost Feb 27-Mar 14
Moon Feb 27-Mar 7
Frost Apr 11-25
Moon Apr 19-25
Frost Mar 28-Apr 4
Moon Mar 28-Apr 4
May 9
KohlrabiFrost Mar 14-28
Moon Mar 21-28
Frost Apr 4-11
Moon Apr 4- 5
Frost Mar 28-Apr 4
Moon Mar 28-Apr 4
May 9
LettuceFrost Mar 14-28
Moon Mar 21-28
Frost Apr 4-11
Moon Apr 4- 5
Frost Mar 28-Apr 4
Moon Mar 28-Apr 4
May 9
OkraFrost Mar 28-Apr 11
Moon Mar 28-Apr 5
Frost May 9-16
Frost May 9-23
Moon May 19-23
Aug 3
Onion SetsN/AFrost Mar 28-Apr 11
Moon Apr 6-11
N/AJul 6
OreganoFrost Feb 13-Mar 14
Moon Feb 20-Mar 7
Frost May 2-16
Moon May 2- 5
N/AAug 3
ParsleyFrost Feb 13-27
Moon Feb 20-27
Frost May 2-16
Moon May 2- 5
Frost Mar 28-May 2
Moon Mar 28-Apr 5, Apr 19-May 2
Jul 27
ParsnipsN/AN/AFrost Mar 28-Apr 4
Jul 6
PeasN/AN/AFrost Mar 28-Apr 4
Moon Mar 28-Apr 4
May 9
PotatoesN/AN/AFrost Mar 28-Apr 11
Moon Apr 6-11
Aug 3
PumpkinsFrost Apr 4-18
Moon Apr 4- 5
Frost May 9-16
Frost May 9-16
Jun 29
RadishesN/AN/AFrost Mar 28-Apr 4
Aug 17
RosemaryFrost Jan 30-Feb 13
Moon Jan 30-Feb 5
Frost May 9-16
N/AAug 17
SageFrost Feb 27-Mar 14
Moon Feb 27-Mar 7
Frost May 2-16
Moon May 2- 5
N/AJul 27
SpinachFrost Mar 14-28
Moon Mar 21-28
Frost Apr 4-11
Moon Apr 4- 5
Frost Mar 28-Apr 4
Moon Mar 28-Apr 4
May 9
Sweet PotatoesN/AN/AFrost May 9-23
Moon May 9-18
Jun 29
Swiss ChardFrost Mar 14-28
Moon Mar 21-28
Frost Apr 11-25
Moon Apr 19-25
Frost Apr 4-25
Moon Apr 4- 5, Apr 19-25
May 9
ThymeFrost Feb 13-27
Moon Feb 20-27
Frost May 2- 9
Moon May 2- 5
N/AJul 20
TomatillosFrost Mar 14-28
Moon Mar 21-28
Frost May 9-23
Moon May 19-23
N/AJul 27
TomatoesFrost Feb 27-Mar 14
Moon Feb 27-Mar 7
Frost May 9-16
N/AJul 13
TurnipsN/AN/AFrost Mar 28-Apr 4
Sep 14
WatermelonsFrost Apr 4-18
Moon Apr 4- 5
Frost May 9-16
Frost May 2- 9
Moon May 2- 5
Jul 13
Winter SquashFrost Apr 4-11
Moon Apr 4- 5
Frost May 2-16
Moon May 2- 5
Frost May 9-16
Jun 22
Zucchini and Summer SquashFrost Apr 4-11
Moon Apr 4- 5
Frost May 2-16
Moon May 2- 5
Frost May 9-16
Aug 10
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