Seed Starting and Planting Date Calculator for Washington, DC

Find the best dates for planting vegetables and fruit in your garden! Our free planting calendar calculates the best time to start seeds indoors and outdoors, as well as when to plant young plants outside. 

How to Use The Planting Calendar

Simply put, a planting calendar is a guide that tells you when to start planting your garden. Most planting calendars are based on frost dates, which dictate when you should start seeds and when it's safe to plant outdoors. Our planting calendar is customized to your location in order to give you the most accurate information possible.

On the planting calendar below, please note:

  • The "Transplant Seedlings" dates show when it's typically safe to start planting young plants outdoors. This includes plants grown from seed at home and plants bought from a nursery. (Although frost dates are a good way to know approximately when to start gardening, always check a local forecast before planting outdoors!)
  • When no dates appear in the chart, that starting method is not recommended for that particular plant. Some crops do best when started outdoors rather than indoors, while others prefer the opposite.
  • The Frost Dates indicate the best planting dates based on your local average frost dates. Frost dates are the planting guideline used by most gardeners.
  • The Moon Dates indicate the best planting dates based on your local average frost dates and Moon phases. Planting by the Moon is considered a traditional technique, but some gardeners swear by it!
  • Click on the name of a plant to see our corresponding Growing Guide.

To plan your garden more accurately in the future, keep a record of your garden's conditions each year, including frost dates and seed-starting dates!

30% probability of frost free after April 7 (at NATL ARBORETUM DC, MD climate station).
Crop Based on Frost Dates   Based on Moon Dates
Start Seeds IndoorsTransplant SeedlingsStart Seeds Outdoors
Beans Apr 14-May 5
Apr 15-29
Beets Mar 24-Apr 14
Apr 1-14
Broccoli Feb 23-Mar 9
Feb 23-Mar 1
Mar 17-Apr 7
Mar 17-31
Brussels Sprouts Feb 23-Mar 9
Feb 23-Mar 1
Mar 9-31
Mar 17-31
Cabbage Feb 9-23
Feb 15-23
Mar 9-24
Mar 17-24
Cantaloupe Mar 9-17
Mar 17
Apr 21-May 12
Apr 21-29
Carrots Mar 2-17
Mar 2-16
Cauliflower Feb 23-Mar 9
Feb 23-Mar 1
Mar 9-24
Mar 17-24
Celery Jan 26-Feb 9
Jan 26-31
Apr 14-28
Apr 15-28
Collards Feb 23-Mar 9
Feb 23-Mar 1
Mar 9-31
Mar 17-31
Corn Apr 7-21
Apr 15-21
Cucumbers Mar 9-17
Mar 17
Apr 21-May 12
Apr 21-29
Eggplants Jan 26-Feb 9
Jan 26-31
Apr 21-May 12
Apr 21-29
Kale Feb 23-Mar 9
Feb 23-Mar 1
Mar 9-31
Mar 17-31
Kohlrabi Mar 9-31
Mar 17-31
Leeks Jan 26-Feb 9
Jan 26-31
Mar 9-31
Mar 17-31
Lettuce Feb 23-Mar 9
Feb 23-Mar 1
Mar 24-Apr 21
Mar 24-31, Apr 15-21
Okra Apr 21-May 5
Apr 21-29
Onions Mar 9-31
Mar 9-16
Parsnips Mar 17-Apr 7
Apr 1- 7
Peas Feb 23-Mar 17
Feb 23-Mar 1, Mar 17
Peppers Jan 26-Feb 9
Jan 26-31
Apr 21-May 12
Apr 21-29
Potatoes Mar 31-Apr 21
Apr 1-14
Pumpkins Mar 9-24
Mar 17-24
Apr 21-May 12
Apr 21-29
Radishes Feb 9-Mar 2
Feb 9-14, Mar 2
Spinach Feb 23-Mar 17
Feb 23-Mar 1, Mar 17
Squash Mar 9-24
Mar 17-24
Apr 21-May 12
Apr 21-29
Sweet Potatoes Mar 9-17
Mar 9-16
Apr 21-May 12
Apr 30-May 12
Swiss Chard Feb 23-Mar 9
Feb 23-Mar 1
Mar 17-24
Mar 17-24
Tomatoes Feb 9-23
Feb 15-23
Apr 14-May 5
Apr 15-29
Turnips Mar 9-31
Mar 9-16
Watermelons Mar 9-17
Mar 17
Apr 21-May 12
Apr 21-29