Vegetable Growing Guide

How to Grow Vegetables

January 7, 2021
Photo by Pixabay

In one handy chart, the Almanac Vegetables Growing Guide summarizes when start seeds indoor and outdoors, the soil temperature needed to germinate, the plant’s hardiness level, when to fertilize, and when to water.

Of course, see the master Planting Calendar for more specific dates by YOUR zip code for all your common vegetables. 

Vegetables Growing Guide

Note: Each of the vegetables listed below links to an individual vegetable plant guide that covers sowing to growing to harvest!

Vegetable Start Seeds Indoors (weeks before last spring frost) Start Seeds Outdoors (weeks before or after last spring frost) Minimum Soil Temp. to Germinate (°F) Cold Hardiness When to Fertilize When to Water
Beans Anytime after 48–50 Tender After heavy bloom and set of pods Regularly, from start of pod to set
Beets 3 before to 3 after 39–41 Half-hardy At time of planting Only during drought conditions
Broccoli 6–8 2–3 before 55–75 Hardy Three weeks after transplanting Only during drought conditions
Brussels sprouts 6–8 55–75 Hardy Three weeks after transplanting At transplanting
Cabbage 6–8 1 before to 1 after 38–40 Hardy Three weeks after transplanting Two to three weeks before harvest
Carrots 3–5 before 39–41 Half-hardy Preferably in the fall for the following spring Only during drought conditions
Cauliflower 6–8 1 before to 1after 65–75 Half-hardy Three weeks after transplanting Once, three weeks before harvest
Celery 6–8 60–70 Tender At time of transplanting Once a week
Corn 2 after 46–50 Tender When eight to ten inches tall, and again when first silk appears When tassels appear and cobs start to swell
Cucumbers 2–4 1–2 after 65–70 Very tender One week after bloom, and again three weeks later Frequently, especially when fruits form
Lettuce 4–6 1 before to 2 after 40–75 Half-hardy Two to three weeks after transplanting Once a week
Melons 2–4 2 after 55–60 Very tender One week after bloom, and again three weeks later Once a week
Onion sets 4 before 34–36 Hardy When bulbs begin to swell, and again when plants are one foot tall Only during drought conditions
Parsnips 0–3 before 55–70 Hardy One year before planting Only during drought conditions
Peas 4–6 before 34–36 Hardy After heavy bloom and set of pods Regularly, from start of pod to set
Peppers 8–10 70–80 Very tender After first fruit-set Once a week
Potato tubers 0–2 after 55–70 Half-hardy At bloom time or time of second hilling Regularly, when tubers start to form
Pumpkins 2–4 1 after 55–60 Tender Just before vines start to run, when plants are about one foot tall Only during drought conditions
Radishes 1 before to 1 after 39–41 Hardy Before spring planting Once a week
Spinach 4–6 before 55–65 Hardy When plants are one-third grown Once a week
Squash, summer 2–4 1 after 55–60 Very tender Just before vines start to run, when plants are about one foot tall Only during drought conditions
Squash, winter 2–4 1 after 55–60 Tender Just before vines start to run, when plants are about one foot tall Only during drought conditions
Tomatoes 6–8 50–55 Tender Two weeks before, and after first picking Twice a week

Ready to plan an amazing vegetable garden? Let’s get to the drawing board. Check out the amazing online Almanac Garden Planner tool!


Reader Comments

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Thank you for your help

I am a 75 years old retiree. I hope to get starting growing some vegetables in the backyard or indoors. I have little information of doing that and hope your guidance could help me do so. Thanks again.

Vegetables for highland (3000 m above sea)

Dear Sirs,

We are an NGO trying to help poor farmers grow vegetables at high altitude in Ethiopia. WE are to use solar pumps to get water and irrigate the peasant fields (2-5) at different places.

We need high valued vegetables,
We need cold resisting plants
We need short sprouting days.

Please suggest the vegetables and the possible yields/ha.

Any other advice?


Hardy vegetables.

It depends on where you are (what the altitude is and the lowest temperature you get). I built my own greenhouse with scraps of wood and old wondows. I was able to harvest spinach up until very very late in the season (January, temp: 1° F).
I grow tomatoes and I am able to can them (put them in a sterile sealed container). I'm still eating tomatoes from 2 years ago since I'm able to freeze them. I have given tomatoes, lettuce, thyme, rosemary, onions, garlic (planted the fall before) to 4 of my neighbors. I think Spinach is a great way to start. It is rich in vitamins and minerals.
I hope this helps and I wish you success. By the way, there are free plans for a green house online.

When which months to plant Tamotos, Brocoli,Spinich

Stay in die western cape. but my garden are covered with shade net
please help me this is the first time ever I started with a garden a pensioner now
Thank you


I live in WV when can I start planting

Last Spring freeze

Approx. when is the last Spring d=freeze for tomatoes? Also, when I have tomatoes growing, they have been getting rotten on the bottoms of the fruit. I cover the dirt with plastic, but I still get it! Any tips?

Sounds like "blossom end rot"

Sounds like "blossom end rot" i believe it is a calcium deficiency can be fixed with fertilizer
just give it a google.

I don't know the date

PLZ put the date

Can you advise me on what

Can you advise me on what kind of mulch works best in a vegetable garden? The nurseries seem to only have wood and I have read that wood is not the best to use.

Hi, J: The problem with bark

The Editors's picture

Hi, J: The problem with bark mulch in growing beds is that it takes a long time to decompose and thus interferes with following plantings. Most people use black plastic (provided it won't make things too hot), newspaper, straw, or untreated grass clippings. Good luck!

my grandmother plants by the

my grandmother plants by the signs,cant find where they are right now. I need help please?

On our Web site, we have

The Editors's picture

On our Web site, we have astrological best days timetable which includes planting dates. Click here:

I started most of my seeds

I started most of my seeds indoors in the little brown cardboard cups that deteriate in the ground a couple of weeks ago with seed starting mix. and they were growing great inside. I made (2) 4x4 garden beds and filled with them mushroom soil and after the weather was done with frost, I brought the plants outside and stuck them right in the mushroom soil. I water them the way their suppose to but it seems like they started fading and dying since outside??? Any idea or tips on how to bring them back to life or revive them. Did I do something wrong. Instructions on seed packets are never thorough enough. Hope to hear back.

Hi Nick, First -be sure you

Hi Nick,

First -be sure you are planting the right seeds for the season- warm season plants vs cool season plants. Here in sunny CA most of our seed packets are offered year round, which makes for a lot of confusion as to what to plant when.

Second- there are some seeds that need to be planted directly into the soil..the transplanted seedlings just don't do well. Recheck the seed packets description.. those that say> plant directly into the soil after last frost, are most often the ones that don't like being sprouted then transplanted.

Third- you need to "harden off" your seedlings before they go into the garden. Meaning, move the sprouts in their flats outside in mostly shade for a couple of days, then move them into a bit longer time in sun after a couple of days and then move them into more sun etc. Make sure you protect them from the pests and birds -just as you do in the garden, after a week or so you can start to transplant.

transplanting plants started in peat pots and not thriving

I find those pots don't decompose properly if the top rim is exposed to the air. It seems to act as a wick, effectively drying out your seedlings. Also, the roots can't always escape so I pull loose the bottom of the pot before planting to give free reign to the nutrient-seeking roots. Hope this helps.

Plant transition

Sometimes plants can be very delicate to the transition of temperatures. Some are supposed to be kept for a certain number of hours then brought back in during the night. So e can just be placed outside when you are ready. Then there is light, placement within the garden, type of plant, brand of seed, etc. There is a lot of variables. I have been picking the seeds from the fruits and vegetables I consume. For example: there was a branch of celery we did not finished and it vegan to wilt. I put it in water and it grew roots. Then I put it in dirt and it started to grow. Because this celery had been in the refrigerator and still flourished I just put it in the bed that got at least 6 hours of sun (in April) It took off. Do what you can with what you have.

know which season best

know which season best vegetable yeild

IM growing plants from seed

IM growing plants from seed its been 32 weeks now. Have about 2oo plants and only a third have starting growing. Room temperature is about 50 degrees and its near a window. Any thoughts to get them to move along quicker.?? Thanks

Hi, Brian, There are many

The Editors's picture

Hi, Brian, There are many reasons why seeds do not germinate: too much or too little moisture, too high or too low temperature, oxygen (for example, too much water can hamper the amount of oxygen available), light (some plants like a lot and some like less; the amound of light a seed gets be affected by the depth at which it is planted); the medium into which a seed is planted. Different seeds may have slightly, or greatly varying, needs of all of these conditions. And, most seed suppliers know that very few varieties have 100% germination; that's why you get lots of seeds in packets. Some of your best guidance is on the seed packet.
All we can suggest is that you review/reconsider the needs of the specific varieties and see if you can better fulfill their needs.

hello, what can i do to my

hello, what can i do to my garden patch to make the soil more healthy so my veggies grow? i think the ground on my whole property is really bad, it wont even grow grass very well. but this yr. i would really like to grow a garden if possible. can u tell me what i can do without buying a bunch of exspensive stuff? thank you

You could try making ‘lasagna

The Editors's picture

You could try making ‘lasagna beds’, also known as sheet composting. Basically you add compostable materials like the layers in a lasagna—it takes a little while to work, but it is effective and you don’t need to make or buy sides for the bed (unless you want to). This article explains more:

St. Louis city has an area

St. Louis city has an area where they grind and compost all the collected leaf & lawn waste and the give it away for load your own gardeners. See if you have something like that close to you. Check craigslist for stables or chicken/rabbit owners who give away free manure...often city parks do this also if you have any mounted ( horse) policemen. I mix all the above with my soil in raised beds and add some each fall/winter to prepare my beds for the next year, with great results. Good luck!

what month do I start getting

what month do I start getting the ground ready for winter garden? " I am the registered user."

Before the ground gets too

The Editors's picture

Before the ground gets too hard, you'll want to remove any old plant debris and weeds to avoid overwintering insects. See our article on putting the garden to bed here:

I want to plant cabbage and

I want to plant cabbage and tomatoes

We moved our garden to a new

We moved our garden to a new spot for more room, our new garden plot has a slight incline & the top seems to stay drier. I thought we could plant according to the grade. Vegetables that are dry tolerant to the higher/drier end etc. Just wondering if someone could help me with that layout? Is there a rule of thumb to that planting layout? Ready to garden if it would quit snowing!

I too have that problem. My

I too have that problem. My garden is 120'x250' with a slight incline. I box bladed the low area to give me a water run off. Also, if you build your rows up with a row hipper, or disc row builder, any rain will run off between your rows. This will help keep your plants dry during heavy rain.

Some herbs such as rosemary

The Editors's picture

Some herbs such as rosemary or thyme will do well in a dry spot, and root crops such as carrots and beetroot will often cope with drier soil (for short periods, at least). If the soil is very dry, however, you may find installing irrigation easier to enable you to rotate annual crops in that part of your garden.