Vegetables: Planting

December 31, 2010 Print Friendly and PDF

Vegetables | Selection | Planning and Preparing | Planting | Maintenance | Problems

Links to external web pages are followed by the source's name in parentheses.

A selection of cabbage transplants. (Photo credit: Karen Jeannette)

Once the garden has been planned and the soil has been prepared, the next step is to plant the garden. Time of planting may depend on factors such as: whether you are planting seeds or transplants, the length of your growing season, and your local climate. See the following sections to find out the best time to start planting in your region and how and when you should plant specific garden crops.

When to Plant

The timing and length of the growing season are key factors in determining when to plant, what type of vegetable varieties will be well-suited for your length of growing season, and when you can expect to lay the garden to rest. Contact your local Extension office for this information.

Planting Guides

Planting tomato transplants in the garden. (Photo credit: Beth Jarvis)

When to plant a vegetable crop depends on both the weather and the crop. Cool-season crops can be planted before the last chance of frost in the spring, whereas warm-season crops must wait until temperatures are suitable for growth. Pushing your luck by trying to start your warm-season crops before soil and air temperatures are suitable can actually delay growth.

See more information:

  • Vegetable Planting Guide (Colorado State University Extension). This guide provides information about which crops are cool season or warm season and how to determine when to plant.

Should you start your garden by direct seeding or transplanting?

  • Starting the Garden with Transplants (University of Florida Extension) discusses advantages of using transplants, how to get transplants started from seed, and which crops are best for transplanting into the garden.

When it comes to planting time, many resources refer to soil temperature as an indicator of when to plant. However, first you have to know how to find your soil temperature. Use the following article to find soil temperatures:

  • Soil Temperature for Germination (Department of Agriculture and Food, Alberta, Canada Government) was written for those looking to start seeds. However, the first section, Measuring Soil Temperature, is useful for determining soil temperature for either transplanting or starting seeds.

Fall planting

The vegetable garden doesn't have to end come fall. To prolong your vegetable garden season, see:

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.