Whether you want to start seeds indoors or sow seeds outdoors, this spring guide covers planting times for 30 popular crops. Kick off your season on time!
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When Should I Start Seeds?The following table indicates when to start seeds relative to your spring frost date.
Example: Start lettuce seeds, indoors, 6 weeks before your spring frost date.
Click here to find your spring frost date. Need help getting started? Get my step-by-step guide to starting seeds indoors.
|Beans||N/A||N/A||N/A||1 week after|
|Beets||N/A||N/A||N/A||2 weeks before|
|Broccoli||9 weeks before||2 weeks before||N/A||2 weeks before|
|Brussels sprouts||6 weeks before||2 weeks before||9 weeks after||2 weeks before|
|Cabbage||6 weeks before||2 weeks before||9 weeks after||week of|
|Carrot||N/A||N/A||N/A||2 weeks before|
|Cauliflower||6 weeks before||2 weeks after||N/A||N/A|
|Collard greens||6 weeks before||2 weeks before||N/A||week of|
|Cucumber||3 weeks before||2 weeks after||8 weeks after||2 weeks after|
|Eggplant||8 weeks before||4 weeks after||8 weeks after||N/A|
|Kale||9 weeks before||4 weeks before||N/A||4 weeks before|
|Kohlrabi||N/A||N/A||N/A||2 weeks before|
|Lettuce||6 weeks before||4 weeks before||N/A||4 weeks before|
|Melon||N/A||N/A||N/A||4 weeks after|
|Okra||2 weeks before||4 weeks after||10 weeks after||N/A|
|10 weeks before||4 weeks before||8 weeks after||N/A|
(sets & transplants)
|N/A||4 weeks before||8 weeks after||N/A|
|Peas||N/A||N/A||N/A||4 weeks before|
|Peppers||8 weeks before||2 weeks after||10 weeks after||N/A|
|Potatoes||N/A||N/A||N/A||2 weeks after|
|Radish||N/A||N/A||N/A||4 weeks before|
|Rutabaga||N/A||N/A||N/A||3 weeks after|
|Spinach||N/A||N/A||N/A||2 weeks before|
|Summer Squash||N/A||N/A||N/A||4 weeks after|
|N/A||4 weeks after||10 weeks after||N/A|
|Swiss chard||4 weeks before||week of||N/A||week of|
|Tomatoes||6 weeks before||2 weeks after||10 weeks after||N/A|
|Turnips||N/A||N/A||N/A||2 weeks before|
|Winter Squash||N/A||N/A||N/A||4 weeks after|
Note for Hot Climate Gardeners
Frost dates are the most common indicator for figuring out when to start seeds. However, if you live in a hot, dry climate, or at a high elevation, frost dates might not always be your best guide.
Check with your local extension office to get specific details relative to your unique conditions.
Get your seed starting dates automatically calculated for you!
Staying on course and starting seeds at the right time requires just a bit of planning and organization. Imagine a tool in which you type in your frost date, and it automatically calculates the following for EACH CROP:
- indoor seed starting dates
- transplanting dates
- direct sowing outside dates
- succession planting (how many days between sowing for a continuous harvest)
- spacing in the garden
- days to harvest
- companion planting suggestions
- special soil amendments
- PLUS, fall planting dates for each crop for a continuous, year-round harvest.
The good news: This tool exists, and it is just one of six tools you receive with my Complete Garden Planning System, which includes practical tools for planning your season from seed to harvest.
Have you developed a routine for starting seeds in the spring?