Planting Calendar: When to Plant These Popular Vegetables

Want to grow your own vegetables, but don't know when to plant them? We have the answers for you!

To bring your produce to your table, you need to plant at the right times. So how do you know when to plant? We’ve got you covered!

Suggested planting times vary by hardiness zone, as determined by the USDA and based on annual low-temperature averages. The continental U.S. includes Zones 3 to 10, with most falling into Zones 4 to 9. To find out what zone you live in, refer to this chart from the USDA.

A couple of quick notes: There are many more factors that determine how well your vegetables will grow, everything from rainfall to wind, temperature variations and the makeup of your soil. So the best planting dates for your specific garden may vary from this list.

We’re including many items that technically aren’t vegetables, but are common in home gardens.

When To Plant Vegetables Graphic ChartTaste of Home, Getty Images (8)

When to Plant Tomatoes

Tomatoes are a favorite addition to meals ranging from BLTs to salsa to Caprese salad. They’re also not vegetables; tomatoes are technically fruits. Here are some more delicious ways to cook with fresh tomatoes.

  • Zone 3: Indoor growing recommended
  • Zone 4: May / June
  • Zone 5: Mid-May
  • Zone 6: April / May
  • Zone 7: April
  • Zone 8: Late March / Early April
  • Zone 9: Late March / Early April
  • Zone 10: Late March / Early April

When to Plant Cucumbers

Famously easy to grow, cucumbers are a favorite of gardeners nationwide. They’re perfect for livening up a salad or adding to a sandwich. They can also be turned into pickles, which are equally delicious on a sandwich. Here’s how to make homemade pickles.

  • Zone 3: July
  • Zone 4: May / June
  • Zone 5: Mid-May
  • Zone 6: Early June
  • Zone 7: March/April
  • Zone 8: April
  • Zone 9: April
  • Zone 10: April

When to Plant Onions

Available in a variety of strengths and flavors, onions are a go-to addition for countless meals. They store well and can even help keep away pesky insects, including the carrot rust fly. Make sure you know the most common types of onions and how to use them.

  • Zone 3: Indoor growing recommended
  • Zone 4: April / May
  • Zone 5: Mid-April
  • Zone 6: March
  • Zone 7: Early February
  • Zone 8: Mid-January
  • Zone 9: Mid-January
  • Zone 10: January

When to Plant Carrots

This root vegetable is often orange-hued, but other varieties come in multiple colors. For your home garden, you may want to grow an assortment of colors, sizes and sweetness to throw a little variety into your cooking. Carrots are fast-growing and can often be planted and harvested multiple times in a season. The planting dates below are the earliest suggest dates.

  • Zone 3: July
  • Zone 4: Late May
  • Zone 5: Mid-April
  • Zone 6: Mid-April
  • Zone 7: February
  • Zone 8: February
  • Zone 9: Early February
  • Zone 10: January

When to Plant Summer Squash

Squash and pumpkins are staples for autumnal meals. Their size makes them dramatic additions to the garden; they can be as much fun to look at as to eat. Read up on 8 types of summer squash and how to use them.

  • Zone 3: Not recommended
  • Zone 4: June
  • Zone 5: May / June
  • Zone 6: Mid-May
  • Zone 7: April
  • Zone 8: March / April
  • Zone 9: March / April
  • Zone 10: March / April

When to Plant Corn

This tall-growing grain is undergoing a modest home gardening renaissance. Its size can potentially overwhelm small gardens, but it’s popping up in home gardens much more frequently lately. By the way, learn how to pick the freshest corn possible.

  • Zone 3: Not recommended
  • Zone 4: Mid May
  • Zone 5: May / June
  • Zone 6: Early to Mid-June
  • Zone 7: March / April
  • Zone 8: April
  • Zone 9: April
  • Zone 10: April

When to Plant Bell Peppers

There is a wide range of pepper flavors and spice-levels, from pleasant jalapeƱos to blazing hot ghost peppers. Make sure you know the Scoville ratings of the most popular peppers.

  • Zone 3: Indoor growing recommended
  • Zone 4: Mid-May
  • Zone 5: May / June
  • Zone 6: April / May
  • Zone 7: April
  • Zone 8: Late March / Early April
  • Zone 9: Late April / Early May
  • Zone 10: May

When to Plant Potatoes

Delicious baked, fried or roasted, a potato rounds out almost any meal. Decked out with toppings, it can stand on its own. Note that the planting times for potatoes don’t follow the usual pattern. The high-temperatures of Zones 8 to 10 can be too much for them to bear, and you’re better off starting a little later to get the best harvest.

  • Zone 3: April
  • Zone 4: Mid-April
  • Zone 5: March / April
  • Zone 6: March
  • Zone 7: Early February
  • Zone 8: May
  • Zone 9: May
  • Zone 10: May

When to Plant Radishes

Radishes are another root vegetable, and some varieties carry a powerful taste. Radishes are a great choice to fill a small section of your garden. Notice that for Zones 9 & 10, the best planting time comes later in the year and continues past December.

  • Zone 3: June
  • Zone 4: Mid-April
  • Zone 5: March / April
  • Zone 6: March
  • Zone 7: Early February
  • Zone 8: January
  • Zone 9: August
  • Zone 10: September

Read up on the health benefits of radishes.

When to Plant Eggplant

These large vegetables lend themselves to a wide range of recipes, especially those requiring robustness, such as eggplant parmesan. Note that due to their long growing season, many gardeners prefer to start these plants as indoor seedlings.

  • Zone 3: Indoor growing recommended
  • Zone 4: Mid-May
  • Zone 5: May / June
  • Zone 6: April/May
  • Zone 7: April
  • Zone 8: Late March / Early April
  • Zone 9: Late April
  • Zone 10: Late April

When to Plant Peas

Peas are packed with vitamins and protein. According to the experts at Peas.org, one serving of peas contains as much vitamin C as two apples, and as much protein as a large egg. They freeze easily, making them great to store for the off-season, and a handful can liven up almost any dish or casserole.

  • Zone 3: Mid-July
  • Zone 4: Mid-April
  • Zone 5: Late March / Early April
  • Zone 6: Mid March
  • Zone 7: February
  • Zone 8: February
  • Zone 9: Early February
  • Zone 10: January

When to Plant Green Beans

Hardy green beans are a garden classic. They’re available in varieties that grow as a bush, or vertically to conserve space. That’s just one of the reasons green beans made our list of the easiest foods to grow at home.

  • Zone 3: July
  • Zone 4: Mid-June
  • Zone 5: Mid-June
  • Zone 6: Early-to-mid June
  • Zone 7: Mid-April
  • Zone 8: April
  • Zone 9: Late April
  • Zone 10: Late April

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