Vegetable Gardening Calendar

Enter your location in the field above to get customized planting dates.

EXAMPLE CHART

30% probability of frost free after May 15 (at JAFFREY MUNI AP, NH climate station).

Crop Based on Frost Dates Based on Moon Dates
Start Seeds Indoors Plant Seedlings
or Transplants
Start Seeds Outdoors
Beans May 22-Jun 12
Jun 3-12
Beets May 1-22
May 1- 3, May 19-22
Broccoli Apr 3-17
Apr 5-17
Apr 24-May 15
May 4-15
Brussels Sprouts Apr 3-17
Apr 5-17
Apr 17-May 8
Apr 17-19, May 4- 8

What is a Planting Calendar?

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.

Simply put, a planting calendar is a guide that tells you the best time 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 also shows dates for planting by the Moon (learn more about this technique below).

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Should You Start Seeds Indoors?

Starting seeds indoors gives your crops a head start on the growing season and the chance to grow in a stable, controlled environment. Outdoors, the unpredictability of rain, drought, low and high temperatures, sunlight, and pests can take a toll on young plants, especially when they’re just getting started. Indoors, you can control these elements to maximize your plants’ growth and give them the best shot at thriving when they are eventually transplanted outdoors. In regions with a short growing season, starting seeds indoors lets you get a jump on the season and have more time to grow, resulting in a greater harvest. Read more about starting seeds indoors.

What is Planting by the Moon?

Planting by the Moon (also called Gardening by the Moon) is a traditional way to help plan your above- and below-ground crops. Here’s how it works:

  • Plant annual flowers and vegetables that bear crops above ground during the light, or waxing, of the Moon. In other words, plant from the day the Moon is new until the day it is full.
  • Plant flowering bulbs, biennial and perennial flowers, and vegetables that bear crops below ground during the dark, or waning, of the Moon. In other words, plant from the day after the Moon is full until the day before it is new again.

Old-time farmers swear that this practice results in a larger, tastier harvest, so we’ve included planting by the Moon dates in our planting calendar, too. Learn more about Planting and Gardening by the Moon.


Photo by Surachet Khamsuk/

Which Seeds Should You Start Indoors?

A lot of seeds can be started indoors, but some are better off being sown directly into the garden. Some crops, such as root vegetables, do not transplant well and should be started outdoors. Tomatoes and peppers, on the other hand, can tolerate being transplanted and are typically started indoors. Consult our table, below, to see where other crops are commonly started.

Whether you start seeds indoors or outdoors also depends on the length of your growing season, as well as your climate. In cool regions with shorter growing seasons, most seeds should be started indoors, as they need to get a head start on the growing season and should be protected from potentially-freezing spring temperatures. In warm regions with longer growing seasons, more seeds can be started outdoors, as they don’t need as much of a head start on the season and are not in danger of being killed by a spring frost.

When Should You Start Seeds Indoors?

For most crops, you should start seeds indoors about 6–8 weeks before your last spring frost date. This gives the plants plenty of time to grow large and healthy enough to survive their eventual transplanting to the garden. Consult our Planting Calendar to see the best time to start seeds in your area.

When Should You Transplant Seedlings?

When seedlings have grown too large for their seed trays or starter pots, it’s time to transplant. If it’s not yet warm enough to plant outdoors, transplant the seedlings to larger plastic or peat pots indoors and continue care. If outdoor conditions allow, start hardening off your seedlings approximately one week before your last frost date, then transplant them into the garden. Get more tips for transplanting seedlings here.

Browse Planting Calendars by State or Province

Vegetable Garden Calendar

Circular 943 View PDF picture_as_pdf

Reviewed by Bob Westerfield, Extension Horticulturist
Original manuscript by Wayne J. McLaurin (Retired), Darbie M. Granberry (Retired) & W.O. Chance, Extension Horticulturists

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September — October
  • November — December

You can plant or harvest something from your garden almost all year. The two major planting periods, however, are spring (March to May) and fall (mid-July to September). The spring plantings are harvested in June and July, while the fall plantings are harvested from October to December. January and February are prime times for looking at seed catalogs, dreaming of warm spring days, preparing garden plots, and getting ready for a productive season.

Important Note: The monthly recommendations — especially the spring and fall planting dates — are for the typical day and month in middle Georgia. To use this calendar, consider middle Georgia as a belt across the state from Columbus through Macon to Augusta. Spring planting dates can be as much as two to three weeks earlier in extreme south Georgia, and fall planting dates can also be as much as two weeks later. In north Georgia, the spring planting dates are from one to three weeks later as you progress northward through the mountain counties; fall planting dates are about two weeks earlier.

The following recommendations are based on long-term average dates of the last killing frost in the spring and first killing frost in the fall. Every year does not conform to the “average,” so you should use your own judgment about advancing or delaying the time for each job, depending on weather conditions.

This calendar is prepared mainly as a reminder and guide for planning your garden work. Other extension publications containing information about specific gardening practices are mentioned throughout this leaflet and are available at your county Extension office.

January

  • Make a garden plan. Plan the garden to include various vitamin groups.
  • Consider planting a few new varieties along with the old favorites.
  • Plant the amount of each vegetable to be planted, including enough to can and freeze. Allow about 1/10 acre of garden space for each member of the family. (Ask your county Extension agent about So Easy to Preserve.)
  • Buy enough quality seed for two or three plantings to lengthen the season of production.
  • Take soil samples if you have not already done so, and take them to your county Extension office for analysis.
  • Apply manure or compost and plow it under if you did not do so in the fall.
  • Apply lime, sulfur and fertilizer according to the soil-test results and vegetable requirements. Buy 100 pounds of fertilize for each 1/10 acre to be planted (if manure is not available, buy at least half again more). Use 5-10-10 or 6-12-12 analysis, depending on soil test and vegetable requirements.
  • Get plant beds or seed boxes ready for growing plants such as tomato, pepper and eggplant. Have beds ready for planting in early February.
  • Check on your compost pile and make sure it is ready for use in the spring.
  • Go by your county Extension office and get copies of Georgia Extension gardening publications.

February

  • Plant seed boxes. Peppers and eggplants will take eight weeks to grow from seed to transplant size, while tomatoes will take six weeks. When the seedlings form their third set of true leaves, transplant them to individual containers.
  • Prepare land for planting — winter and early spring plantings belong on a ridge (raised bed) for better drainage and earlier soil warm-up.
  • If nematodes were a problem last year, make plans to plant another crop less susceptible to nematodes in the infected area.
  • Make early plantings of your choice from the following: carrots, collards, lettuce, mustard, English peas, Irish potatoes, radishes, spinach and turnips.
  • Use “starter” fertilizer solution around transplanted crops such as cabbage.
  • Replenish the mulch on strawberries.
  • Seed herbs for April planting. Make a list of the ones that are best to buy rather than seed, such as French tarragon and rosemary. (See your county agent about Herbs in Southern Gardens).

March

  • Make second plantings of such quickly maturing crops as turnips, mustard, radishes and “spring onions.”
  • Thin plants when they are 2 to 3 inches tall to give the plants room to grow.
  • Carry out any February jobs not completed.
  • Treat seed before planting or buy treated seed for protection against seed-borne diseases, seed decay, seedling “damping off” and soil insects such as seed-corn maggots.
  • Early-planted crops may need a nitrogen side-dressing, particularly if the soil is cool. Place the fertilizer several inches to the side of the plants and water it in. A little fertilizer throughout the growing period is better than too much at one time.
  • Before settling them in the garden, harden-off transplants – place them in their containers outdoors in a sheltered place a few days ahead of planting them.
  • Get rows ready for “warm-season” vegetables to be planted during the last week of March or first week or two of April as weather permits.
  • You might want to risk planting out a few of the more tender crops and keeping them covered during bad weather.
  • Watch out for insects, especially cutworms, plant lice (aphids) and red spider mites.
  • Put down mulch between rows to control weeds.

April

  • Plant your choices of the following “warm-season” or “frost-tender” crops: beans (snap, pole and lima), cantaloupe, corn (sweet), cucumbers, eggplant, okra, field peas, peppers, squash, tomatoes and watermelon.
  • Plant tall-growing crops such as okra, pole beans and corn on the north side of other vegetables to avoid shading. Plant two or more rows of corn for better pollination.
  • Make a second planting within two to three weeks of the first planting of snap beans, corn and squash.
  • Within three to four weeks of the first planting, plant more lima beans and corn. Remember: for better pollination, plant at least two or more rows.
  • Be sure to plant enough vegetables for canning and freezing.
  • Cultivate to control weeds and grass, to break crusty soil and to provide aeration.
  • Maintain mulch between rows.
  • For the crops planted earlier, side-dress as described above.
  • Plant tender herbs.
  • Remember: Do not work in your garden when the foliage is wet to avoid spreading diseases from one plant to another.

May

  • Make third plantings of vegetables mentioned for April (snap beans, corn, squash, lima beans).
  • Control grass and weeds; they compete for moisture and fertilizer.
  • Locate mulching materials for such crops as tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, Irish potatoes, okra and lima beans. Apply before dry spells occur but after plants are well established (usually by blooming time).
  • Pole beans cling to the trellis or sticks more readily if attached by the time they start running.
  • Try a few tomato plants on stakes or trellises this year. Now is the time to start removing suckers and tying the plants up.
  • Watch out for the “10 most wanted culprits”: Mexican bean beetle, Colorado potato beetle, bean leaf beetle, Harlequin cabbage bug, blister beetle, cabbage worm, tomato hornworm, tomato fruit worm (and corn earworm), cucumber beetle and squash bug. Early discovery makes possible early control.
  • Begin disease control measures as needed. Check with your county Extension office for more information.
  • Water as needed.
  • Mulch as needed.
  • Keep a log book of problems and failures that occur so you can avoid or prevent them in the next planting season. Note successful techniques and varieties for consideration next season.
  • Make plans now for putting up some of your garden produce. Check with your county extension office for more information.

June

  • Harvest vegetables such as beans, peas, squash, cucumbers and okra regularly to prolong production and enjoy peak freshness.
  • Eat “high on the hog” this month and in July and preserve enough to last during the winter months ahead.
  • For best results, harvest onions and Irish potatoes when two-thirds of the tops have died down. Store potatoes in a cool, dark place and onions in a dry, airy place.
  • Clean off rows of early crops as soon as they are through bearing and use rows for replanting or keep them fallow for fall crops.
  • Water as needed.
  • Plant sweet potatoes and a second planting of Southern peas.

July

  • Start planning the fall garden.
  • Keep grass from going to seed. Fallow soil to conserve moisture for germination of fall crops and to help reduce the nematode population in the soil.
  • Clean off harvested rows immediately to prevent insect and disease buildup.
  • Plant the following vegetables not later than July 20 to allow time to mature before frost: tomatoes, okra, corn, pole beans and lima beans. Also plant cucumbers, squash and snap beans.
  • Water deeply and less often — as needed to prevent drought stress.
  • Plant that big pumpkin for Halloween.
  • Be sure to make arrangements for neighbors to harvest and water your garden while you are on vacation.
  • Make sure the garden is well mulched to prevent weeds and conserve moisture.

August

  • Plant the following no later than the dates indicated below:
    —August 15: Snap beans and Irish potatoes (seed can be sprouted two to three weeks before planting).
    —August 31: Cucumbers and squash; plant varieties resistant to downy mildew.
  • In order to calculate the planting date, determine the frost date and count back the number of days to maturity plus 18 days for harvest of the crop. If snap beans mature in 55 days and your frost date is November 15, you should plant on or before September 3.
  • Start plants for broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, collards, kale and onions in a half-shaded area for setting out in September.
  • Prepare soil for September to October plantings of “cool-season” crops. Apply fertilizer and prepare seeded so rains will settle the rows and make it easier to get seeds to germinate when they are planted.
  • If watering is necessary to get a stand, open the furrow for seed, pour in water, plant seed and cover. Use starter solution on the transplanted crops.
  • Water the garden as needed to prevent drought stress.

September — October

  • Choose the mild weather during this period to plant or transplant the following: beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, collards, lettuce, mustard, onions, radishes, spinach and turnips. Plant your second planting of fall crops such as collards, turnips, cabbage, mustard and kale.
  • Refurbish mulch to control weeds, and start adding leaves and other materials for the compost pile. Store your manure under cover to prevent leaching of nutrients.
  • Water deeply and thoroughly to prevent drought stress. Pay special attention to new transplants.
  • Harvest mature green peppers and tomatoes before frost gets them — it may not come until November, but be ready.
  • Harvest herbs and dry them in a cool, dry place.

November — December

  • Why not get started early for next year?
    — Spread manure, rotted sawdust and leaves over the garden and plow them under; you’ll be surprised at the difference this organic matter will make in the fertility, physical structure and water-holding capacity of the soil.
    — Take a soil sample to allow plenty of time to get the report back. Lime applied now will be of more benefit next year than if it is applied in the spring before planting. Always apply Dolomitic limestone in order to get both calcium and magnesium.
  • Save those leaves for the compost heap.
  • Take an “inventory.” Maybe you had too much of some vegetables and not enough of others – or maybe there were some unnecessary “skips” in the supply. Perhaps some insect, disease or nematode problem got the upper hand. Make a note about favorite varieties. Start planning next year’s garden now!
  • You’re wise to order flower and vegetable seeds in December or January, while the supply is plentiful. Review the results of last year’s garden and order the more successful varieties.
  • You may have seeds left over from last year. Check their viability by placing some in damp paper towels and observing the germination percentage. If the percentage is low, order new ones.
  • Before sending your seed order, draw a map of the garden area and decide the direction and length of the rows, how much row spacing is needed for each vegetable, whether or not to plant on raised beds, and other details. That way, you won’t order too many seeds. This same advice applied to the flower garden. Try new cultivars, add more color, change the color scheme, layer the colors by having taller and shorter plants — don’t do it the same way year after year.
  • Look around for tools you do not have and hint for these for Christmas presents.

Start Planning Next Year’s Garden Now!

Read the Labels when dealing with Fertilizers, Pesticides and Chemicals

Status and Revision History
Published on Feb 01, 2002
Published on Feb 26, 2009
Published with Full Review on Feb 17, 2012
Published with Full Review on Feb 06, 2015

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Garden Planner

Mr Fothergill’s Garden and Allotment Planner

plan your vegetable garden the easy way!

Sign up for a 7 day FREE trial of our new Garden and Allotment Planner at:

gardenplanner.mr-fothergills.co.uk/

We are delighted to launch our brand new Garden and Allotment Planner, it’s a simple to use tool designed for gardeners by gardeners. Our Planner makes it easy to draw out your vegetable beds, add plants and move them around to get the perfect layout. Designed for everyone – from beginner to expert – our video tutorials will help get you up and running in minutes. Once complete, you can easily publish your design online to share with friends and family!

  • Create detailed plans of your garden or allotment growing area and see how many plants will fit
  • Adjust your garden layouts with a few clicks of the mouse to achieve the perfect layout
  • Receive recommendationsbased on your postcode of the best planting and harvesting dates for your area
  • Organise crop rotation and spacing visually using the intuitive colour-coded system
  • Get a complete list of how many plants need to be grown or purchased and add them to your shopping basket
  • Print a sowing, planting and harvesting calendar that is customised to your location and garden plans
  • Receive personalised email reminders twice a month with a list of what needs sowing and plant out from your plan during the following two weeks
  • Receive SPECIAL OFFERS and articles throughout the year

FREE for 7 days, no need to enter payment details with your free trial, then only £19 per year if you wish to continue using it!

Start planning your garden now visit:

gardenplanner.mr-fothergills.co.uk/
(PC/Mac)

(iPad/iPhone app)

SFF may receive commissions from purchases made through links in this article. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Maybe you are an experienced gardener, and you have a neat binder full of garden plans and notes where you’ve carefully recorded your crop rotations, varieties and successes over the years. Or maybe you are starting a new garden in a new place, and want an easy way to plan and track your plantings. Or, maybe you’re a new gardener, and have no clue how to plan and organize your garden at all.

Whether your a garden sage or a total newbie, these online vegetable garden planning tools can make planning this year’s garden a real snap!

Creating a Garden Plan

When creating a garden plan, there are several variables to consider

  • the size of your garden
  • the amount of sun your garden gets throughout the year, and the length of your growing season
  • the number of people the garden will be feeding
  • what you all like to eat, and the space those plants take to grow
  • what you would like to can, preserve or freeze
  • the needs of the plants you want to grow
  • the method of gardening you are using (raised beds, rows, Square Foot, biointensive, etc.)
  • what was successful in the garden last season, and where you planted it

Most gardeners start with a piece of graph paper and some pencils, and sketch out a plan of their yard. (Sometimes, it’s even to scale!)

Then, if you are a novice gardener, you will probably spend a lot of time looking at charts in gardening books or the instructions on the back of your seed packets to determine when to plant, how much space each plant needs to grow, and roughly when you will harvest.

Then, through nearly superhuman feats of logic, mathematics and geometry, you calculate a plan for your garden that will give you all the food you want while also considering seasonality, crop rotations, companion planting, and phases of the moon.

Or you give your brain a Charley horse with the effort, and just end up sticking some seeds and plants in the ground to map out later. (Maybe.)

While gardening should be at least as much a joy as it is an effort, if you want to have a garden that can provide a good portion of your food (if not all of it), you’ll need to have a plan. (Moon phases optional.)

Fortunately, some of those people overwhelmed (or perhaps bored) by hand-drawn, garden planning logic puzzles happened to be computer programmers. And they made the perfect apps for people new to, intimidated by, or tired of “old-school” garden planning.

Thanks to these four online vegetable garden planning apps, garden planning has never been faster or easier!

Related:

  • The 10 Best Seed Companies for Heirloom and Non-GMO Seeds
  • The Difference Between Open Pollinated, Hybrid and GMO Seeds

GrowVeg

The GrowVeg garden planning app is the Cadillac of online garden planning software. It is $29 for an annual subscription, but you can try it free for 7 days.

GrowVeg is also available for your smartphone and your iPad.

GrowVeg determines the best times to plant, based on your zip code, and finds the average first and last frost dates for your area, based on records from over 5,000 weather stations across the United States and Canada.

If your experience in your microclimate points you toward different dates, you have the option of setting the frost dates yourself. Then GrowVeg will use these dates to tell you the best planting times for dozens of garden crops.

The GrowVeg Garden Planner software shows how much space your plants require and how to group them for maximum success, removing the need to look up planting distances and crop families. Most vegetables and herbs have already been coded with space requirements, so you can quickly see how many will fit in a given bed or row.

You can quickly find companion plants for each type of vegetable you are planting, plan succession plantings for later in the season, and even plot out your drip irrigation lines.

Once your plan is complete, the software compiles a chart showing how many of each plant you need to buy or raise from seed, the correct spacing and recommended planting dates for your area. You can print both the plan and plant list as a handy reference to take into your garden.

GrowVeg will even send you twice-monthly reminders about what crops to sow and plant from your plans, enabling you to keep track of succession plantings very easily. It really couldn’t get much more convenient!

If your garden beds are already in place, simply set up your garden’s template in the application and start plugging in plants. Or, use the app to design new beds for any garden. GrowVeg even has space calculations for the Square Foot Gardening method!

One really neat feature is that GrowVeg will help you rotate your crops next year, plan for cover crops, leave notes about when to add compost and fertilizer and more. For a well-organized and timely planted garden, this app covers just about everything, and is well worth the annual subscription fee.

Check out GrowVeg

Kitchen Garden Planner by Gardener’s Supply Company

The Kitchen Garden Planner is a free, basic vegetable garden planner created by Gardener’s Supply Company, one of the better mail order gardening retailers. (They also have a very useful raised bed soil calculator, too!)

The Kitchen Garden Planner offers users two very convenient options: Selecting a pre-planned garden or creating your own garden plan.

For newbie gardeners, a pre-made garden plan can really make planning and planting your first garden very easy. Even experienced gardeners will find the pre-made plans unique and inspiring! The pre-designed bed templates are one of the best features of this planning app.

The Kitchen Garden planner is incredibly easy to use; you simply put in the dimensions of your garden beds and then drag and drop the plants you want to grow onto the grid. Beneath the plan, you will find planting instructions for every plant you have selected. You can neatly save your plan and print it out, or browse the rest of the site for tons of outstanding organic gardening advice.

Unlike GrowVeg, this planner doesn’t calculate frost dates to tell you when to plant, nor can it plan for successions of crops throughout the year. And it doesn’t give you plant lists or send you reminders to keep you on track. You have to figure all that out yourself.

But for a free planner, the Kitchen Garden Planner is a really nice, high-quality, user-friendly app.

Check out the Kitchen Garden Planner

PlanGarden

PlanGarden is not very sexy at first glance. It looks rather low-budget in fact. But don’t let first impressions fool you; PlanGarden is a robust piece of garden planning software. It should be, because after your 45-day free trial of the software, it costs $20 a year, or $36 for three years.

With PlanGarden, you can lay out your beds to scale, and place and label your plants by variety. With the harvest feature, you can easily plan succession crops and harvest dates. This is a really nice feature to have if you plan to grow a large percentage of your food.

Finally, PlanGarden has a nice daily log that enables you to schedule and record garden activities like weeding, turning compost, fertilizing beds and the like. All of it is easily saved and printed for future use.

Unlike GrowVeg.com or the Kitchen Garden Planner, PlanGarden does not have automated data entry for plant spacing. They provide a Vegetable Calculator and a Frost Calculator to help you space things and decide when to plant, but you have to look up each vegetable you want to grow with those calculators, and place that data into your garden plan yourself.

PlanGarden covers all your garden bases very neatly, and has great scheduling features, but it doesn’t offer automated crop data entry, crop rotation warnings, email reminders, or any of the other bells and whistles offered by the other two planners.

Rather, PlanGarden is much more DIY, and runs a bit like an AutoCAD program custom built for gardeners, enabling you to draw and plan garden beds with irregular shapes or unusual planting configurations. PlanGarden also has a community where people share their garden plans and learn from each other.

Because you have to enter all the data for your garden plan yourself, and there are no shortcuts or presets to ease your math cramps, this planner is probably a better tool for the more experienced gardener who wants a lot of flexibility in their design, or is looking for a modern, faster, neater way to organize their garden records.

Check out PlanGarden

SmartGardener

SmartGardener is an affordable garden planning app that has some pretty robust tools. ($6/season, $20/year) Their plant database maintains over 3,000 varieties of seeds (which are sold on the site). They also have a nice little library of gardening tips and videos, and a forum, too.

After setting your location and answering a few questions, SmartGardener calculates your planting zone and gives you suggestions on what to plant and when. Then, very conveniently, you can have SmartGardener email you with garden tasks for the week, telling you when to plant and harvest each variety you select to plant in your garden.

The planner itself is pretty intuitive, and lets you set a square-foot grid any size you like. It gives you a variety of shapes and sizes for your garden beds that you can adjust in square-foot increments to fit your plot. The designs are simple and attractive, and you can share your garden plans with other members of the SmartGardener community.

From there, you will need to choose and place your particular plant varieties from their database. The only plants offered for the planner are those offered by their seed vendors, which means that if you plant a type of melon or carrot that isn’t offered by their vendors, it cannot calculate the harvest times for that variety.

You can work around this to a degree by finding a variety in the app that is similar to the one you want to plant, but the full functionality of the program is limited by the vendor-based plant database, since it is these vendors who sponsor this planner.

While this is one of the nicest planners out there, unfortunately, the mobile version of this app leaves a lot to be desired, and it doesn’t seem fully mobile ready. Hopefully, they will fix this soon, because many people like to take their plans out to the garden with them.

Check out SmartGardener

I hope you’ll try one of these four online vegetable garden planning tools to create a beautiful and productive garden this year.

Do you have any garden planning tips? Please share them in the comments!

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Sort by Planting Date

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 the best time 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 in your area. 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 Frost Dates indicate the best planting dates based on your local average frost dates. Average frost dates are based on historical weather data and are the planting guideline used by most gardeners.
  • The Moon Dates indicate the best planting dates based on your local frost dates and Moon phases. Planting by the Moon is considered a more traditional technique.
  • The Plant Seedlings or Transplants dates indicate the best time to plant 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.
  • 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!

Month by month sowing suggestions
a vegetable sowing calendar for the year

January

. . . is really a month for eating your stored winter vegetables and hopefully enjoying the view of the garden from your kitchen window. However, there are a few things that you can sow right at the end of the month particularly if you live in a warmer part of the country and/or have a polytunnel or greenhouse

In trays or pots . . .

  • Round seeded (as opposed to wrinkle seeded) peas can be sown from late January onwards. We always start them indoors as the mice get them if we sow direct.
  • Winter salads & oriental greens as above to plant outside under a cloche or mini-tunnel if you have somewhere reasonably sheltered that they can grow on.
  • Onions in modules – germinate them somewhere with a little heat (a windowsill is fine) then put them in a cold frame or unheated greenhouse to grow on.

In a polytunnel or greenhouse . . .

  • From the end of the month, you can think about sowing hardy salads and oriental greens in warmer parts of Britain (mizuna, mibuna, mustard greens, pak choi, mispooona, komatsuna, winter varieties of lettuce, land cress)

February

. . . still winter time, but the days are beginning to get a little longer

In trays or pots . . .

  • Round seeded (as opposed to wrinkle seeded) peas
  • Winter salads & oriental greens to plant outside in March, but still under a cloche or mini-tunnel
  • Onions in modules – germinate them somewhere with a little heat (a windowsill is fine) then put them in a cold frame or unheated greenhouse to grow on.

In trays or pots somewhere warm (germinator/warm airing cupboard etc). Bear in mind that they will need somewhere warm & light to grow on

  • Tomatoes, peppers and aubergines

In a polytunnel or greenhouse . . .

  • Winter salads and oriental greens (mizuna, mibuna, mustard greens, pak choi, mispooona, komatsuna, winter varieties of lettuce, land cress)
  • In warmer areas sow carrots in the tunnel for an extra early crop

March/April

. . . depending on the year, and where you live, the soil may be starting to warm up by mid March – or it may still be frozen solid. But hopefully by April in much of Britain the main spring sowings should be getting under way

Outside (depending on weather and soil conditions)

  • Root crops including the first sowings of beetroot, turnips, carrrots & parsnips
  • Mangetout & podding peas & broad beans – although these often do better started in pots/trays
  • The first sowings of summer salads including lettuces, endive, cress, rocket, radishes
  • Brassica crops for eating this summer & also through into the winter – kale, summer and (early) winter cabbages, brussels sprouts, purple sprouting broccoli, calabrese and cauliflowers
  • Swiss chard & leaf beet
  • Leeks
  • Radishes and spring onions

In trays or pots

  • If you have slug or weed problems, then you may find all of the brassica crops, leeks and salads do better started in trays/modules and then planted out when they are better able to withstand them.
  • Similarly broad beans and peas may have to be started indoors if you have trouble with mice

In trays or pots somewhere warm (germinator/warm airing cupboard etc). Bear in mind that they will need somewhere warm & light to grow on

  • Tomatoes, peppers and aubergines, ideally by the end of March.
  • Celery/celeriac (again need heat to germinate)
  • Courgettes, squashes, cucumbers and melons (but not too early, or they will get too large before the weather is good enough for them to go outside)

In a polytunnel or greenhouse direct into the border

  • Summer salads
  • French beans for an early crop
  • Herbs including basil, coriander & parsley

May

. . . in most parts of the country the soil will be warming up and things will be starting to grow. Lots of sowing (and weeding!) this month

Outside

  • French, runner and broad beans, mangetout & podding peas. But still think about sowing in modules/pots if you have trouble with slugs/mice etc
  • Maincrop sowings of root crops – carrots, beetroot, leeks, radishes, turnips etc
  • Herbs including parsley, coriander and others
  • Swiss chard & leaf beet
  • All the brassicas can still be sown this month for overwintering – kale, summer and winter cabbages, brussels sprouts, purple sprouting broccoli, calabrese and cauliflowers
  • Keep sowing salads, especially lettuce & rocket if you like it, regularly. Much better a small sowing every 2-3 weeks than a huge patch that bolts before you can eat it
  • Early sowings of fennel – if you have trouble with it bolting, wait until mid-June
  • Sweetcorn – but only sow direct if the weather, and soil, are warm, otherwise start it off in modules or small pots.

In trays or pots

  • Brassicas
  • French, runner and broad beans, all types of peas
  • Sweetcorn

In trays or pots somewhere warm (germinator/warm airing cupboard etc).

  • Courgettes, squashes, cucumbers and melons – ideally best sown by the end of May

In a polytunnel or greenhouse border

  • Summer salads
  • Basil & coriander
  • Plant out summer crops (tomatoes, peppers etc) started indoors once you’re certain night time temperatures won’t fall too low

June

. . . still time to sow most of the summer crops, although starting to get a bit late for courgettes, squashes & cucumbers . From the middle of the month start to sow crops for autumn & winter

Outside

  • French and runner beans
  • Root crops including carrots, beetroot, turnips, and also swedes for the winter
  • Herbs including parsley, coriander and others
  • Swiss chard & leaf beet
  • Keep sowing salads, after the middle of the month including oriental salads (mizuna, mibuna, mustard greens etc)
  • Fennel
  • Sweetcorn

In trays or pots somewhere warm (germinator/warm airing cupboard etc).

  • Courgettes, squashes, cucumbers and melons (start of the month)

In a polytunnel or greenhouse border

  • Basil & coriander
  • Plant out summer crops started indoors

July/August

. . . Hopefully you’ll be having lots of sunshine, but enough rain to keep things growing. Don’t forget to keep sowing over the summer, there are lots of things to put in now that will keep your garden productive over the winter and into next year.

Outside

  • Dwarf french beans (up to early July) in warmer areas only
  • Last sowings of root crops including carrots, beetroot, turnips (July)
  • Winter radishes and swedes
  • Swiss chard & leaf beet
  • Oriental greens (mizuna, mibuna, komatsuna, mustard greens etc) and turnip greens
  • Lettuce, moving over to winter varieties by late August, rocket, cress and salad radishes
  • Fennel
  • Spring cabbage (from late July)
  • Bunching and spring onions

In a polytunnel or greenhouse border

  • Coriander
  • Salads, particularly in later summer as other crops finish and you have space available.

September/October

. . . time to get some last sowings of winter salads and greens in the ground, and think about ways of protecting crops over the winter. Cloches, mini-tunnels and fleece are all useful ways of extending the season.

Outside

  • Spring cabbage (early September, warmer areas only)
  • Winter salads and greens including winter lettuce and oriental vegetables
  • Bunching onions (early September)
  • Broad beans and hardy (round seeded) peas to overwinter (from mid September)

In a polytunnel or greenhouse border

  • Hardy oriental greens, particularly mustard greens, komatsuna, mizuna, Tsoi Sim and chinese cabbage.

November/December

. . . ideal months for tidying up the garden, sorting out your compost heaps and getting everything in order for the new year.

Outside

  • Plant garlic, choosing the biggest cloves to get the best results

My Gardening Calendar of things to do.

— JANUARY —

It may be hard to notice but the days are starting to get longer. However the cold Winter months make it impossible to do very much outdoors. Take advantage, put your feet up and make plans for the coming Spring and Summer.

Order your Summer bulbs, seeds and plug plants of, Begonia semperflorens, Impatiens and Pelergoniums.

Do take advantage of any milder days and clear the leaves which have still been gathering on the lawn. Don’t walk on the grass on those frosty days though, it is surprising the damage that can be done by doing so. Also in mild periods, plant out bare rooted trees, shrubs and Roses.

If there has been heavy snowfall, brush it off the conifers, hedging and Box topiary to prevent damage.

Cut back the dead stems from your Herbaceous plants, some of them like Sedums and Phlox you may already see fresh shoots emerging, take care not to damage these.

Prune Wisteria, cut back last years growth to just three buds from the main stem

—FEBRUARY—

Very much a time to catch up on the jobs that you didn’t manage to get done in January.

Do you have a garden which explodes with colour in the Summer months and the rest of the year, especially Winter looks rather drab. Our garden was very much like this at one time. Gradually over the past five years we have transformed it into a garden for all seasons. Perhaps you could think about this, check out the link below for Winter garden plants.

Plants for the Winter Garden.

Firm around any Perennial plants in the borders which may have lifted with the frost.

At the end of the month, cut the Summer flowering Clematis hard back, Viticella’s for example. Do make sure which Clematis you do have as some require light pruning.

If you have not already done so this is a good time to prune most deciduous trees, before the sap starts to rise. There are some exceptions, the Horse chestnut, Birch, Walnut and Cherry trees bleed extensively, prune these in mid Summer when new growth has matured.

Tidy up the flower beds, the Snow drops will have started to flower. The Daffodils and Crocus will be well through the ground, hints of Spring just around the corner.

Late February is the best time for pruning Roses. Click this link and scroll to the bottom of the page for information – Pruning Hybrid teas and Floribundas

—MARCH—

Time to get those tuberous Begonias started off in the greenhouse. Bed them into a shallow amount of general compost in seed trays then simply cover the tubers or corms with the compost, label and water them in.

I like to have the greenhouse temperature set so it falls no lower than 52d Fahrenheit. Also for earlier flowering Dahlias get the tubers started into growth by potting them up now.

Prune back the winter flowering Heathers when the blooms fade.

The lawns probably looking tired at the moment. Use a tine rake to get rid of the moss. I find the plastic ones are better to use than the metal ones, also not so severe on the lawn.

Plant container grown Trees, Shrubs and Roses.

—APRIL—

April, Spring one minute and before you know it the Daffodils are flattened with the snow.Never mind lets enjoy those moments of warmth in the sunshine while we can.

The Garden centres may be overflowing with Summer bedding plants, don’t be tempted to plant them out. Here in the north east wait until the 1st of June.

Sow half hardy annuals in the greenhouse.

Tidy up the borders, get rid of the weeds which are now growing at great speed.

Prune Summer flowering shrubs, Buddleia, Hydrangeas, Lavatera, Hardy Fuchsias, and when the flowers have gone over cut hard back about one third of the Forsythia branches.

Dead head the Daffodils when the flowers go over to preserve energy in the bulbs for next year. Don’t fold the leaves over and tie them up, just leave them to die back naturally.

The lawn will be due it’s first cut of the season if you live in the Aberdeen area. Set the Lawn mower a bit higher for the first cut. At the end of the month apply a little lawn fertiliser

— MAY—

This is the time of year when the warmer days tempt us to plant out the Summer bedding and and get the hanging baskets in situation.

Here in Scotland we can still have the late frosts which can be very damaging.

Bedding plants, best to wait until the first week in June. If you happen to be in a sheltered spot you could hang out the baskets at the end of the month. Keep your eye on the weather forecast, if it looks risky take the baskets down and place them back in the greenhouse until the danger has passed.

Pinch off the dead heads of Daffodils and Tulips to conserve energy in the bulbs. Leave the foliage to die back naturally only cutting it away when it has become brown and dried up.

Rhododendrons and Azaleas which have gone over can be dead headed. Just snap them off cleanly making sure you don’t damage the new young leaf shoots which are emerging. If there is resistance when removing the dead flower heads, leave the job till next month.

If your lawn happens to have a lot of weeds coming through, this is the time to get going with the weed and feed treatments available at the garden centres. Take it easy and don’t be too heavy handed, keep well enough away from the flower border edges.

Feed container plants with a liquid fertiliser, Agapanthus and Lilies will benefit with tomato food.

When the Clematis Montana has finished flowering, give it a good tidy up. After a number of years this one can become a tangled mess. In fact I have known it to completely smother and kill a deciduous tree if used as a host.

— JUNE —

Everything in the garden looking fantastic, the first month of Summer we have all been waiting for. The leaves of Trees and shrubs still fresh, Roses starting to bloom, and the hard work of Spring showing dividends.

Time to plant out the summer bedding, Begonias, Impatiens, Petunias and Marigolds etc. I always try to get this done in the first three days of the month. Here in Aberdeen its not that unusual to get a cold snap in the first couple of weeks of the month. The young plants always show their displeasure, however they do recover.

The Privet hedge should be ready for the first cut of the season. This past Winter was colder than usual, our hedge lost almost all of its leaves, recovery was well under way by mid April. Box hedging and topiary can also be trimmed this month. Hope you have not been as unlucky as we have and been hit with the dreaded Box Blight.

Our Box Hedge Destroyed with Blight.

The Daffodil leaves should be ready to cut back this month, leaving the border free to perhaps plant a few Summer half hardy annuals.

June is usually the driest month of the year and the most likely reason for losing perennials which were planted in Spring, is drying out. Do take care to water profusely in dry spells. Water only in the early morning or evening to prevent scorching of the leaves look out for those annuals drying out also.

Keep on top with regular lawn mowing, if you want it looking its best mow at least once every seven days, and also keep well watered. Take care with the feeding regime, stick to the instructions on the box, as overfeeding can be as harmful as starvation.

Weeds are growing very fast at this time of year. Not only do they look unsightly, they draw out a lot of moisture from the soil. Get out the hoe regularly, personally I prefer to get in about with the hand fork

— JULY —

Well here we are in mid Summer. So much time is taken up watering, the hanging baskets are most at risk. Further south they generally require watering every day at this time of year. Here in Aberdeen we can usually get away with every second or third day, unless of course we experience one of our rare heat waves.

July of course is the time to sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labour. However many of us simply have difficulty sitting back for five minutes. Fortunately there is always plenty jobs to do in a garden.

Summer flowering shrubs should be tidied up prune back wayward and dead branches. Continue dead heading the Rhododendrons and Azaleas ,also feed them with an ericaceous type fertilizer.

Dead head Summer flowering annuals regularly to encourage the formation of new buds throughout the Summer.

Keep a look out for the pale brown rust spots on the Roses. At the first sign buy a suitable fungicide from the garden centre read the instructions carefully and carry out the spraying programme as recommended. I know it is not something we are keen on, however if you spray late in the evening it will be much less harmful to the environment. Final feeding of your Roses should be carried out this month.

Some of the early flowering perennials such as, Astrantias, Geraniums, Lupins and Delphiniums can produce a second flush of flowers if you cut the stems down and apply a liquid feed.

Now is the time to give your Wisteria its second prune of the year, cut back the whippy shoots leaving about 12 inches. Check my plant profile below for more information on Wisteria.

A Little More About Wisteria

— AUGUST —

Most of us holiday either July or August. Well lets face it, hardly the best time of year for gardeners. Borders dry out, as does baskets and containers. Ask a neighbour to help out with the watering, or you could install one of those irrigation systems.

Still time to sow seeds of Spring flowering plants, such as, Bellis, Polyanthus and Forget me nots, if done at the beginning of the month.

The herbaceous border is at its best. Phlox, Asters, Day Lilies and shrubs such as mop head and lacecap Hydrangeas are looking fantastic. All your hard work has paid off. Spaces in the border where early flowering plants have gone over can be brightened up by placing container grown Agapanthus, Lilies, or Dahlias.

Hedges such as Privet can be trimmed several times each season, Beech is best cut and shaped only the once and August is the time of year for this job. Yew hedges are very forgiving and benefit with trimming several times between Spring and late Summer.

To prolong the flowering period of Annuals continue dead heading Impatiens, Marigolds and Begonia Semperflorens.

Flowering stems of Lavender plants which have gone over should be cut back now with secateurs. After doing this, with a sharp set of garden shears lightly trim the whole plant without going into the hard wood. In our Aberdeen garden the common Lavender Angustifolia is late in coming into flower and is still in bloom come September. Obviously pruning can be held back when this is the case, however never later than the third week of September.

Take cuttings of Fuchsias and Pelergoniums and grow on for next Summer.

Keep garden ponds aerated by adding water from the hose, not quite so important if you have a filtering pump with fountain.

—SEPTEMBER—

Summer drawing to an end, some days feeling Autumnal with others reaching July temperatures. This is the month to lift and store those root vegetables before the quality starts to deteriorate. Collect seeds and beans for sowing next year. September is the best month to take hardwood cuttings from the fruit bushes. Dig up those Strawberry runners and get them potted up.

Visit the garden centre and check out the numerous Spring bulbs now on sale, September is the month for getting them planted. If you are looking for one of the shorter Daffs, I would definitely recommend Jetfire.

Start pruning back the hardy perennials, leaving the ones which can look good in Autumn with decorative seed heads. Remove the fading annuals from the borders making way for your Spring display.

Take a good look around your garden, what about those new herbaceous plants, have they been planted in the best situation, if not get them replanted now.

What about your fencing, is it like mine and requires a coat of wood preservative. Best to get it seen to now before the cold weather puts us off.

Time to get the greenhouse cleaned up in preparation for the container grown plants which require a little added protection, and of course line the greenhouse with poly bubble wrap.

Most of all take time to appreciate those warmer days of September instead of concentrating too much on the fact that Summer is more or less over.

—OCTOBER—

This month we really do have to concentrate on getting the garden and greenhouse prepared for Winter before the weather condition starts to put us off altogether.

Get those container plants placed in the greenhouse for protection. You will regret not doing so, especially if this coming Winter turns out to be as severe as 2009/10.

Still time to get Spring bulbs planted in the borders, if you didn’t manage to complete this last month. Also plant Daffs, Tulips and Hyacinths in containers, you will be glad you did this, come next Spring.

Lay a good mulch of garden compost around shrubs, use ericaceous compost for the Rhododendrons and the Azaleas. Keep the compost a couple of inches away from the actual stems of the shrubs.

October is a good time for planting out new perennial plants, no concern regarding drying out when planted at this time of year.

Dress borders with bonemeal, also fork your lawn and apply an Autumn feed, make sure not to use your Spring/Summer feed at this time of year.

Remove Summer bedding and replant with Spring plants of your choice, Polyanthus, Forget me nots, Bellis, Pansies and Violas.

Lift those Begonia tubers, dry them off in the greenhouse, wrap them in newspaper pop them in cardboard boxes and place in your loft over Winter.

—NOVEMBER—

November, very often the wettest month of the year, and the frosts have arrived, also a chance of the first snowfall of Winter if you also live in the North east of Scotland.

Still plenty of work to be done, no point in letting the weather get us down. Bare rooted Roses which you may have ordered usually start to arrive by mid November. As long as the soil is not frozen, get them planted out ASAP – Click for Rose planting and pruning info (scroll to bottom of the page)

Continue tidying up the borders and lawn, lift and compost the leaves which usually take about a year to break down, making fabulous leaf mould for top dressing and digging in.

Tidy up the garden pond marginal plants. Remove fallen leaves and if your pond is not too large, cover it over with netting to prevent rotting leaves contaminating the water.

If you didn’t manage to give your lawn an Autumn feed last month, there is still time, if you do this job in the first week of November.

Last chance this month for planting Spring bulbs.

Protect tender plants from frost, Cordylines, Phormiums, place them in a sheltered spot cover with fleece or if they are not too large overwinter in the unheated greenhouse.

November is a good time for planting hedging, bare rooted plants are available in good garden centres.

Fruit trees planted this month will give maximum time to have a good root system formed come Spring

—DECEMBER—

Probably the best gardening related jobs this month are those done indoors. The seed catalogues will have started to arrive giving you plenty of time over the next couple of months to decide on your Summer bedding. A particularly good way for bedding plants is to buy small plugs, reasonably inexpensive and reliable. Check out this mail order company, I have used them and been very satisfied with the results – Gardening Direct.

Cut down perennial flower stems which have died back, wait until there is no green shoots showing as it can be damaging to the plant otherwise.

Continue clearing up leaves from borders and lawns, do avoid walking on the grass when there is hard frost.

Deciduous Trees can be pruned on mild days, well as long as its not frosty. The exception to trees which require pruning when dormant are Birch and Cherry, prune these in mid Summer.

Remember to cut the water supply to outside taps and those in the garage. I did forget to do this many years ago shall I say, much to my regret.

Place your tender container plants in the unheated greenhouse if you have not already done so last month. Even those left outdoors that may not be so tender would benefit by wrapping with pollybubble.

If your garden looks bare, consider a few changes which will give a bit of added interest. Check out your garden centres, also take a look at these plants and shrubs which look good in Winter – (Plants for Winter Interest)

Do remember to feed the garden birds, and may you and your family have a very happy Christmas

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