Growing Vegetables: When to Plant Your Vegetable Garden [fact sheet]

Carrots in the garden

The information below, and in a printable table, will help you to determine the best time to start your seeds.

You must first, determine the last frost date for your area. Do not seed or transplant frost-sensitive plants before this date. For central NH, Memorial Day is a conservative estimate for the last frost date.

Using a calendar, mark the date and count backwards the number of weeks the seed takes to grow from sowing. This will be the date you will start your seeds.

Example: Tomatoes take 6-8 weeks from sowing until transplant. If you want to plant in the garden on Memorial Day then count back 8 weeks and start seeds the first week of April.

T – Crops marked with a (T) should be started from seed indoors and set out as transplants.

S – Crops marked with an (S) have a relatively short harvest season, which can be prolonged by doing multiple smaller “sequence” plantings.


Crops and Planting Information

Basil (T,S)

  • Time from seed to transplant: 6-8 weeks
  • Safe to set out in garden: 2 weeks after last frost

Bean (S)

  • Plant seed in garden after last frost

Beet

  • Plant seed in garden when soil warms to 45°F

Broccoli (S)

  • Time from seed to transplant: 4-6 weeks
  • Safe to set out in garden: 2-4 weeks before last frost

Brussels Sprout (T)

  • Time from seed to transplant: 4-6 weeks
  • Safe to set out in garden: 2-4 weeks before last frost

Cabbage (T)

  • Time from seed to transplant: 4-6 weeks
  • Safe to set out in garden: 4 weeks before last frost

Carrot

  • Plant seed in garden when soil warms to 60°F

Cauliflower (T)

  • Time from seed to transplant: 4-6 weeks
  • Safe to set out in garden: 2 weeks before last frost

Celery (T)

  • Time from seed to transplant: 10-12 weeks
  • Safe to set out in garden: After last frost

Corn (S)

  • Plant seed in garden when soil warms to 60°F

Cucumber

  • Time from seed to transplant: 3-4 weeks
  • Safe to set out in garden: 1-2 weeks after last frost
  • Plant seed in garden when soil warms to 70°F

Eggplant (T)

  • Time from seed to transplant: 8-10 weeks
  • Safe to set out in garden: 2-3 weeks after last frost

Kale

  • Time from seed to transplant: 4-6 weeks
  • Safe to set out in garden: 4 weeks before last frost

Kohlrabi

  • Time from seed to transplant: 4-6 weeks
  • Safe to set out in garden: 4 weeks before last frost

Leek (T)

  • Time from seed to transplant: 8-10 weeks
  • Safe to set out in garden: 4 weeks before last frost

Lettuce (S)

  • Time from seed to transplant: 4-5 weeks
  • Safe to set out in garden: 3-4 weeks before last frost

Melon (T)

  • Time from seed to transplant: 3-4 weeks
  • Safe to set out in garden: 2 weeks after last frost

Onion (T)

  • Time from seed to transplant: 8-10 weeks
  • Safe to set out in garden: 4 weeks before last frost

Parsley (T)

  • Time from seed to transplant: 9-10 weeks
  • Safe to set out in garden: 2-3 weeks before last frost

Parsnip

  • Plant seed in garden after last frost

Pea

  • Plant seed in garden as soon as soil thaws

Pepper (T)

  • Time from seed to transplant: 8-10 weeks
  • Safe to set out in garden: 2 weeks after last frost

Potato

  • Plant seed potatoes in garden 1-2 weeks before last frost

Pumpkin

  • Time from seed to transplant: 3-4 weeks
  • Safe to set out in garden: 2 weeks after last frost
  • Plant seed in garden when soil warms to 70°F

Radish

  • Plant seed in garden 2-4 weeks before last frost

Rutabaga

  • Plant seed in garden from mid-June to mid-July

Spinach

  • Time from seed to transplant: 4-6 weeks
  • Safe to set out in garden: 3-6 weeks before last frost

Summer Squash

  • Time from seed to transplant: 3-4 weeks
  • Safe to set out in garden: 2 weeks after last frost
  • Plant seeds in garden when soil warms to 70°F

Sweetpotato

  • Plant slips (i.e. plants) in garden 1-2 weeks after last frost

Swiss Chard

  • Time from seed to transplant: 4-6 weeks
  • Safe to set out in garden 2 weeks before last frost
  • Plant seed in garden 4 weeks before last frost

Tomato (T)

  • Time from seed to transplant: 6-8 weeks
  • Safe to set out in garden: 1-2 weeks after last frost

Turnip

  • Plant seed in garden 2-4 weeks before last frost

Winter Squash

  • Time from seed to transplant: 3-4 weeks
  • Safe to set out in garden: 2 weeks after last frost
  • Plant seed in garden when soil warms to 70°F

Zucchini

  • Time from seed to transplant: 3-4 weeks
  • Safe to set out in garden: 2 weeks after last frost
  • Plant seed in garden when soil warms to 70°F

 

Special thanks Master Gardener Karen Downing for co-authoring the original fact sheet

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