How to Grow Vegetables by a Calendar

Overview

Summer isn't the only time to grow vegetables. After learning the basics of vegetable gardens, many gardeners venture into year-round vegetable growing. With a little help, vegetables grow year-round in all but the harshest climates. Understand the growing conditions of your region and consult gardening calendars to develop a plan for your garden. Fall and winter gardening tasks include planting fall crops and starting seedlings indoors.

Step 1

Consult a USDA hardiness zone map for your area. This will give you valuable information on how many days you typically have in a growing season and when to expect the last frost in spring and the first frost in the fall.

Step 2

Research gardening books and online sources to find calendars outlining the time frame for planting crops. Keep in mind that these are general guidelines and vary depending on your region's climate.

Step 3

Plant cool-season crops indoors or in a greenhouse in late winter for transplanting outdoors 10 to 12 weeks before the last expected frost. These crops include carrots, onions, broccoli, spinach, beets, kale and lettuce. Plant these crops outdoors four to six weeks before the last expected frost.

Step 4

Plant warm-season crops indoors or in a greenhouse eight to 10 weeks before the last expected frost. These crops include tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and melon. Plant these crops outdoors after the last expected frost.

Step 5

Plant succession crops all summer long to lengthen your harvest of fast-growing vegetables, including lettuce, carrots and spinach.

Step 6

Plant cool-season crops in late summer for a fall and winter harvest of lettuce, spinach, kale and beets.

Tips and Warnings

  • Some crops, such as beans, corn and peas, don't transplant well. Grow them from seed in your garden.

References

  • Washington State Extension Office: Home Gardens
  • "The Garden Primer"; Barbara Damrosch; 1988

Who Can Help

  • Garden Action: When to Plant Vegetables Diary
  • The United States National Arboreteum: USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map
Keywords: calendar for vegetables, vegetable gardening calendar, vegetable gardening

About this Author

Julie Christensen has been writing professionally since 2001. She is a full-time freelance writer and former teacher with writing credits from several regional and national publications, such as Colorado Parent and LDS Living. She specializes in parenting, education and gardening topics. Christensen studied early childhood education at Ricks College, and spent 20 years as a teacher and director in university and public school settings.