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When to Plant Vegetables in Massachusetts

By Kristen May ; Updated September 21, 2017
When to Plant Vegetables in Massachusetts

Massachusetts summers can be short, so plan a vegetable garden carefully to get plants in the ground at the right time and get the best possible harvest. The planting dates for specific vegetables depend on your exact location in Massachusetts and the hardiness of the vegetable.

Hardy Vegetables

The last spring frost in Massachusetts ranges from late April in New Bedford to late May in Hyannis and Greenfield, with the date in the Boston area falling around May 3. Plant hardy vegetables such as lettuce, spinach, radishes, onions, broccoli, peas and beets three to four weeks before the last frost, which will be sometime between late March and early May.

Start Seeds Indoors

Start seeds for warm-weather vegetables indoors sometime between early March and late April, about six to eight weeks before the last spring frost in the area. This gives plants such as tomatoes, eggplant and peppers a chance to become established before going outdoors and lengthens the growing season.

Tender Vegetables

Vegetables such as summer squash, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, corn and cucumbers will not tolerate frost, so do not plant them outdoors until the danger of frost has passed. This will occur between late April and late May, depending on the specific location in Massachusetts. Check the upcoming weather forecast for potential frost before planting tender vegetables outdoors.