Most of Louisiana falls into the U.S. Department of Agriculture's plant hardiness zone 8. Gardeners have a long growing season to enjoy, and planting at the correct times can help take complete advantage of it.
Vegetables such as asparagus, turnips, cabbage, carrots, garden peas, Irish potatoes, spinach and radishes can be planted as early as Jan. 15. A month later, beets and broccoli can follow, and beginning at the end of March gardeners can plant watermelon, tomato, corn and cantaloupe. On April 1, vegetables like peppers, okra, cucumbers, eggplant, lima beans, pole beans and squash can be planted. Sweet potatoes should be planted last, around mid-April.
Small areas on the Gulf Coast fall into zone 9, including cities like New Orleans and Lake Charles. In this area, vegetables are divided into warm season and cool season. Warm-season vegetables like sweet corn, okra, southern peas and watermelon can be planted in March, while cool-season vegetables like carrots, cabbage and leeks can be planted in September.
Many vegetables can be planted a second time even in the areas of Louisiana in Zone 8. Plant turnips, Irish potatoes, kale, beets, broccoli, collard greens and cauliflower in August, and mustard and cucumbers at the end of the month. Radishes, spinach and lettuce can be planted through September, while asparagus is hardy enough to be planted into November.