Oct 13

When to Plant – Late Summer

Late August to mid-October in Zones 5-6

Garlic is generally planted here around Columbus Day (mid-October). One clove will produce a whole new garlic plant. Harvest when the tops start to turn down, late July to mid-August. Save some cloves to replant!

Radishes continue to plant as room is available into September.

Salad Greens include all the lettuces and you can add in some spinach again. Use either a variety with a short growing time or let winter over for eating the following spring. Mulch or row covers offer a little more protection.

Oct 13

When to Plant – Mid-Summer

June through early August in Zones 5-6 plant what does not like high temperatures and/or can handle light frost, or has a short growing time:

Beans through mid July, if they are under 60 days to maturity.

Beets and Carrots can be planted mid-August.

The Cabbage Family includes Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, Cauliflower and Cabbage. The best time to plant is early or at the end of the summer as these veggies do not like the heat. Look for seeds or plants labeled “Late” or “Storage” as these are meant for the fall temperatures.

Kale can be planted as early as mid-July (or 3 months before the expected fall frost date). It takes cold weather very well, esp. varieties such as Winterbor. Kale can be left in the ground and harvested all winter in many areas.

Parsnips are often planted in June to mid-July to either be eaten fresh in the fall, or to winter over. They are sweeter the following Spring.

Radishes continue to plant as room is available.

Rutabagas can be planted mid-July for a fall crop (100 days from seed to table).

Lettuce can be planted again mid-July.

Oct 13

When to Plant – Mid-Spring

Around the middle of April in Zones 5-6 (or 6-8 weeks before the last expected frost) you can plant:

Asparagus Herbs Leeks Onions Parsnips Potatoes Blueberries-Grapes-Raspberries-Strawberries

Asparagus takes a few years to grow but is well worth it. Plant where the tall fronds won’t shade other vegetables.

Herbs can be seeded at this time. I prefer to grow herbs in pots, especially the perennial ones; otherwise they can take over the garden. Even though they are grown in pots, I still find myself pulling up mint plants all over the garden each spring. An exception here would be Basil, it prefers warmer temperatures.

Leeks are easy to grow. Just poke a hole in the ground (I use a dowel) and drop the leek transplant in. Water them then let the rain fill in the hole. If you want to ‘blanch’ leeks, you can pile soil up around them as they grow, giving you a bigger bottom. I never bothered.

Onions can be grown from seed, sets or transplants. I have not tried seeds (other than scallions) but grow a lot of onions from transplants and sets. The transplants produce sooner and there are many more choice of types. I prefer some reds and whites for fresh eating and dehydrating/freezing/canning, and some yellows for storing in the fridge. I also throw in some seeds sets mainly because I can’t pass them by at the local nursery.

Parsnips require a long growing season (about 110 days) and can tolerate frosts. Plant early and leave a few in the garden to ‘winter-over’ for even better taste early next spring.

Potatoes can easily be grown in 30 gallon ‘trash’ cans, producing a large crop in limited space. The flavor of homegrown potatoes really surprised me. It is best to use ‘certified seed potatoes’ as these are more disease resistant. In a pinch you can buy some nice potatoes at the market and plant them. In 1999 my local provider sold out -everyone was Y2K preparing- so I bought some Green Giant Idaho potatoes and they worked just fine. The yield was a little less though, but that could have been the season.

Grapes and Berries are grouped together because they are planted at the same time and are all perennials. Harvests get better over time.

Blueberries -Remember you need 2 different types for cross-pollination.

Grapes -For juice, I think seedless Concords are best.

Strawberries -Follow planting guides carefully!

Raspberries -If you like raspberries you can save a lot of money by growing your own. The reason they are expensive is not because they are hard to grow, they are just so delicate they are hard to transport. These canes are very intrusive so consider carefully where to plant. Mine are grown in the regular garden in their own bed, but I do (easily) pull up new plants every spring. I love raspberries with pears, as in Raspberry-Pear Jam or Very Berry Peary Wine.

Oct 13

When to Plant

This is a basic planting guide to help you learn when to grow what. The vegetables and fruits are separated by planting times from Early Spring to Fall, with just a little extra info we have learned over the years, such as help on succession planting, replanting, and wintering over.

This information is for Zone 5/6 growers, but can be adapted to your Zone.

You can find your Zone by using your Zip Code here.

Early Spring
Mid Spring
Mid Summer
Late Summer

Oct 13

When to Plant – Early Spring

These Vegetables are planted mid-March to early April, or approximately 10-12 weeks before the last expected frost. These tolerate cold well and in some cases actually benefit from it. These are the seed packets that state ‘plant as soon as the ground can be worked’ or ‘early spring’.

Beets The Cabbage Family Peas Radishes Rutabagas Salad Greens Spinach Swiss Chard Turnips

Beets -If you don’t like beets, but have never eaten a homegrown one, reconsider. The green tops harvested early in the spring can be eaten raw in salads or steamed. The beets then can be eaten at every stage and at the end of the season they store better than many other root crops.

The Cabbage Family includes Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, and Cauliflower. The best time to plant is early or at the end of the summer as these veggies do not like the heat. Because they are all related you should avoid planting any members of the family in the same place in the following years. For this reason I prefer to ‘keep the family together’. Note that although Chinese Cabbage is related, it prefers to be grow in the summer months. Don’t plant near Strawberries.

Onions can be planted from seed, sets, or plants. I usually order some plants and pick up sets (small onions) from the local nursery.

Peas, including Snow and Snap Peas are usually the first seeds I plant because I often grow them in planters that warm up faster so the soil can be worked first. I prefer the snow peas, eating/freezing the whole pod. Shelling common garden peas can take a lot of time and we are not that into them.

Potatoes “Trash Can Potatoes”

Radishes come in many different flavors and sizes and can be grown early spring and at the end of summer into fall. I never understood why Horseradish was so name until I tasted a homegrown radish. They pack a lot of flavor punch!

Rutabagas can be grown this time of year or planted mid-July for a fall crop (100 days from seed to table). These are most often used in stews, but we do also like them mixed with mashed potatoes. This works well with turnips and parsnips too. Mmmm!

Salad Greens include all the lettuces. The beauty of Salad Greens is that they can be planted early spring and many through the summer and into the fall. They will tolerate light frosts. So get your salad on! Don’t forget to include include some beet tops.

Spinach can be planted early spring and again late summer. Too much heat will cause the plants to bolt, making the flavor bitter. New Zealand Spinach is not actually a spinach, but it is used the same way and slower to bolt. Likewise Red Malabar spinach, though it is not as good cooked.

Swiss Chard’s flavor is very similar to spinach, but swiss chard offers the added benefit of a season-long harvest. Leave a few plants in the ground and mulch them. If the winter isn’t too severe, you just might have some fresh chard early the following spring.

Turnips take a little longer to grow than radishes but can be planted throughout the season. They are very nutritious and most commonly used is stews.