Knowing when to plant your fruits and vegetables is extremely important to achieving a healthy harvest. After you’ve selected what you want to grow in your garden, use this helpful guide to determine the optimal time to plant and harvest each item.
Some Initial Considerations
Before you even start planning what you’re going to grow in the garden, make sure you know the climate in which you live. Extremely cold or extremely hot climates will have different specifications for how and when to plant vegetables. If you live in a place where the climate is cool to warm all year round, you have more options for planting your vegetables. The National Garden Association has a zone map that will show you which fruits and vegetables you can grow in your climate.
The next thing to consider is which vegetables you intend to grow. Different vegetables will need to be planted at different times during the year, and will be harvested at different times as well. Knowing when to plant vegetables will help you know when the harvest will take place for each vegetable type so that you are prepared to can or freeze your crop, if that is your plan.
Planting the Vegetables
Late April is the perfect time for planting artichokes and beans. Both plants can survive moderately warm summers and will provide many vegetables for harvest in November. Artichokes could be started indoors in February or March and transplanted in April, but beans often do not survive a transplant and should be planted straight into the soil in late April.
Corn, cucumbers, and sweet potatoes should be planted in May and are harvested in September. Unlike typical potatoes and similar to cucumbers, sweet potatoes prefer warm soil and grow large vines with leaves that soak up the sun. Corn stands best when it is planted earlier in the summer, but not too early, as this could cripple its growth.
Also planted in May, but harvested in October are peppers, pumpkins, squash, and tomatoes. If planned correctly, the pumpkins will be perfectly timed for Halloween.
Eggplants should be planted in June in warm soil. The warmth allows the eggplants to get strong and produce the vegetable without running the risk of frost or colder weather. Eggplants are harvested with squash and pumpkins in October.
Early August is the perfect time for planting cabbage, which grows all through the winter months and is harvested in February. The cooler weather keeps them growing strong. If you live in a climate with very harsh winters, planting them indoors during late fall and transplanting them in early spring can also yield great results.
Similarly, lettuce should be planted in August and harvested in December before the harsh winter weather hits. It can also be planted in early February and harvested in early June because it is a cool season plant. Another cool season plant is an onion. They are very hardy, making them perfect to plant in August and harvest the following May.
Carrots do well to be planted in cooler soil at the end of summer in September. They thrive in cooler months, and are harvested in February.