Do you ever wonder when in the world to plant your vegetables? I’m here to help with my vegetable garden planting guide. My Little Sprouts and I try our hardest to grow as much of our own food as possible. We like a wide variety of food, so we plant a wide variety of food. It’s hard to keep track of what to plant each month, so here is a guide to what you grow when.
Tag Archive for planting times
Making a plan for your garden is one of the most important steps in success in growing. Each plant has specific sun, water, and size requirements in order to have optimal success. There are a few steps in planning that can save you a ton of heart break or disappointment later. Check them out below.
*The first step in planning the garden is to find your average last frost date in the spring. Click here to find your average last frost date. Once you have this date, you can start your seeds and seedlings accordingly. Your seed packets will tell you when is the best time to plant seeds and seedlings for tomatoes and peppers can be planted a few weeks after your average last frost date or when your soil temperature stays up above 50 degrees even at night.
*Next make a list of what you want to eat. There is no sense in growing things you don’t enjoy eating. Below is our list with the cold hardy or spring crops a the top and the warm season crops at the bottom.
*The next step is to make a list of when each plant can be planted. You can get a list of dates from your local extension office. I am in zone 7. You can look for Oklahoma Planting Times on Google to get the OSU extension list of planting times in Oklahoma. You can also click here to see how I keep my planting times straight.
*If you planted the previous year, you need to rotate your crops to a different area than that same type of plant was grown in the year before. Planting the same thing in the same spot year after year can cause pest and disease problems to reoccur. Draw out a map of where you had things planted last year so you can move everything you plant this year to a different area.
*Draw out a map to help you choose where to put your plants. You can use graph paper or do like we do and use the excel program to make a representation of your growing space. I like to have it be printable because I can reprint it and have a do over if I change my mind 100 times like I may or may not do. I use 1 square to represent 1 square foot of garden space. This way, when I look up how much space each plant takes to grow, I can mark off that many spaces on my map. I made the different spaces different colors so I would know the length of each bed when they are lined up in a row on the edges.
These are our two garden areas and the maps that represent them.
*Choose which plants to put together by their needs. Some plants retard growth in other plants, so you need to check out a companion planting chart before you plan your garden. Click here to see one. You can also get the book “Carrots Love Tomatoes” to have companion plant information handy all the time. In addition to companion planting, each type of plant also has certain water, sun, and nutrient needs. You can group plants together to help you care for them throughout the summer, such as planting carrots with tomatoes helps the carrots stay cool in the shade of the tomato plants as well as the carrots help repel bugs that eat tomatoes. But also, potatoes need less water than squashes and melons, so you could plant all of your melons, cucumbers, and squashes along one side of your garden and water that area more. Check out your seed packets to find out the requirements for each plant.
*If you want to plan to succession planting, or plant the same crop every two weeks for six weeks to spread out your harvest times, map that information on your map as well.
*Estimate the mature size of each plant and use your seed packets or plant information tags to find out how much space to block off for each plant.
*Write the names of your plants on your chart and then write down what you have decided to grow with the planting time next to each one. Then organize them in groups of the same time, so on that week, you will know what all you need to be doing in the garden.
*Track the varieties you end up choosing so when you find a favorite, you can plant it again the following year. A little bit of planning in the garden will go a long, long way in making your garden more successful and easier to manage. Do you have any tips or tricks for planning what you will grow?
April is a busy and super exciting month in the garden. At Little Sprouts, we are in zone 7, so we have much to do this month. To check out your hardiness zone, click here. Each zone has different planting times as weather conditions differ. Here, our average last frost date is April 20th. This year, we planted quite a few things a week or two early because it feels warm and that’s what we do. Some years we have had a frost as late as May 8th and as you can imagine, that caused us a lot of heartache. We are cautiously optimistic.
Before April, I like to have a plan of what we are doing in the garden. We have over 50 raised beds of differing sizes, so I have a spread sheet that I use to coordinate it all. We usually don’t get everything in just as we wanted or someone who shall remain nameless gets a little over zealous on purchasing seeds or seedlings so we have to tuck a few more things in the beds than we planned. It usually works out though one way or another. We have many successes along with lots of failure. Part of gardening is understanding trial and error and being okay with more of the latter sometimes.
In April in zone 7, we plant most flowers, herbs, tomatoes, and pepper plants and we plant melons, corn, beans, okra, squashes and cucumbers from seed. At Little Sprouts we usually try to plant one bed per day, weather permitting. If the kids lose interest, I will come out and finish the bed we started that evening if possible. That way I don’t forget what is done and what needs to be done. We are planting several types of watermelon and cantaloupe, corn, green beans and several types of drying beans, cucumbers, okra, butternut, summer squash, pumpkins, and several varieties of tomatoes and hot peppers. In addition to that, we are planting sunflowers, zinnias, marigolds, nasturtiums, and wildflowers for attracting pollinators, other beneficial insects, and repelling problem pests.
Things that are ready or almost ready to harvest include lettuces, carrots we planted in the fall, asparagus, kale, spinach and radishes. When it’s picking time, the kids have a ball!
I always have a hard time sorting out all of the times for when to grow what, so I made a chart to help. I used information from the OSU extension website and combined it with information from several books and websites until I came up with a range of times I could plant things in my zone, 7a.
The chart is set with the date noted as the first date when planting should be okay. Some years are warmer or colder so the dates won’t be an exact fit, but these are basic guidelines on when to start planting. Most plants can be planted up to a month after the noted date.
I indicates that seeds can be planted in trays indoors, and O indicates that seeds can be planted outdoors. While this chart won’t work for other zones, I hope that I can help someone in my area to keep their dates straight. It has helped me tremendously this year!
Slips Sweet Potato
Seeds-O Summer Squash
Seeds Winter Squash
Slips Sweet Potato
Seeds-I Brussell Sprouts
Plants Brussell Sprouts