A Handy Seed Date Calculator

Not sure when to sow the seeds of vegetables, herbs and common flowers? Johnny’s Selected Seeds has a handy-dandy on-line seed-starting date calendar. 

It couldn’t be simpler. Add the spring frost-free date* (mm/dd/yyyy) for your locality and click Enter. The table will then give you an appropriate date for sowing indoors as well as an approximate date when you can expect to be able to transplant the plant in question into your garden.

Try it and see: it’s really quite accurate and will help prevent you from making that oh-so-common error of sowing your seeds indoors too early.

For example, my frost-free date is June 10 (the average last frost for my municipality is May 17, 3 weeks earlier), so I entered 06/10/2020. After I clicked Enter, the tables shows I should sow basil on the 6th of May and plant it out around June 21st while I should start broccoli from April 15 to 29 and expect to plant it out May 27. Pretty cool!

*The spring frost-free date is not the average last frost date given on many weather and almanach sites. The latter date only indicates that, one year out of two (i.e. the average) there’ll be no frost beyond that date. You want the frost-free date, probably about 1 to 3 weeks later, when the risk of frost has dropped to nearly zero. For more information on the spring frost-free date, read The Real Spring Frost-Free Date for Your Seeds.

Garden writer and blogger, author of 65 gardening books, lecturer and communicator, the Laidback Gardener, Larry Hodgson, passed away in October 2022. Known for his great generosity, his thoroughness and his sense of humor, he reached several generations of amateur and professional gardeners over his 40-year career. Thanks to his son, Mathieu Hodgson, and a team of contributors, will continue its mission of demystifying gardening and making it more accessible to all.

1 comment on “A Handy Seed Date Calculator

  1. These are helpful, because all the older people who used to tell me when to plant are no longer here. No one knows this stuff like they used to.

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