Gardening Herbs Sowing Seeds Vegetables

Sowing Calendar for Vegetables and Herbs

Hand sowing seeds in cell pack.

Photo: &

Wondering when you should start your seeds of vegetables and herbs indoors? 

Here’s a handy list, based on the planting out date (or safe sowing date): the date when normally both the soil and the air have warmed up and when you expect to be able to plant or sow them safely outdoors. Usually, the planting-out date is about 7 to 14 days after the official last frost date for your region. 

Subtract the number of weeks indoors from your planting-out date to find the correct indoor sowing date.

Sowing Dates for Popular Seed-Grown Vegetables and Herbs

VarietyWeeks Indoors
Amaranth (Amaranthus caudatusA. cruentus and A. hypocondiacus) 4 weeks
Angelica (Angelica archangelica)8 weeks
Anise (Pimpinella anisum) 8 weeks
Artichoke (Cynara cardunculus)10 weeks
Asparagus (Asparagus officinalis) 8 weeks
Aubergine (Solanum melongena)8 weeks
Balm, Lemon (Melissa officinalis)10 weeks
Basil (Ocimum basilicum and others)4 weeks
Bean, Broad (Vicia fava)Sow outdoors
Bean, Bush (Phaseolus vulgaris)Sow outdoors
Bean, Fava (Vicia fava) Sow outdoors
Bean, Pole (Phaseolus vulgaris)2 weeks or sow outdoors
Bean, Scarlet Runner (Phaseolus coccineus) 2 weeks or sow outdoors
Beet, Beetroot (Beta vulgaris Condivita group) Sow outdoors
Borage (Borago officinalis) 8 weeks
Broccoli (Brassica oleracea italica)8 weeks
Brussels Sprouts (Brassica oleracea gemmifera) 4 weeks
Cabbage (Brassica oleracea capitata)5 weeks
Cantaloup (Cucumis melo)3 weeks
Cardoon (Cynara cardunculus) 10 weeks
Carrot (Daucus carota) Sow outdoors
Cauliflower (Brassica oleracea botrytis) 8 weeks
Celery (Apium graveolens) 8 weeks
Chamomile, German (Matricaria chamomilla, syn. Matricaria recutita)6 weeks
Chamomile, Roman (Chamaemelum nobile, syn. Anthemis nobile) 8 weeks
Chervil (Anthriscus cerefolium)6 weeks
Chicory (Chichorium intybus)4 weeks
Chinese Cabbage (Brassica rapa pekinensis) Sow outdoors
Chives (Allium schoenoprasum) 4 weeks
Chives, Garlic (Allium tuberosum)4 weeks
Cilantro or Coriander (Coriandrum sativum)5 weeks or sow outdoors
Corn (Zea mays) Sow outdoorsSow outdoors
Courgette (Cucurbita pepo) 3 weeks or sow outdoors
Cucamelon, mouse melon or Mexican sour gherkin (Melothria scabra) 4 weeks
Cucumber (Cucumis sativus)2 weeks or sow outdoors
Dill (Anethum graveolens)6 weeks
Eggplant (Solanum melongena)8 weeks
Endive (Chichorium endivia) 6 weeks
Escarole (Chichorium endivia) 6 weeks
Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare)4 weeks
Ground cherry (Physalis pruinosa)8 weeks 
Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis) 8 weeks
Kale (Brassica oleracea acephala)6 weeks
Kohlrabi (Brassica oleracea gongylodes)4 weeks or sow outdoors
Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)14 weeks
Leek (Allium ampeloprasum)12 weeks
Lentil (Lens culinaris) Sow outdoors
Lettuce (Lactuca sativus)4 weeks or sow outdoors
Maize (Zea mays)Sow outdoors
Majorum (Origanum majorana, syn. O. hortensis)6 weeks
Melon (Cucumis melo)3 weeks
Mint (Mentha spp.)8 weeks
Mizuna (Brassica juncea japonica)4 weeks
Okra (Abelmochus esculentus)8 weeks
Onion (Allium cepa) 8 weeks
Oregano (Origanum vulgare)6 weeks
Parsley (Petroselinum crispum)6 weeks
Parsnip (Pastinaca sativa)Sow outdoors
Pea (Pisum sativum)Sow outdoors
Peanut (Arachis hypogaea)6 weeks
Pepper (Capsicum annuum and others)9 weeks
Potato (Solanum tuberosum)6 weeks
Pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo and others) 3 weeks or sow outdoors
Purslane (Portulaca oleracea) 6 weeks or sow outdoors
Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa)Sow outdoors
Radicchio (Chichorium intybus)4 weeks
Radish (Raphanus sativus) Sow outdoors
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)6 weeks
Sage, Common (Salvia officinalis)8 weeks
Savory, Summer (Satureja hortensis) 4 weeks
Shallot (Allium cepa aggregatum)8 weeks
Spinach (Spinacia oleracea) 4 weeks or sow outdoors
Spinach, New Zealand (Tetragona expansa) 3 weeks
Squash (Cucurbita pepo and others)3 weeks or sow outdoors
Strawberry (Fragaria × ananassa)14 weeks
Swiss chard (Beta vulgaris Flavescens Group)Sow outdoors
Tansy (Tanacetum vulgare)8 weeks
Thyme (Thymus vulgaris and others)8 weeks
Tomatillo (Physalis ixocarpa and P. philadelphica)6 weeks
Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum)6 weeks
Turnip (Brassica rapa rapifera)Sow outdoors
Vegetable Marrow (Cucurbita pepo and others)3 weeks or sow outdoors
Watermelon (Citrullus lanatus)3 weeks
Zucchini (Cucurbita pepo)3 weeks or sow outdoors

Article partly based on one that appeared in this blog on February 7, 2018

Larry Hodgson is one of Canada’s best-known garden communicators. He has notably been editor-in-chief of HousePlant Magazine, Fleurs, Plantes et Jardins, À Fleur de Pot and Houseplant Forum magazines and is currently the garden correspondent for Le Soleil and radio garden commentator for CKIA-FM Radio. He has written for many garden publications in both the United States and Canada, including Canadian Gardening, Harrowsmith, Horticulture, Fine Gardening and Organic Gardening. He also speaks frequently to horticultural groups throughout Canada and the U.S. His book credits include The Garden Lover’s Guide to Canada, Complete Guide to Houseplants, Making the Most of Shade, Perennials for Every Purpose, Annuals for Every Purpose, and Houseplants for Dummies, as well as nearly 60 other titles in English and French. He is a past president of the Garden Writers Association (now Garden Communicators International) and the winner of the prestigious 2006 Garden Media Promoter Award offered by the Perennial Plant Association. He resides in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.

1 comment on “Sowing Calendar for Vegetables and Herbs

  1. Planted my first seeds for the window sill today ( 🌶) so this was very timely ( as ever!)

Leave a Reply

Sign up for the Laidback Gardener blog and receive articles in your inbox every morning!

%d bloggers like this: