Timetable for Sowing Vegetables and Herbs

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The following list presents about 80 vegetables and herbs with the recommended sowing date for each one. If you see the mention “xx weeks,” that means you should sow it indoors that number of weeks before the date you expect to be transplanting it to the garden.

  1. Amaranth (Amaranthus caudatus, A. cruentus and A. hypocondiacus) 4 weeks or sow outdoors
  2. Angelica (Angelica archangelica) 8 weeks
  3. Anise (Pimpinella anisum) 8 weeks or sow outdoors
  4. Artichoke (Cynara cardunculus) 10 weeks
  5. Asparagus (Asparagus officinalis) 8 weeks
  6. Aubergine (Solanum melongena) 8 weeks
  7. Balm, Lemon (Melissa officinalis) 10 weeks
  8. Basil (Ocimum basilicum and others) 4 weeks
  9. Bean, Broad (Vicia fava) Sow outdoors
  10. Bean, Dwarf French (Phaseolus vulgaris humilis) Sow outdoors
  11. Bean, Fava (Vicia fava) Sow outdoors
  12. Bean, Pole (Phaseolus vulgaris and P. coccineus) 2 weeks or sow outdoors
  13. Bean, Scarlet Runner (Phaseolus coccineus) 2 weeks or sow outdoors
  14. Beet, Beetroot (Beta vulgaris Condivita group) Sow outdoors
  15. Borage (Borago officinalis) 8 weeks or sow outdoors
  16. Broccoli (Brassica oleracea italica) 8 weeks
  17. Brussels Sprouts (Brassica oleracea gemmifera) 4 weeks
  18. Cabbage (Brassica oleracea capitata) 5 weeks
  19. Cantaloup (Cucumis melo) 3 weeks or sow outdoors (in areas with long summers)
  20. Cardoon (Cynara cardunculus) 10 weeks
  21. Carrot (Daucus carota) Sow outdoors
  22. Cauliflower (Brassica oleracea botrytis) 8 weeks
  23. Celery (Apium graveolens) 8 weeks
  24. Chamomile, German (Matricaria chamomilla, syn. Matricaria recutita) 6 weeks or sow outdoors
  25. Chamomile, Roman (Chamaemelum nobile, syn. Anthemis nobile) 8 weeks
  26. Chervil (Anthriscus cerefolium) 6 weeks or sow outdoors
  27. Chicory (Chichorium intybus) 4 weeks or sow outdoors
  28. Chinese Cabbage (Brassica rapa pekinensis) Sow outdoors
  29. Chives (Allium schoenoprasum) 4 weeks or sow outdoors
  30. Chives, Garlic (Allium tuberosum) 4 weeks or sow outdoors
  31. Cilantro (Coriandrum sativum) 5 weeks or sow outdoors
  32. Coriander (Coriandrum sativum) 5 weeks or sow outdoors
  33. Corn (Zea mays) Sow outdoors
  34. Cucamelon (Melothria scabra) 4 weeks
  35. Cucumber (Cucumis sativus) 2 weeks or sow outdoors
  36. Dill (Anethum graveolens) 6 weeks or sow outdoors
  37. Eggplant (Solanum melongena) 8 weeks
  38. Endive (Chichorium endivia) 6 weeks
  39. Escarole (Chichorium endivia) 6 weeks
  40. Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) 4 weeks or sow outdoors
  41. Ground cherry (Physalis pruinosa) 8 weeks or sow outdoors (in areas with long summers)
  42. Hyssope (Hyssopus officinalis) 8 weeks
  43. Kale (Brassica oleracea acephala) 6 weeks or sow outdoors
  44. Kohlrabi (Brassica oleracea gongylodes) 4 weeks or sow outdoors
  45. Lavander (Lavandula angustifolia) 14 weeks
  46. Leek (Allium porrum) 12 weeks
  47. Lentil (Lens culinaris) Sow outdoors
  48. Lettuce (Lactuca sativus) 4 weeks or sow outdoors
  49. Maize (Zea mays) Sow outdoors
  50. Majorum (Origanum majorana, syn. O. hortensis) 6 weeks
  51. Melon (Cucumis melo) 3 weeks or sow outdoors (in areas with long summers)
  52. Mint (Mentha spp.) 8 weeks
  53. Mizuna (Brassica juncea japonica) 4 weeks or sow outdoors
  54. Mouse melon (Melothria scabra) 4 weeks
  55. Okra (Abelmochus esculentus) 8 weeks
  56. Onion (Allium cepa) 8 weeks
  57. Oregano (Origanum vulgare) 6 weeks
  58. Parsley (Petroselinum crispum) 6 weeks or sow outdoors
  59. Parsnip (Pastinaca sativa) Sow outdoors
  60. Pea (Pisum sativum) Sow outdoors
  61. Peanut (Arachis hypogaea) 6 weeks or sow outdoors (in areas with long summers)
  62. Pepper (Capsicum annuum and others) 9 weeks
  63. Pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo and others) 3 weeks or sow outdoors
  64. Purslane (Porulaca oleracea) 6 weeks or sow outdoors
  65. Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa) Sow outdoors
  66. Radicchio (Chichorium intybus) 4 weeks or sow outdoors
  67. Radish (Raphanus sativus) Sow outdoors
  68. Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) 6 weeks
  69. Sage, Common (Salvia officinalis) 8 weeks
  70. Savory, Summer (Satureja hortensis) 4 weeks
  71. Shallot (Allium cepa aggregatum) 8 weeks
  72. Spinach (Spinacia oleracea) 4 weeks or sow outdoors
  73. Spinach, New Zealand (Tetragona expansa) 3 weeks
  74. Squash (Cucurbita pepo and others) 3 weeks or sow outdoors
  75. Swiss chard (Beta vulgaris Flavescens Group) Sow outdoors
  76. Tansy (Tanacetum vulgare) 8 weeks
  77. Thyme (Thymus vulgaris and others) 8 weeks
  78. Tomatillo (Physalis ixocarpa and P. philadelphica) 6 weeks
  79. Tomato (Solanum lycopersicon esculentum) 6 weeks
  80. Turnip (Brassica rapa rapifera) Sow outdoors
  81. Vegetable Marrow (Cucurbita pepo and others) 3 weeks or sow outdoors
  82. Watermelon (Citrullus lanatus) 3 weeks or sow outdoors (in areas with long summers)
  83. Zucchini (Cucurbita pepo) 3 weeks or sow outdoors

When Is It Safe To Plant Out Vegetables?

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20180522A marksvegplot.blogspot.ca

There is often a long period in the spring when it’s be warm enough to acclimatize vegetable plants tou outdoor conditions during the day, but still too cold at night to plant them out permanently. Source: marksvegplot.blogspot.ca

Gardeners go through the same questioning every spring: when can they sow or plant out vegetables? Of course, most plants won’t tolerate frost, so do check with a weather service about whether one is expected over the weeks just after you plan to start. However, when there appears to be no risk of frost, is that enough? Sometimes nights are still cold, but days are warm. Is that alright?

Here’s a guide.

Direct Sowing

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Source: worldartsme.com

Sowing seeds is a bit less stressful on the gardener than planting out vegetables started indoors. In most cases, cooler soil temperatures that actually required will simply slow germination down, not stop it. Plus it will take a week or so before the seedlings are tall enough to really be exposed to cold night air, giving you a bit of leeway. When the seeds do germinate, sign the soil is warm enough, usually nights have warmed up too and they’ll simply grow normally. So if you sow seeds a bit early, that doesn’t necessarily delay the harvest to come.

Still, it’s wise to know that some vegetables (cool season crops) germinate quite readily at fairly low temperatures (beets, carrots, lettuce, onions, parsley, parsnips, radishes, etc.) and you can consider it safe to sow them when the soil temperature has reached about 45˚ F (7˚ C), while 55˚ F (12˚ C) is safer for turnips, the various cabbages (broccoli, kale, cauliflower, etc.), Swiss chard and corn. Wait until they reach a balmy 70˚ F (21˚ C) before you sow warm season vegetables like beans, cucumbers, squash and melons.

You can find an inexpensive soil temperature thermometer at a garden center or online. Take the temperature at about a depth of 4 inches (10 cm).

Does the Moon Have an Influence on Frost?

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The last frost date has no relation to the phases of the moon. Source: Myriams-Fotos, pixabay.com & http://www.stickpng.com, montage: laidbackgardener.com

In short, no. None whatsoever. Look it up on any serious gardening site and you’ll see. That it is safe to plant out after the full moon of May (or March, or April, or whatever the local legend says) is just another gardening myth. Like the one that says it is safe to plant out once oak leaves reach the size of mouse ears. Oaks do get frosted occasionally, even when they are leafing out or even in full leaf. You just can’t trust Mother Nature when it comes to frost!

Planting Out

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You don’t want to risk planting seedlings out too early. Source: WorldVegetableCenter

This is where things become serious. You carefully sowed the seeds of many vegetables indoors to get a head start on the season and you’ve been caring for them for weeks. Or you bought them at great expense. You certainly don’t want to risk harming them or even slowing down their progress when you plant them out.

Since sprouted vegetables are immediately exposed to air temperatures as well as soil ones, you’ll need to take air temperatures into account. And by mid-spring, the soil, having absorbed the sun’s heat all day, is often warmer than the night air. Look most carefully at night air temperatures, cooler than day ones … often considerably so! And even when night temperatures warm up, you still have to consider the possibility of late frosts (see above).

Note that you need to acclimatize seedlings started indoors to outdoor conditions before you plant them out (a few days in the shade, then a few in partial shade before exposing them to sun) and you can usually start to do up to 10 days before you actually expect to plant them out, putting them out on balmy days. But do bring them in at night if night temperatures drop to any degree (as they often do early in the season).

There are a few cool season vegetables that are often started indoors, like leeks, lettuce, onions and again, the various cabbages. You can plant them out quite early, when night temperatures remain above 45˚ F (7˚ C)… assuming that, by there, there is no danger of frost in your area!

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Wait until nights warm up before planting out warm season vegetables like tomatoes. Source: www.veggiegardener.com

Warm season vegetables don’t usually die under cool night temperatures (unless there is frost), but instead go into shock and slow down, which delays the harvest. Plant out a tomato or cucumber plant too early and it will actually come into fruit later than one transplanted a week or two later, when temperatures are warmer.

Consider night temperatures of 55˚ F (12˚ C) as an absolute minimum for transplanting tomatoes (but even so, they prefer warmer temps). The other warm season vegetables are even less happy with cool nights. I suggest 65˚ F (18˚ C) for cucumbers and peppers and 70˚ F (21˚ C) for eggplants (aubergines), melons, okra and squash (including pumpkins and zucchinis).


I hope the above information will help you decided what to plant out when!20180522A marksvegplot.blogspot.ca

When to Sow Over 80 Vegetables and Herbs

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20180207 clipart-library.com, moziru.com & www.clipartfinders.com .jpg

Trying to understand when to sow various herbs and vegetables can be frustrating. Source:  clipart-library.com, moziru.com & http://www.clipartfinders.com

Wouldn’t life be easier for gardeners if there were only one date at which we could sow all our garden edibles indoors? Say April 15, or May 10? That would be the day when all gardeners around the world should sow their tomatoes, leeks, beans, etc., everyone all at once, on the same day.

But that will never happen. Some vegetables and herbs need to be started indoors two months or more before planting out, others, only a few weeks, and still others prefer being sown directly outdoors where they are to grow. And the right planting-out date is also necessarily going to vary depending on your local climate: risk of frost diminishes more rapidly in mild climates than cold ones, often as early as March, so gardeners living there can plant out their seedlings extra early, while gardeners from cold climates may still have frost concerns well into June. Plus, there’ll always be a 6-month difference in planting dates between gardeners in the Southern and Northern Hemsipheres.

So the “everybody sows their veggie seeds on one day” idea is just never going to happen.

How to Find the Right Date

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Many seeds need a head start indoors. Source: www.steps2permaculture.com

You’ll see below a list that gives appropriate dates for sowing vegetables and herbs regardless of your local situation, all based on when you calculate you can safely transplant them to your garden.

Of course, it’s first up to you find when that safe date is. And this planting-out date it will probably not be the last frost date you might have seen mentioned for your area. The last frost date quoted is almost always the average date of the last spring frost and by definition, average means “half the time.” Therefore, if you use the last frost date as the date you intend to put your seedlings in the garden, expect it to be too cold about one year out of two! Not very useful!

That’s way I recommend figuring out, based on your own experience or that of a neighbor who gardens if you’re a beginner, a date some 10 to 14 days later, when both the soil and the air normally warm enough for your plant out in safely. That’s the planting-out date you want to use to calculate when to sow seeds.

For example, where I live, the official last frost date is June 1st, but that refers to the average date of last frost. That’s why I usually use June 10 as a safe date for me to plant seedlings outdoors and it’s the one I use in calculating when to start my seedlings.

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

So, figure your transplant date and start counting backwards to find the right sowing for each variety that interests you on the following list.

For example, if you check broccoli on the list below, you’ll see “8 weeks” cited. That means to sow it indoors 8 weeks before your safe planting-out date. If your safe planting-out date is May 15, sow broccoli indoors on (or around) March 15. If it’s June 1st, sow it indoors April 1st. Etc.

Sowing Dates for Vegetables and Herbs

  1. Amaranth (Amaranthus caudatus, A. cruentus and A. hypocondiacus) 4 weeks
  2. Angelica (Angelica archangelica) 8 weeks
  3. Anise (Pimpinella anisum) 8 weeks
  4. Artichoke (Cynara cardunculus) 10 weeks
  5. Asparagus (Asparagus officinalis) 8 weeks
  6. Aubergine (Solanum melongena) 8 weeks
  7. Balm, Lemon (Melissa officinalis) 10 weeks
  8. Basil (Ocimum basilicum and others) 4 weeks
  9. Bean, Broad (Vicia fava) Sow outdoors
  10. Bean, Dwarf French (Phaseolus vulgaris humilis) Sow outdoors
  11. Bean, Fava (Vicia fava) Sow outdoors
  12. Bean, Pole (Phaseolus vulgaris and P. coccineus) 2 weeks or sow outdoors
  13. Bean, Scarlet Runner (Phaseolus coccineus) 2 weeks or sow outdoors
  14. Beet, Beetroot (Beta vulgaris Condivita group) Sow outdoors
  15. Borage (Borago officinalis) 8 weeks
  16. Broccoli (Brassica oleracea italica) 8 weeks
  17. Brussels Sprouts (Brassica oleracea gemmifera) 4 weeks
  18. Cabbage (Brassica oleracea capitata) 5 weeks
  19. Cantaloup (Cucumis melo) 3 weeks
  20. Cardoon (Cynara cardunculus) 10 weeks
  21. Carrot (Daucus carota) Sow outdoors
  22. Cauliflower (Brassica oleracea botrytis) 8 weeks
  23. Celery (Apium graveolens) 8 weeks
  24. Chamomile, German (Matricaria chamomilla, syn. Matricaria recutita) 6 weeks
  25. Chamomile, Roman (Chamaemelum nobile, syn. Anthemis nobile) 8 weeks
  26. Chervil (Anthriscus cerefolium) 6 weeks
  27. Chicory (Chichorium intybus) 4 weeks
  28. Chinese Cabbage (Brassica rapa pekinensis) Sow outdoors
  29. Chives (Allium schoenoprasum) 4 weeks
  30. Chives, Garlic (Allium tuberosum) 4 weeks
  31. Cilantro (Coriandrum sativum) 5 weeks or sow outdoors
  32. Coriander (Coriandrum sativum) 5 weeks or sow outdoors
  33. Corn (Zea mays) Sow outdoors
  34. Cucumber (Cucumis sativus) 2 weeks or sow outdoors
  35. Dill (Anethum graveolens) 6 weeks
  36. Eggplant (Solanum melongena) 8 weeks
  37. Endive (Chichorium endivia) 6 weeks
  38. Escarole (Chichorium endivia) 6 weeks
  39. Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) 4 weeks
  40. Ground cherry (Physalis pruinosa) 8 weeks
  41. Hyssope (Hyssopus officinalis) 8 weeks
  42. Kale (Brassica oleracea acephala) 6 weeks
  43. Kohlrabi (Brassica oleracea gongylodes) 4 weeks or sow outdoors
  44. Lavander (Lavandula angustifolia) 14 weeks
  45. Leek (Allium porrum) 12 weeks
  46. Lentil (Lens culinaris) Sow outdoors
  47. Lettuce (Lactuca sativus) 4 weeks or sow outdoors
  48. Maize (Zea mays) Sow outdoors
  49. Majorum (Origanum majorana, syn. O. hortensis) 6 weeks
  50. Melon (Cucumis melo) 3 weeks
  51. Mint (Mentha spp.) 8 weeks
  52. Mizuna (Brassica juncea japonica) 4 weeks
  53. Okra (Abelmochus esculentus) 8 weeks
  54. Onion (Allium cepa) 8 weeks
  55. Oregano (Origanum vulgare) 6 weeks
  56. Parsley (Petroselinum crispum) 6 weeks
  57. Parsnip (Pastinaca sativa) Sow outdoors
  58. Pea (Pisum sativum) Sow outdoors
  59. Peanut (Arachis hypogaea) 6 weeks
  60. Pepper (Capsicum annuum and others) 9 weeks
  61. Pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo and others) 3 weeks or sow outdoors
  62. Purslane (Porulaca oleracea) 6 weeks
  63. Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa) Sow outdoors
  64. Radicchio (Chichorium intybus) 4 weeks
  65. Radish (Raphanus sativus) Sow outdoors
  66. Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) 6 weeks
  67. Sage, Common (Salvia officinalis) 8 weeks
  68. Savory, Summer (Satureja hortensis) 4 weeks
  69. Shallot (Allium cepa aggregatum) 8 weeks
  70. Spinach (Spinacia oleracea) 4 weeks or sow outdoors
  71. Spinach, New Zealand (Tetragona expansa) 3 weeks
  72. Squash (Cucurbita pepo and others) 3 weeks or sow outdoors
  73. Swiss chard (Beta vulgaris Flavescens Group) Sow outdoors
  74. Tansy (Tanacetum vulgare) 8 weeks
  75. Thyme (Thymus vulgaris and others) 8 weeks
  76. Tomatillo (Physalis ixocarpa and P. philadelphica) 6 weeks
  77. Tomato (Solanum lycopersicon esculentum) 6 weeks
  78. Turnip (Brassica rapa rapifera) Sow outdoors
  79. Vegetable Marrow (Cucurbita pepo and others) 3 weeks or sow outdoors
  80. Watermelon (Citrullus lanatus) 3 weeks
  81. Zucchini (Cucurbita pepo and others) 3 weeks or sow outdoors20180207 clipart-library.com, moziru.com & www.clipartfinders.com .jpg