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Vegetable Planting Times Roadmap

Radish sprouts in spring

The three most active planting periods in the vegetable garden are:

  • Early spring before the last frost when hardy frost-tolerant cool-season vegetables can be planted for late spring and early summer harvest.
  • Late spring to early summer, 2 weeks or more after the last frost when tender crops can be planted for summer harvest.
  • Mid to late summer when succession warm-season crops can be planted and cool-weather crops for fall harvest can be planted.

Month-by-month roadmap

Common outdoor planting times in most temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere are:

  • Mid-March to mid-April—early spring–for planting early, hardy crops.
  • May 1 to June 1—late spring– for planting tender crops.
  • Late June to late July—mid-summer–for planting succession crops warm weather crops and cool-season crops for fall and winter harvest.
Young tomato plant in early summer
Young tomato plants in early summer

Crops by season

  • Early spring planted crops—these are hardy vegetables–include beets, carrots, turnips, lettuce, onions (sets, plants or seed), leeks, radishes, parsnips, salsify, cabbage, collards, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, mustard, spinach, Swiss chard, parsley, early celery, peas, and potatoes.
  • Late spring and early summer planted crops—these are tender vegetables–include beans of all types, corn, tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, squash, cucumbers, melons, pumpkins, okra, and sweet potatoes.
  • Mid and late summer planted crops for fall and sometimes winter harvest includes bush beans, beets, carrots, turnips, rutabagas, lettuce, Chinese cabbage, cabbage, collards, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and kale. Tender crops that can mature before the first frost can also be planted a second or third time in mid to late summer.

Close familiarity with your climate and the growing season is very important when planning your vegetable garden. Be sure to mark your calendar with the average date of the last frost in spring as well as the date of the average first frost in autumn.

Related articles of interest:

Growing Season Worksheet

Know Your Warm Season Crops

Planting Cool Season Crops

Know Your Garden Growing Season

Starting Your Organic Vegetable Garden

What Every Vegetable Garden Needs

How Big Should Your Vegetable Garden Be?

Written by Stephen Albert

Stephen Albert is a horticulturist, master gardener, and certified nurseryman who has taught at the University of California for more than 25 years. He holds graduate degrees from the University of California and the University of Iowa. His books include Vegetable Garden Grower’s Guide, Vegetable Garden Almanac & Planner, Tomato Grower’s Answer Book, and Kitchen Garden Grower’s Guide. His Vegetable Garden Grower’s Masterclass is available online. has more than 10 million visitors each year.

How To Grow Tips

How To Grow Tomatoes

How To Grow Peppers

How To Grow Broccoli

How To Grow Carrots

How To Grow Beans

How To Grow Corn

How To Grow Peas

How To Grow Lettuce

How To Grow Cucumbers

How To Grow Zucchini and Summer Squash

How To Grow Onions

How To Grow Potatoes


Growing Season Worksheet

Spring vegetable garden

Soil and Air Temperatures for Growing Vegetables