Tag Archives: Hardiness Zone

Know When to Start Your Spring Vegetable Garden

Are you planting a garden this spring? Vegetable gardens are a great way to utilize space in your backyard. If you are new to vegetable gardening, you are probably wondering when you should start. Below, you will find a handy guide to help you understand when you should plant in your area of the country. When you start your plants, you can either start them indoors or use a cold frame greenhouse to start them outdoors. Cold frames act as a protective barrier, creating the perfect amount of sunlight and ventilation. This allows you to start your plants outdoors earlier than normal. Whether starting your gardening indoors or out, use the handy guide below to get started now!

Vegetable Growing Guide

You base when to start your plants (indoors or in a cold frame) on the date of the expected last frost in your growing zone. A “growing zone”, also known as a hardiness zone, is determined by the climatic conditions of the location where you live. It factors temperatures, rainfall, humidity, general soil conditions, and other factors to give you zone number. Your zone can also be used to help you determine which plants will thrive best where you live. The approximate date ranges for the last freeze in your zone is below.

  • Zone 1           June 1 – June 30
  • Zone 2          May 1 – May 31
  • Zone 3          May 1 –  May 31
  • Zone 4          May 1 – May 31
  • Zone 5          March 30 – April 30
  • Zone 6          March 30 – April 30
  • Zone 7          March 30 – April 30
  • Zone 8          February 28 – March 30
  • Zone 9          January 30 – February 28
  • Zone 10       January 1 – January 31
  • Zone 11        Frost Free Year Round

Below is a list of commonly grown vegetables and how many weeks before the last frost you should start your plants.

Vegetable                                                  Number of Weeks Before Frost to Start

Okra                                                            2-4 Weeks

Cucumbers                                               3-4 Weeks

Squash                                                        3-4 Weeks

Broccoli                                                     5-7 Weeks

Cabbage                                                     5-7 Weeks

Lettuce                                                       5-7 Weeks

Eggplant                                                    6-8 Weeks

Tomatoes                                                  6-8 Weeks

Spinach                                                      6-8 Weeks

Peppers                                                      8-10 Weeks

Onion                                                           10-12 Weeks


Happy gardening!