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Vegetable Gardening Timelines and Tips

The information in this table covers only the basics of vegetable planting.
The planting dates are approximate and usually based on the warming of the soil.
Because there are 'new and improved' hybrids of many of these plants developed each year, more detailed information should be taken from the seed packets as to actual timing and planting specifications in your area.
As you plan which foods that you'd like to grow in your garden, remember that among other things, you must also take the following into account:
pH Requirements of Different Garden Vegetables
Vegetable Gardening Basics (Planning, Preparing the soil, and Planting)
Testing and Adjusting Your Soil pH
Plant Sowing date Indoor Sowing date Garden Spacing P=Plants R=Rows Seed planting depth Time to maturity Comments
Asparagus N/A Perennial... plant in early spring

P=14"

R=24-36"

4-5" Second year Do not harvest the first year to allow the plant to become established. Apply a heavy mulch in winter to help prevent the roots from heaving out of the ground.
Bush beans N/A April-May

P=4"

R=18-24"

1 1/2" 60 days Harvest when young and tender. Plant a fall vegetable in this area after harvest.
Pole beans N/A May

P=36"

R=48"

1 1/2-2" 60 days Plant 4-6 seeds around a 6-8 inch pole or use a trellis.
Beets N/A April and again in June

P=4"

R=18"

1/2" 40-70 days Thinned plants and beet tops may also be eaten. Dig and store in a cool place prior to the first freeze.
Broccoli N/A April-May

P=24"

R=30-36"

1/2-1" 4-5 months Harvest the main Broccoli heads before they open. The plant will produce an extended crop of smaller heads through the rest of the summer
Cabbage

Feb-March

Into garden in May

April

P=24"

R=24-36"

1/2" 4-5 months Requires a soil pH of 5.5 or higher. Feed with a high nitrogen fertilizer every 4 weeks.
Carrots N/A April and again in July

P=2-4"

R=18-24"

1/2" 90 days Sow early, harvest when young. Sow successive plantings every three weeks.
Cauliflower

Jan.-Feb.

Into garden in May

May

P=15"

R=24-36"

1/2" 4-5 months Won't tolerate high temperatures, harvest before the head opens up. Sow seeds for a second crop in May.
Corn (sweet) N/A

May

Successive plantings every 2 weeks

P=3"

R=24"

1" 2-3 months Should be planted closely together in blocks rather than rows to insure good pollination. Corn is at it's very sweetest the moment it is picked.
Cucumbers N/A May-June

P=36-48"

R=36-48"
3-4 plants per mound

1" 2-3 months Spread a mulch of black plastic to the area before the vines begin to spread. Prompt harvesting will prolong the fruiting period.
Eggplants Feb.-March Set in garden in May N/A

P=24"

R=36"

1/2" 4-5+ months Needs excellent drainge, a long growing season and warm soil.
Lettuce Feb.-March Set in garden in early April April

P=8-12"

R=18-24"

1/4" 70-90 days Grows best in the cool temperatures of spring and fall. Needs very rich soil and lots of moisture. Plant successive crops every two weeks til the end of April.
Onions

February

Set in garden in April

Plant onion sets in April

P=3"

R=12-18"

1/2" seeds 3-4 months sets 50-60 days Plant as early as possible. Apply a fertilizer high in phosphorus and potash. Onion sets may also be grown in planters.
Peas N/A April Successive plantings every 2 weeks

P=3-6" (doubled rows)

R=72"

1 1/2-2" 60 days Do best in cool temperatures, so plant early and harvest when the peas are young.
Peppers

Feb.-March

Set in garden in May

May

P=24"

R=24"

1/2" 4-5 months Do not provide too much nitrogen or you'll have lots of plant, little fruit. A black plastic mulch will warm the soil and promote good growth.
Potatoes N/A April-May

P=8"

R=36"

3-6" 90-150 days Plant a chunk of a 'seed' potato, containing 2 or more eyes. Harvest when the vine begins to die or has died completely. Leave the potatoes laying on the ground for a day to harden them and prevent bruising.
Pumpkins N/A May

P=6-8"

R=36"

3-4" 4-5 months Pumpkins take up a lot of room, so sometimes it is better to plant them outside of the garden. Will tolerate a small amount of shade.
Radishes

Feb.-March

Into garden in early April

April P=1-3" R=18-24" 1/2" 30 days Plant radishes early. They will go to flower when the warm temperatures arrive.
Rhubarb N/A Perennial... plant in early spring

P=24"

R=24-36"

3/4" Second spring Ready to harvest early in spring. Rhubarb likes soil high in organic material. Keep the bloom spikes cut off. Easily dividable.
Spinach N/A April

P=6"

R=12-18"

1/2" 90 days Soil pH should be between 6.0 and 6.7 Apply nitrate of soda between the rows to stimulate growth. Harvest spinach when young or the plants will go to seed.
Squash N/A May-June

P=36"

R=36"

3-4 plants per mound

1/2-1" 4-5 months Grows well in warm areas, prefers rich organic soil.
Tomatoes March May

P=30-36"

R=30-36"

1/2" 4-5 months Provide frost protection when first planted. Tomato plants may be trained on stakes, grown in cages, or allowed to crawl along the ground. Tomatoes will ripen after they have been picked.
Watermelons and muskmelons N/A May

P=72"

R=72"

1-2 plants per mound

1" 4-5 months Do best in sandy soil with plenty of added manure. Top dress with high nitrogen/potash fertilizer. Needs warm temperatures to mature.