Plan Your Fruit and Vegetable Growing by Season

Carrots Make Great Summer Snacks

Carrots Make Great Summer Snacks

Sow carrots in early spring for summer harvest.

©2012, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2012, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Sow carrots in early spring for summer harvest.

Knowing the seasons to sow, plant, and harvest each crop, along with the quirks of your local climate and the rough dates of the last frosts, will help you to plan a container garden that is both productive and attractive throughout the year.

Early Spring

As the weather warms up and the days lengthen it’s time to get sowing. Many crops can be sown outside now, but the warmth of a greenhouse or windowsill will give them a head start, and is essential for germinating tender crops.

Sow

  • Outdoors: arugula, beets, carrots, chives, chop suey greens, cilantro, corn salad, fennel, kale, kohlrabi, leeks, lettuce, onions, parsley, peas, radishes, scallions, spinach, Swiss chard, tarragon 
  • Under cover: alpine strawberries, arugula, basil, beets, carrots, celery root, corn, cucumbers, dwarf French beans, eggplants, lettuce, microgreens, peppers, tomatoes 

Plant

  • Outdoors: chives, fruit trees and bushes, garlic, mint, onion and shallot sets, potatoes, rhubarb, tarragon
  • Under cover: citrus trees

Harvest 

Chives, kale, leeks, microgreens, parsley, rhubarb, rosemary, sage, Swiss chard, thyme, windowsill herbs

Late Spring 

This is an exciting season, when everything is growing fast and baby vegetables are ready to harvest, but try not to get carried away. Crops like beets, carrots, lettuce, peas, and radishes are best sown in small amounts every couple of weeks for a continuous harvest. Make sure to harden off young plants before planting them outside, and protect vulnerable plants with fleece or cloches if cold nights are forecast. 

Sow 

  • Outdoors: American cress, arugula, beets, carrots, chicory, cilantro, corn, endive, Florence fennel, green beans, kale, kohlrabi, lettuce, mizuna, spinach, oregano, oriental mustard greens, parsley, peas, radicchio, radishes, runner beans, scallions, Swiss chard, thyme 
  • Under cover: basil, corn, cucumbers, eggplants, green beans, microgreens, runner beans, squashes, summer purslane, zucchini 

Plant 

  • Outdoors: alpine strawberries, celery root, fennel, green beans, leeks, lettuce, mint, oregano, parsley, potatoes, rosemary, runner beans, thyme 
  • Undercover: citrus fruit, cucumbers, eggplants, peppers, tomatoes 

Harvest

Arugula, basil, beets, carrots, chives, chop suey greens, cilantro, fennel, gooseberries, kohlrabi, microgreens, mint, oregano, parsley, peas, radishes, rhubarb, rosemary, sage, scallions, spinach, strawberries, tarragon, thyme 

Early Summer 

Summer arrives with a delicious glut of soft fruit, peas, and baby carrots. Net berries and currants to prevent birds from getting to them first. Plant out tender crops when frosts have passed, and sow fall and winter crops. 

Sow

  • Outdoors: American cress, arugula, beets, bok choy, carrots, chicory, chop suey greens, cilantro, corn, corn salad, cucumbers, endive, green beans, kale, kohlrabi, lettuce, mizuna, oregano, oriental mustard greens, peas, radicchio, radishes, runner beans, scallions, spinach, squashes, tarragon, Witloof chicory, zucchini 
  • Under cover: basil, microgreens 

Plant

  • Outdoors: celery root, corn, cucumbers, Florence fennel, kale, leeks, peppers, rosemary, squashes, tomatoes, zucchini 

Harvest 

American cress, arugula, basil, beets, carrots, cherries, chives, chop suey greens, corn salad, cucumbers, currants, fennel, gooseberries, herbs, kohlrabi, lettuce, microgreens, spinach, oregano, oriental mustard greens, peas, early potatoes, radicchio, radishes, rosemary, scallions, strawberries, Swiss chard, zucchini 

Late Summer

This time of year yields a bumper harvest of tree and soft fruits and a huge range of vegetables. Check frequently to catch crops, such as beans, when they are small and tender. Leafy crops sown now, including Swiss chard, can be harvested into winter if protected with cloches.

Sow

  • Outdoors: American cress, arugula, beets, bok choy, carrots, chop suey greens, cilantro, corn salad, kale, kohlrabi, mizuna, oriental mustard greens, radicchio, radishes, scallions, spinach, Swiss chard, tarragon, winter lettuce
  • Under cover: microgreens

Plant 

Kale, leeks, strawberries 

Harvest 

American cress, apples, apricots, arugula, basil, beets, blackberries, blueberries, bok choy, carrots, cherries, chicory, chili peppers, chives, chop suey greens, cilantro, corn, corn salad, cucumbers, currants, eggplants, endive, fennel, figs, Florence fennel, garlic, green beans, lettuce, microgreens, mint, mizuna, nectarines, spinach, onions, oregano, parsley, peaches, pears, peas, peppers, potatoes, radicchio, rosemary, runner beans, sage, shallots, tarragon, thyme, tomatoes, squashes, strawberries, zucchini 

Fall

Harvest the fruits of your labor now to enjoy them fresh or to store for later. Later in the season, sow peas outside for an extra early spring crop, and bring herbs indoors. 

Sow 

  • Outdoors: American cress, arugula, hardy peas, kohlrabi, radishes, winter lettuce 
  • Under cover: alpine strawberries, arugula, cut-and-come-again salad greens, microgreens 

Plant 

Garlic, strawberries, windowsill herbs, winter lettuce 

Harvest 

American cress, apples, apricots, arugula, beets, black- and blueberries, bok choy, carrots, celery root, chicory, chives, chop suey greens, corn, corn salad, cucumbers, eggplants, endive, fennel, figs, green beans, herbs, kale, leeks, microgreens, mizuna, nectarines, onions, oriental mustard greens, peaches, pears, peppers, potatoes, radicchio, radishes, runner beans, strawberries, Swiss chard, tomatoes, winter squashes, zucchini 

Winter

This is the quietest season, perfect for tidying, taking stock and planning for the year ahead. When the weather is not too cold most fruit trees and bushes can be planted and pruned. Garlic can also be planted, Witloof chicory forced for crisp salad leaves, and other hardy winter crops harvested, along with citrus fruit from the conservatory.

  • Outdoors: hardy peas 
  • Under cover: microgreens 

Plant 

Fruit trees and bushes, garlic, rhubarb 

Harvest 

American cress, arugula, celery root, citrus fruits, corn salad, kale, leeks, microgreens, mizuna, oriental mustard greens, parsley, Swiss chard, thyme, windowsill herbs, winter lettuce, Witloof chicory