How to Create a Garden Planting Calendar

Avoid the temptation of planting too early by making a calendar with planting times for various crops. Follow these steps.

Choose the Right Time to Plant

Choose the Right Time to Plant

Although it can be tempting to try to get a jump on the gardening season during an early warm spell, it's best to be patient and wait until the weather is right to plant.

Photo by: 5-second Studio / Shutterstock.com

5-second Studio / Shutterstock.com

Although it can be tempting to try to get a jump on the gardening season during an early warm spell, it's best to be patient and wait until the weather is right to plant.

Step 1: Learn Last Spring Frost Date for Region

You can check with a gardening neighbor or call your Cooperative Extension office. Since the actual last frost can occur days or weeks before or after the average, always be prepared to protect tender plants for a few weeks after this date has passed.

Step 2: Mark Average Last Frost Date on Calendar

You'll be counting backwards from that date for cool-season crops that can be set out before the last frost date, and counting forward for heat-loving crops.

Step 3: Make Your Planting List

Consult seed packets or other resources to determine whether crops should be sown directly in the garden, or started indoors (or purchased as transplants). Determine the cold-tolerance of the crops, too. Broccoli, for example, tolerates cool weather and can take a light frost. Tomatoes, on the other hand, need warmth.

Step 4: Mark Planting Dates on Calendar

Mark dates for indoor seed-starting, dates for sowing in the garden, and dates for transplanting seedlings into the garden. The following cool-season crops can be planted a few weeks before the average last frost date: broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, lettuce and spinach. For the following warm-season plants, wait until after the last frost date to sow seeds in the garden or set plants outdoors: cucumbers, melons, peppers, squash and tomatoes.

Next Up

How to Plant Bromeliads

Learn about this low-maintenance family of plants known for its clustered leaves and showy, long-lasting flowers.

How to Plant and Install Ecoroofs

Rooftop gardening, or ecoroofs, are the newest way to garden. The benefits of ecoroofs are plenty and, best of all, a "green" roof is very interesting to look at, not to mention beautiful.

How to Plant and Grow Marigold Flowers

Easy-to-grow marigolds add bright yellow, gold, orange and creamy-white color to gardens and containers from spring into fall.

Think Outside the Pot: Plant a Container Butterfly Garden

Lure butterflies right to your door with a collection of containers filled with nectar-rich flowers.

Where to Buy Vegetable Plants Online

It's perfectly acceptable to grow many veggies and herbs from transplants instead of seed, and you can even order some online.

How to Grow Rice

Learn how to cultivate a worldwide staple and ornamental plant with these easy-to-follow instructions.

Learn How to Start Seedlings on a Windowsill

Get your garden started indoors.

How to Plant a Cutting Garden

Use these tips to grow bouquets of fresh flowers right outside your back door.

Plant a Soup Garden

Grab your stock pot! Soup’s on the menu when you fill your garden with crops that blend beautifully with flavorful broth.

Planting Bulbs in Containers

Follow these easy steps for planting bulbs in containers and you'll have a display that brings spring to your doorstep.

Go Shopping

Spruce up your outdoor space with products handpicked by HGTV editors.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.

Related Pages