Organic Gardening Tips : Vegetable Gardening Tip

In order to find out when to plant vegetables, you need to understand vegetable gardening. This article gets into details for many regions (zones) and walks you through the process of planning your vegetable garden, understanding gardening season, and provides tips on vegetable gardening overall with a focus on when to plant vegetables. please scroll down:

Vegetable Gardening Tip - Table of Contents  
Vegetable Gardening Tip : If you are planning a vegetable garden, or would like some vegetable gardening tips, you have come to the right place. Please read page 1 of our main article.  
Vegetable Gardening : Page two of vegetable gardening tip will discuss the importance of trial and error when it comes to organic vegetable gardening.  
Organic Vegetable Gardening : Will provide great tips of planning your garden, soil conditions, and the first step for starting your vegetable garden.  
Vegetable Garden : Page four of vegetable gardening tip will help you decide which selection of vegetables are best for you, and what a beginners best resource is.  
Organic Gardening : Is the final page of our main vegetable gardening tip article and will discuss several reasons why organic vegetables and organic gardening are a healthy and rewarding place to go when vegetable gardening.  
When to Plant Vegetables – Vegetable Gardening Tip  
 

When To Plant Vegetables - Gardening for your Region

Do you dream of fresh mouth-watering produce but donít know where to get started? Have you thought that someday you would like to plant a vegetable garden but havenít decided when or where to start? Do you like the idea of vegetable shopping in your backyard? Would you prefer a healthier lifestyle and are concerned with freshness or pesticide use?

This article will tempt you and empower you to growing your own vegetable garden by discussing the following:

Where do I start?
Know Your Zone and Frost Dates
Plot out your garden
Planning your Garden
When to Plant a Vegetable Garden?
Plant in fall
Seed indoors
Sow directly
Purchase plants
Harden off
Planting tips and strategies
Planting companions
Protecting your plants from frost
Crop Rotation

Plan to Succeed

Where do I start?

Start with deciding you are actually going to plant your garden this year. It is simpler than you think. Plan a small garden as you can always expand next year. Recruit a friend, your children or spouse to help you and make it a group effort. Choose vegetables that you love to eat.

Know Your Zone and Frost Dates

Locate your plant hardiness zone. Most vegetables and herbs are annuals with a few exceptions. The zone and dates will help you plan for plant selection as well as time lines for planting and harvest. It is easy to locate this information on the internet or by person.

You can do a search specifically for plant hardiness zone, or go to The United States National Arboretum website at www.usna.usda.gov, which includes Canada, Mexico and the US. Simply click on your region or on the state abbreviation. Zones are color-coded and numbered from 1 to 11 in the US, with 1 being the coldest region, 11 the warmest. The legend indicates the average annual minimal temperature range for each region. Knowing your zone can impact on seed selection and perennial vegetable plants.

For more detailed Canadian information, visit www.atlas.nrcan.gc.ca. The charts for Canada similarly range from 0 to 8.

For frost dates, you will need both the spring (last frost) and fall (first frost) dates. These vary by zone, region and sometimes year to year. They are based on historical data. Changing weather patterns can alter these dates. Generally, plant outdoors after the spring frost date in your area, and try to cultivate before the fall frost date. Seeds may be planted before the spring dates, however they should not have germinated above ground during a frost. This may kill a plant which is susceptible to frost.

The farmerís almanac which has been around for more than a century also has helpful weather-related predictions both short and long term for the upcoming year and is available online at www.farmersalmanac.com or in book format. It is good to glance at occasionally for planning and interest.

In person, it is easy to ask a gardening neighbor or buddy, or ask at your local gardening center. They have an idea of what zone and what are typical frost dates for your area. This will help you with your planning.

ZONE AND AVERAGE FROST DATES

Zone - Spring frost range (Last of season), Fall frost range (First of season)

1

Jun1-30

Jul1-31

2

May 1-31

Aug 1-31

3

May1-31

Sept 1-30

4

May1-30

Sept1-30

5

Mar30-Apr30

Sept30-Oct30

6

Mar30-Apr30

Sept30-Oct30

7

Mar30-Apr30

Oct30-Nov30

8

Feb28-Mar30

Oct30-Nov30

9

Jan 30-Feb28

Nov30-Dec30

10

Jan 30 or before

Nov30-Dec30

11

No frost

Plot out your garden

Choose a sunny level location for your garden with at least 6 hours of direct sunlight, whether it be a traditional plot of land, raised beds or container gardening. If possible, prepare your soil in the fall by adding compost or nutrients, ready for spring planting.

Measure your garden space and prepare a grid on paper as this space will determine the amount of plants. Be sure to take into consideration the traditional spacing of plants, usually found on your seed packet. The height and width of the plants is also important. Plan to have taller plants in the northern areas to avoid the blocking of sunlight on the southern side of your garden. Garden rows should run East / West, to allow as many plants as possible direct contact with the southern sun. Draw your garden on paper, using your list of desired plants. This will help you determine the amount of seed or seedlings to buy. Make notes of anticipated planting times to help keep you organized for planting and harvesting. Keep your notes year to year, to help you remember planting times and locations to help with plant rotation.

Planning your Garden

Obtain or make a year at a glance calendar January to December, with space for 52 vertical weeks per year. Mark the typical frost line for spring and fall. What is in between shows your outdoor growing season. List your selected plants in the left hand column, and mark off in weeks the amount of growing time needed, starting form the fall frost line and moving backwards. Make sure your plants are finished growing and vegetables are ready for harvest before the fall frost line. This may mean more than one harvest as in the case of lettuce that has a short growing season. It may mean purchasing live plants or starting seedlings indoors where the estimated time to plant maturity exceeds the growing season ex. Celery, tomatoes and watermelon in this example.

When to Plant Vegetables / When to Plant a Vegetable Garden?

Seeds are available almost everywhere from your grocery and hardware stores, to gardening centers and seed distribution centres. They can be ordered over the internet directly with seed companies. For the greatest variety and special criteria ex. Organic or locally grown, consult a garden centre or the internet to meet your needs. Why not try exciting new varieties that differ from your usual grocery store fare such as purple radishes or string beans, heirloom tomatoes or cayenne peppers. Also, consider planting some herb varieties to tempt your palate.

Some plants will need to be started indoors or to have seedlings purchased at a greenhouse. Some plants such as lettuce and corn are best sown every 2 weeks to ensure a steady supply.

These general guidelines can be adapted to your specific area, based on your vegetables of choice and your frost dates. These are for direct seed sowing in the soil. Other vegetables can be grown by starting seeds indoors to prolong the growing season.

Plant

Days to harvest

Region 1

 

Zones 3-7

 

Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Rocky Mountain West

Region 2

 

Zones 6-9

 

Pacific North West

Region 3

 

Zones 8-10

Southern California,

South Western States

Region 4

 

Zones 6-7

 

Mountain South incl. NC, TN, VA,WV, KY

Region 5

 

Zones 7-11

 

Deep South and Hawaii

Early spring to mid-summer direct seed sowing into the ground

Vegetable

 

 

 

 

 

 

beans

55-85

June-July

June-July

July-August

July

April-June

beets

60-80

 

June-August

 

 

April-June

carrots

55-70

June-July

June-August

June-August

June-August

April-June

chives

80

May

April

April

May

April-May

corn

60-110

May-June

 

April-July

June-July

May-June

cucumber

45-60

June

June-July

April-June

June

 

eggplant

50-60

 

June-July

 

 

 

green pepper

140-180

 

June-July

May-June

June-July

May-June

leaf lettuce

45-60

May-June

May-July

April-July

May-July

April-June

onion

90

May-June

June-August

April-July

May-July

April-June

parsley

65-75

May-June

May-July

April-July

May-June

April-June

peas

60-70

May-June

May-July

April-July

May-June

April-June

potato

90-120

May

May-July

April-July

May-June

April-June

radishes

25

May-June

May-July

April-July

May-June

April-June

sunflowers

95

May-June

May-July

April-July

May-June

 

Swiss chard

40-50

 

June-August

April-July

May-June

April-June

tomato

140-190

 

 

June

 

June-July

Late summer to early fall seed sowing

Beans

55-85

 

Sept-Oct

Aug-Sept

 

Aug-Sept

Cabbage

55-100

Jul-Aug

Aug

Aug-Oct

Jul-Aug

Sept-Oct

carrots

55-70

 

Aug

Aug-Oct

Aug

Sept-Oct

cucumbers

45-70

 

 

Aug-Sep

 

Aug-Sep

lettuce

45-60

Aug

Aug-Sep

Aug-Oct

Aug-Sep

Sept-Oct

onions

65-110

Aug

 

Sept

Aug-Sep

Aug-Oct

peas

60-70

July

July

Aug-Sept

July

 

radishes

25

Aug-Oct

Aug-Oct

Sept-Oct

Sept-Oct

Oct

spinach

30-40

Aug

Aug-Sep

Aug-Oct

Aug-Sep

Sept-Oct

Late fall to early winter seed sowing

carrots

55-70

*Oct

Sept-Oct

Oct-Dec

*Nov

Oct-Dec

collards

70-80

 

Sept-Oct

Oct-Nov

*Nov

Oct-Nov

kale

30-42

 

Sept-Oct

Oct-Nov

*Nov

Oct-Nov

lettuce

45-60

*Oct

Sept-Oct

Oct-Dec

Sept *Nov

Oct-Dec

peas

60-70

*Oct

Sept-Oct

 

*Nov

Nov-Dec

radishes

25

*Oct

Sept-Nov

Oct-Dec

Oct

Oct-Dec

spinach

30-40

*Oct

Sept-Oct

Oct-Dec

*Nov

Oct-Dec

turnips

55-90

*Oct

Aug-Sept

Oct-Nov

*Nov

Oct-Nov

* planting for next yearís crop

Plant in fall

Cool weather plants are best grown in spring and fall, thus planted late just before the final frost or early in spring. If your zone permits, you may plant a second crop by planting early in the fall to have a second harvest. These vegetables include lettuce, peas spinach and radishes by seed. Onions are best planted by bulb, and can also be planted before the final frost.

Seed indoors

Depending on your zone, you may need to plant seeds indoors for some varieties of seed. Simply count backwards from the frost date in your area for the specific variety of seed selected. Ranges for typical seeds are present below. If your days to harvest exceed your growing season, planting seeds indoors is the least expensive option. Ensure you have shallow trays of typical dirt and natural light from a window if south or west facing. An option is to use a grow light that has full-spectrum lighting. This is important because seeds will not prosper without it. Typical plants to start indoors include tomatoes, celery, peppers, watermelon or seeds with a large number of days to harvest. Plants do best with seedlings that have been transplanted from the tray beds to small pots or containers after germination as this is more soil depth for the root development.

Sow directly

Depending on your area, most seeds will be transplanted directly into the soil. Onions and rhubarb should be sown from a bulb and root stock respectively. To keep your lines straight, place a piece of string between two wooded sticks and have a person hold each end for the length of your row. Mark the soil with a hoe a few inches deep.

Purchase plants

Look for healthy dark green firm well-developed plants instead of pale, long lanky ones. The latter have been starved for light and typically do not do well. Avoid flowering plants if possible, as a lot of the plants energy will go into the development of the root system, rather than developing a vegetable at planting time.

Harden off

All seedlings should be hardened off prior to planting. Place plants outside in their containers for a gradually incrementing amount of time over 2 weeks. Typically start off with 2 hours and add an hour or two a day, until the plants have been outside for a full continuous 24 hours. This acclimatises them to the sunís heat, wind, humidity and temperature for your region prior to transplanting.

Planting tips and strategies

Tomatoes Ė To prevent blossom end rot, place 1 tbsp calcium (powdered milk or ground eggshells) in the freshly dug hole prior to planting your tomato seedling or seed outdoors.

Lettuce Ė To minimize worm infestations from eating your leaves, sprinkle Epsom salt lightly with your seed as you are planting. Some regions benefit from protective wire to prevent animals from munching on your plants.

Corn, peas, beans, tomatoes are said to be best planted on the eve of a full moon.

Another way to extend the growing season and stagger plant harvest is to use a protective surround such as Kozy Coats or a cold frame around delicate tomato or pepper plants in the spring. This helps keep the temperature surrounding the plant a few degrees warmer, allowing you to plant your seedling earlier and get a head start for the growing season.

Plant climbing vines and plants near tall plants such as corn, as the latter provides a natural place for peas and pumpkin vines to climb as they grow.

Planting companions

These pairings generally help against disease and bug infestations. It can be helpful to plan at least one helpful plant near potential troublesome target plants. Avoid planting target plant near plants that reduce their mutual efficacy.

Plant

Benefited by

Impeded by

bean

Corn, cucumber, strawberry

onion

beet

cabbage, lettuce, onion

bean

cabbage

Celery, onion, potato

Strawberry, tomato

carrot

Chive, lettuce, onion, pea,

dill

corn

Bean, cucumber, pea, potato, pumpkin

tomato

cucumber

Bean, corn, onion, pea, radish, sunflower

potato

eggplant

Green bean

 

green pepper

Basil, okra

 

kale

Cabbage, potato, sage

Wild mustard

lettuce

Cucumber, radish, strawberry

Bean, tomato

onion

Chamomile, savoury

Bean, pea

parsley

tomato

 

pea

Carrot, rash, turnip

 

potato

Bean, corn, eggplant

 

radish

Mustard, nasturtium

 

spinach

strawberry

 

tomato

Asparagus, carrot, celery, onions, parsley

Corn, potato

turnip

pea

mustard

Ref: Carrots Love Tomatoes

Protecting your plants from frost

Near the actual dates, you may need to listen to weather forecasts to find out what the overnight temperature will be (Above 32ļ F or 0ļC). Being aware of the temperature patterns in your area may help you to anticipate a frost. In the South, be aware of Northern air currents that can cool off the night air by 50ļF. In the North, be aware of a sudden clearing of wind and a drop in temperature of 40ļF in the evening with a clear sky and an absence of dew.

If your plants are in the ground, you may need to protect them by covering them with a tarp or covering that reaches all the way to the ground. The idea is to trap radiating heat form the ground. Mulching, watering them overnight or harvesting early or other alternatives. You can do this once or twice to save your plants and produce from a light frost, but it generally is a sign that the growing season is over and your harvest should be removed as soon as possible. If your plants do not survive a spring frost, they can easily be replaced, either by re-sowing seeds in the ground if you have enough growing time or by purchasing plants at your local greenhouse. Fall frosts can damage your harvest.

Some plants are more frost hardy than others. The very susceptible plants include tomatoes, watermelon, and lettuce. Corn, carrots, potatoes and pumpkin are more frost hardy plants.

Crop Rotation

To minimize disease, bug infestations and soil mineral depletion, it is best to change the location of specific plant types from year to year. This allows the soil to rest and minimizes the return or proliferation of specific insects in your garden. A rotation plan set over 3 years is recommended.

Conclusion

There is no better time to start planning your garden. Roll up your sleeves and dig in. Do your homework by finding out your frost dates and zone. Select interesting varieties of your favourite vegetables and include your family. Carefully choose your garden location. Plant your seeds and seedlings to maximize garden productivity, obtaining multiple harvests of the same vegetable where possible. Protect your plants from frost. Minimize the effects of disease and insects by rotating the position of your plants in your garden year to year. Bite into the vegetables of your labour!

Thank you to Joel Chartier for this "When to Plant Vegetables" article.

 
Latest Vegetable Gardening Tip Articles:  
 

Tips on Gardening (NEW!) - In this economy people are staying home more, and thatís led to a renewed interest in gardening. Gardening is an excellent hobby for those who like being outside. Itís fun for everyone from children to seniors. Plus, with these tips on gardening, you can save money by growing vegetables that you like to eat. So with a nod to todayís economy, here are some tips on gardening for beginners on a budget...

Tomato Gardening - There are different types of tomatoes and the best way to organize the many varieties is through the following categories: Plum Tomatoes, Salad Tomatoes, Cherry Tomatoes, and Beef Steak Tomatoes. There are several tomatoes that fall into each category...

Vegetable Gardening Guide - Planting, reaping and eating vegetables you have grown yourself is one of the great pleasures of life. In fact, many gardeners take great pride in sharing vegetables they have grown themselves. Apart from the pleasure of gardening, the exercise obtained is an added bonus...

When to Plant Vegetables - Do you dream of fresh mouth-watering produce but donít know where to get started? Have you thought that someday you would like to plant a vegetable garden but havenít decided when or where to start? Do you like the idea of vegetable shopping in your backyard? Would you prefer a healthier lifestyle and are concerned with freshness or pesticide use? This article will tempt you and empower you to growing your own vegetable garden by discussing...

Organic Gardening Tips - In an age when the political right has, out of whatever motive, jumped on the "go green" bandwagon, increased interest in organic gardening comes as no surprise. Of course, like new ideas such as alternative medicine and hormone-free animal husbandry, the fact of the matter is that organic gardening has historically been the standard practice...

Vegetable Dishes - Gardening is one of the most popular hobbies for millions of people around the world. If you are a novice, you might fear what to do with all of the produce you have coming from your garden. Or while you might be an avid gardener, you can always use more recipes for your harvest. Take advantage of the following vegetable dishes by using your own vegetables fresh out of the garden...

Flower Gardening Tips - Flowers are some of the most beautiful plants that can be readily seen anywhere. Flowers, which are bright and full in color, can instantly draw the instant attention of the eyes, and add a great deal of character and charm to a yard or garden. For those that love to plant flowers, there are several great gardening tips that can be used for making the best of the garden, as well as the flowers that are planted...

Organic Vegetables - The days of the small family-run corner stores, offering organic vegetables from the nearby farm, are thankfully returning in a strong way. However, instead having to buy the organic vegetables in a remote location from Mom and Pop Farmer, these chemical- and pesticide-free vegetables are coming to us. Organic foods are now widely available in practically every supermarket chain. Within the U.S., organic food sales have experienced up to a 20 percent growth rate in the last few years. Comparatively, conventionally grown vegetables are experiencing only a 2 to 3 percent growth margin. So, What are organic vegetables?...

 
   
   
     
 
Copyright Vegetablegardeningtip.com © 2006-2011, All rights reserved