When deciding when to plant vegetables for best results, there are some guidelines to follow that can reduce the margin of error and risk and pave the way for a successful experience. For beginning gardeners in particular, it is important to know the basics of deciding when the plant vegetables to avoid an initially discouraging foray into the art and science of vegetable gardening. Learn from experts the guidelines that can be a better predictor of success when planting vegetables in your growing zone.
Pay Attention to Temperature and Growing Zone
From air to soil, vegetables can be very sensitive to inhospitable temperatures. When planting vegetables, the first task to complete is to determine your USDA Plant Hardiness Zones and what varietals of vegetables are likely to grow well in your hardiness zone. Next, evaluate where you are seasonally and determine if you are wanting to begin planting vegetables in fall or spring, which can help to determine which types of vegetables may fare well. The timing of the first or last frost of the season will play into soil temperatures and how young vegetable crops interact with their environments, since many vegetables will fail if hit with a frost during critical growing times.
Additional Basic Guidelines for Planting Vegetables
Experts suggest not planting vegetables until the soil temperature reaches a stable temperatures above 50 degrees Fahrenheit, and to give a window of one month after the end of the last frost before sowing seeds. This is also important because most vegetable crops will only fare well in firm, warm, moist soils, and overly cold temperatures can produce damp, soggy, cold soils that will rot or throw seeds into dormancy.
Finally, some types of vegetable seeds can be immediately sown in the soil outdoors, while others will only germinate in special conditions indoors. Know which is which before planting vegetables.