Planting in Season

Vegetables, flowers, and herbs—all plants for that matter— should be planted in season. This is a good way to love your plants. If they are forced (grown out of season), much of their energy is used up straining to combat unseasonable weather in the form of cold, heat, rain, or drought. Less energy is left for balanced growth, and a plant with limited energy reserves— not unlike people—is more susceptible to disease and insect attacks. Also, for the best crop health and yields, be sure to keep your plants harvested! To determine the best time to plant various crops, see the information on page 82.

Best Posture While Weeding Planting
Appropriate posture can make weeding easier.
grains

cover crops

cover crops em

SATISFACTORY (AND OPTIMAL) PLANT-GROWING TEMPERATURE RANGES7 Determine the Planting-Range Calendar for Your Area

Crop Season

Cool-Season Crops8

Optimal Temperature Temperature Range Range

45°-85°F

  • 60°-65°F)
  • 60°-65°F)
  • 55°-75°F)

Plant

Asparagus • Rhubarb

Beet • Broad bean • Broccoli • Brussels sprouts • Cabbage • Chard • Collard • Horseradish • Kale • Kohlrabi Parsnip • Radish • Rutabaga • Sorrel • Spinach • Turnip

Artichoke • Carrot • Cauliflower • Celeriac • Celery • Chicory • Chinese cabbage • Endive • Florence fennel • Lettuce • Mustard • Parsley • Pea • Potato

Chicory • Chive • Garlic • Leek • Onion • Salsify • Shallot

Warm-Season Crops

50°-80°F 50°-95°F 50°-90°F 60°-90°F

  • 60°-70°F) Bean • Lima bean
  • 60°-75°F) Corn • Cowpea • New Zealand spinach
  • 65°-75°F) Pumpkin • Squash
  • 65°-75°F) Cucumber • Muskmelon

Hot-Season Crops

65°-85°F 65°-95°F

  • 70°-75°F) Sweet pepper • Tomato
  • 70°-85°F) Eggplant • Hot pepper • Okra

Sweet potato • Watermelon

  1. From James Edward Knott, Handbook for Vegetable Growers (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1957), pp. 6-7.
  2. Try these crops in shady areas in the summer. Remember, crops need at least 4 hours of direct sunlight to grow. Seven hours are preferred, and 11 hours are even better.

SOIL TEMPERATURE CONDITIONS FOR VEGETABLE SEED GERMINATION9

Crop

Minimum

Optimum Range

Optimum

Maximum

Asparagus

50°F

60°-85°F

75°F

95°F

Bean

60°F

60°-85°F

80°F

95°F

Bean, Lima

60°F

65°-85°F

85°F

85°F

Beet

40°F

50°-85°F

85°F

95°F

Cabbage

40°F

45°-95°F

85°F

100°F

Carrot

40°F

45°-85°F

80°F

95°F

Cauliflower

40°F

45°-85°F

80°F

100°F

Celery

40°F

60°-70°F

70°F*

85°F*

Chard, Swiss

40°F

50°-85°F

85°F

95°F

Corn

50°F

60°-95°F

95°F

105°F

Cucumber

60°F

60°-95°F

95°F

105°F

Eggplant

60°F

75°-90°F

85°F

95°F

Lettuce

35°F

40°-80°F

5°F

85° F

Muskmelon

60°F

75°-95°F

90°F

100°F

Okra

60°F

70°-95°F

95°F

105°F

Onion

35°F

50°-95°F

75°F

95°F

Parsley

40°F

50°-85°F

75°F

90°F

Parsnip

35°F

50°-70°F

65°F

85°F

Pea

40°F

40°-75°F

75°F

85°F

Pepper

60°F

65°-95°F

85°F

95°F

Pumpkin

60°F

70°-90°F

95°F

100°F

Radish

40°F

45°-90°F

85°F

95°F

Spinach

35°F

45°-75°F

70°F

85°F

Squash

60°F

70°-95°F

95°F

100°F

Tomato

50°F

60°-85°F

85°F

95°F

Turnip

40°F

60°-105°F

85°F

105°F

Watermelon

60°F

70°-95°F

95°F

105°F

*Daily fluctuation to 60 degrees or lower at night is essential.

9. From James Edward Knott, Handbook for Vegetable Growers (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1957), p. 8.

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Essential Guide to Organic Gardening

Essential Guide to Organic Gardening

By gardening organically, the dependence on chemicals is removed. By eliminating chemicals used in regular gardening, your vegetables will be healthier because they will get the nutrients by natural means. Unlike traditional gardening; organic gardening will help to prevent potentially harmful toxins from entering your body. Lastly, it is much more environmentally friendly.

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