What Vegetables to Plant and When? Knowing when to sow veggies is critical if you want to raise your own food. Growing your own vegetables from seed is not only a terrific method to provide fresh organic produce as part of a healthy diet, but it is also very fulfilling and beneficial to your overall health.
While seedlings and plug plants can be purchased from garden shops and online providers, growing vegetables from seed are the most cost-effective method, and it also allows you to experiment with a wide range of different vegetable species. However, with so many options, it can be difficult to know where to begin.
Whether you’re planning a kitchen garden or simply want to grow a few vegetables in containers on your patio or balcony, this helpful vegetable calendar will help you get your kitchen garden ideas off to a good start.
What Vegetables to Plant and When?
Planning when to plant vegetables can be difficult because there are so many different vegetable garden ideas available, as well as plants that can be planted every month of the year, from January to December. When planning a kitchen garden, a vegetable calendar is a fantastic place to start because it will help you know when to buy seeds so that you don’t miss out on growing your favourite veggies, as well as assist you schedule crop rotations on your patch. It’s also a great place to get ideas about what to grow.
When to plant vegetables depends on your location and weather conditions, so while a vegetable calendar is a helpful planning tool, it is also crucial to keep an eye on local temperatures. Throughout the gardening season, take notes on crucial weather conditions to help you create your own unique vegetable planting calendar. The last frost date is very significant for determining when to begin sowing and planting fragile crops.
The temperature of the soil is an important component in seed germination, and different seeds germinate at different temperatures, so consider purchasing a soil thermometer to ensure that the temperature is appropriate for planting. Because different types of the same vegetable can have varying sowing and planting times, always follow the recommendations on the seed packet.
With the ground still quite cold, January is a quiet season for sowing and growing vegetables, making it the ideal time to plan for the coming year. Take the time to peruse seed catalogues and map out your garden layout. However, there are several things that may be planted under cover to jumpstart your growing season.
Onions: Onions can be planted undercover in a greenhouse in January and February if grown from seed. While growing onions from sets (immature onion bulbs) are frequently the most convenient approach, knowing how to produce onions from seed may be important if you want to create a larger crop.
If you want to learn how to cultivate potatoes, January is the time to start by chitting your Early potato variety. Chitting increases potato sprouting before to planting and is typically done 6 weeks before seed potatoes are planted into beds.
Place seed potatoes on a tray (egg boxes work well) with their eyes up and place in a light, cool, frost-free location. The potatoes are ready to plant when the shoots are 1/2-1 inch (1-2cm) tall.
The weather is unpredictable in February, but some vegetable kinds, including hardy vegetables, can be sown under cover in the greenhouse or on a warm windowsill to kick start the growing season. You may start growing broad beans, peas, carrots, onions, the earliest potatoes, and salad crops beneath cloches in February,’ says gardening expert Leigh Clapp.
Tomatoes, peppers, cucumber, and eggplant, which require warmth and are best grown in a greenhouse, can also be planted under cover in February. With spring on the horizon, February is an excellent time to start preparing your beds for the growing season. You can also protect the soil by covering it with tarpaulin or cardboard.
What to Plant Indoors?
Fava Beans: Sow fava beans, commonly known as broad beans, inside in individual pots or modular trays to be planted out 4-6 weeks later. Alternatively, for an early spring yield, sow immediately from March to May or from October to November. In February, you can also seed directly under cloches.
Tomatoes: Sow tomatoes in a propagator in late February if you plan on growing tomatoes in a greenhouse. If you only want a few plants, sow them in seed trays or individual pots.
Peppers: Sow under cover from February to March. Sow seeds in pots or seed trays and place them in a heated propagator set to 65-70°F (18-21°C) or on a sunny window sill covered with a plastic bag.
Eggplant: To grow eggplant or aubergines in a greenhouse, sow seeds in individual pots in February and plant them out in April. Alternatively, start sowing in January for cultivation in a heated greenhouse. If transplanting outside, sow seeds underneath in March and plant out once frost danger has passed in late May.
What to Sow Outdoors?
Radish: From February to August, put seeds directly where they will grow in 12-inch (30cm) drills. Sow little and often to ensure a steady supply. Consider using a cover if sowing in February.
March is a good time to start sowing vegetable seeds outside in milder climates and areas with light, sandy soil. Organic materials will assist sandy beds to retain moisture. Outdoor sowing may be delayed in cooler climates and areas with heavy clay soil, according to gardening expert Leigh Clapp.
‘Clay soil needs breaking up and takes longer to warm up so suits later crops, whereas light soils are suitable for early veggies but will need huge quantities of manure and compost to avoid water draining away too soon. Loose, crumbly loam that absorbs and retains water and nutrients, is properly aerated, and drains freely is ideal.’
If you live in a cooler climate, you may want to wait until April to start direct sowing some of the vegetables on this list, but there are several that can be started in the greenhouse in March, such as sweetcorn, spinach, parsnips, leeks, kale, cauliflower, and beets. You can also keep sowing tomatoes, eggplant, and peppers undercover. What Vegetables to Plant and When?
What to Sow Indoors?
Pumpkin: Sow under cover from March to May, or straight from late May after the frost has passed.
Cucumber: If you intend to grow cucumbers in a greenhouse, put seeds now in small pots 12-344in (1-2cm) deep. Before you begin, make sure you understand how to cultivate cucumbers.
Tomatoes: Sow seeds under cover in March if you intend to transfer them outside.
What to Sow Outdoors?
Asparagus: In late March and early April, plant asparagus crowns.
Beetroot: From March to July, direct sow in rows 12 inches (30cm) apart for harvesting in as little as 7 weeks. Thin seedlings to 4 inches (10cm) apart when they are about 1 inch (2.5cm) tall. Sow every few weeks to ensure a steady supply.
Broad Beans: Directly sow seeds into rich, healthy soil loaded with manure or organic particles. Sow seeds 9 inches (23cm) apart in double rows 9 inches (23cm) apart, with 24 inches (60cm) between each double row. Make sure you know how to plant fava beans before you start.
Leeks: In March and April, sow leeks in a prepared seedbed for transplanting to their final location in early summer. Alternatively, they can be seeded in modules under cover from January to March and placed in a propagator for later planting out. Harvesting season is from October to March.
Onions: From mid-March until mid-April, plant onion sets. Plant instead between October and November.
Parsnips: From March to May, straight sow in a prepared bed in a sunny location. The soil should be friable and devoid of stones.
Peas: Direct sow peas from March to July for harvesting from July to October. Sow them in trenches 2 inches (5cm) apart and 3 inches (7.5cm) apart to grow them outside. There are three types of peas: early, second early, and maincrop peas, and each is best planted at a different time, so learn how to cultivate peas before you begin.
Potatoes: The plant chitted First Early potatoes are ready for harvest in 11-13 weeks if planted in mid-late March. When to plant potatoes can vary depending on the variety, so do your homework first.
Spinach: From March to June, straight plant summer spinach. From May through October, sow every three weeks for harvesting. Sow thinly in 1-inch (2.5cm) deep holes spaced 12 inches (30cm) apart.
Spring Onion: From March to August, straight sow seeds. Sow thinly in drills every three weeks to provide a steady supply. Spring onions can be harvested in as little as 8 weeks after planting.
April is a busy month in the vegetable garden because it is the start of the outdoor sowing season. As you go, label your sowings with the vegetable kind and date. When direct sowing, avoid walking on freshly dug soil; instead, use planks to stand on. What Vegetables to Plant and When?
What to Plant Indoors?
Zucchini: Sow zucchini seeds in 3-inch (7.5cm) pots and set them in a propagator or on a sunny windowsill to grow.
Sweetcorn: Sow sweetcorn seeds under glass in mid-April and early May for optimal results, and plant out in late May to early June.
What to Plant Outdoors?
Broccoli: From May to April, straight sow broccoli outdoors. Sow where you want them to grow, or sow in a seedbed or under shelter, and transplant them to their final location 5-7 weeks later.
Carrots: If you’re wondering how to grow carrots, April is the month to start sowing seeds outside. Sow thinly 12in (1cm) thick in rows 6-12in (15-30cm) apart. Ensure that the soil has been thoroughly scraped up and raked to a fine tilth – it must be clear of stones since this can result in forked carrots.
Cabbage: In April and May, plant winter cabbage. Plant seedlings in their permanent location in late June to July, when the plants have 5-6 true leaves.
Cauliflower: Plant outside in April for transplanting in June. Cauliflower comes in three varieties: spring, summer, and autumn, with different planting seasons according to the variety.
Chard: Chard, commonly known as beet leaf, is a tasty and adaptable hardy biennial that can be sown directly from March to September, although sowing in April and July is a smart method to maintain a consistent harvest throughout the year.
Potatoes: Plant second-early potatoes in early to mid-April, then maincrop potatoes in late April.
Salads and lettuce: Sow rocket, salads, and summer lettuce directly. Alternatively, start sowing in March under cloches.
May is still a busy month for planting vegetable seeds. In the UK, the risk of frost has usually passed by mid-May, allowing you to direct sow half-hardy annuals and harden off fragile vegetables produced under cover for planting outside, such as courgettes, pumpkin, and French beans.
Hardening off is the process of progressively bringing delicate plants outside to acclimatise them to lower conditions. Plants raised in a hot greenhouse should be moved to an unheated greenhouse for two weeks before being moved to a cold frame. If you do not have a greenhouse or cold frame, place the plants outside in the sun for a few hours each day and gradually extend the time period. Broccoli, cabbage, carrot, parsnip, peas, and spinach can all be sown directly.
What to Plant Outdoors?
French beans: Direct-sow French beans in May once the risk of frost has gone, or sow under cover in March for later transplanting. Sow in succession till the end of June for harvesting until early October.
Zucchini: From late May to June, straight sow zucchini outside. Plant out courgettes grown under cover beginning in late May, but be sure to harden them off first.
Pumpkin: To cultivate pumpkins, direct sow pumpkin seeds where you want them to grow in late May or early June. Pumpkins grow best in warm weather, so cover them with cloches to give them the best start.
6. Vegetables to Plant in June
In June, you can continue to sow radish, salad, and carrots in succession, as well as straight sow zucchini, beetroot, peas, French beans, and parsnips. What Vegetables to Plant and When?
What to Plant Outdoors?
Fennel: Sow seeds directly in fertile, moist soil in late June. Water during dry spells and thin to one plant every 10in (25cm) in rows 18in (45cm) apart.
Brassicas: Direct sow brassicas such as kale, cabbage, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts for winter harvesting.
July is the last month to seed French beans, and winter winer leeks can be planted into their final position. Fast-growing plants such as radish, spring onions, and beetroot can still be planted. There is a lot of harvesting to accomplish in July, including carrots, radish, beetroot, chard, peas, salad leaves, broad beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, and more!
What to Sow Outside?
Chard: Sowing a second crop of chard in July will ensure a steady supply throughout the autumn. Sowings formed in July can be overwintered and harvested the following spring.
Spring Cabbage: Sow spring cabbage in seed beds in July and August, then transplant to their ultimate location in September and October, ready for harvest the following spring.
Pak Choi: Pak choi can be harvested as early as 30 days in baby leaf form or 45-70 days as semi-mature to full-size heads and is easy to produce from seed.
Your vegetable plot will be at its optimum in August, with a surplus of produce ready for harvest, but there are some winter crops you can grow, such as spinach, kohl rabi, and spring cabbage, as well as winter salad greens.
What so Plant Outside?
Spinach: Late August is an excellent time to plant a second crop of spinach. Because spinach is a cool-season crop that can readily go to seed in hot weather, seeds are best planted in early spring, late summer, and early fall.
Kohl Rabi: This brassica can be harvested until November if planted in August. Sow directly in drills 12 inches (30cm) apart and 12in (1cm) deep. Thin seedlings at 1in 2.5cm tall to a final spacing of 6in 15cm (15cm) apart in hot weather and maintain well watered. Choose between the sizes of a golf ball and a tennis ball.
9. Vegetables to Plant in September
Winter Salads: There are numerous hardy salads that will thrive in the winter, including Lamb’s lettuce, mustard greens, ‘Winter Gem’ lettuce, arugula, and oriental leaves like mibuna and mizuna. Because the earth is still warm in the early fall, this is the ideal time to plant them. Seeds can be sown in seed trays or directly into finely raked soil.
What to Plant Outside?
Garlic: You can start planting garlic in October. Garlic is often produced from sets rather than seeds, and it is best planted in the autumn because it requires a cold spell to accelerate development. There are, however, certain kinds that can be planted in the early spring. Sets should be acquired from a garden centre or a specialised mail-order supplier rather than a supermarket. There are two types to select from hardneck and softneck.
To sow, break the bulb into cloves and plant them in rows 4-6 inches (10-15cm) apart, 1 inch (2.5cm) deep, pointed end up. Garlic rots in wet soil, so if you have thick clay soil, consider beginning them in modules. Learning more about how to cultivate garlic can assure the success of your crop.
Broad Beans: Early kinds of broad beans can be planted directly in October if your vegetable garden is in a sheltered location for an early crop the following year.
As the temperature decreases, only a few sowings may be made in November, but there are still plenty of edibles to harvest, including brassicas like kale, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and kalettes. Root vegetables, including the last carrots, parsnip, beetroot, and celeriac, as well as resilient salad leaves, can be pulled.
Asparagus: While asparagus is generally planted in the spring, you may also grow it in the fall to give the harvest a head start.
12. Vegetables to Plant in December
December is an excellent time to plan what you will raise in the next year, and crisp winter days can be used to prepare the soil for the upcoming growing season. Make a note of what worked well and plan crop rotations for the following year. What Vegetables to Plant and When?
Winter salad: Mustard greens, mizuna, corn salad, lambs lettuce, and ‘Winter Gem’ lettuce seeds can be cultivated outside in a cold frame or unheated greenhouse. If you live in a mild climate, you can grow them in the ground and cover them with cloches if temps drop significantly.
Garlic: The month of December marks the final opportunity to grow fall garlic types. Sets can be planted directly if you live in a moderate environment and have free-draining soil; they do not grow well in wet soils.