Spring is less than six weeks away, and gardeners are preparing to start plants that will be ready for the growing season. Geared to the Mid-Atlantic climate, this calendar assumes a last frost date of April 15, late for Washington but still a time of risk to gardens to the north and west of the city. If frost is predicted after transplants are planted, they should be covered for the night. To avoid the work and required equipment and materials of indoor seed-starting, commercially grown transplants can be used instead come spring. Growing from seed is more economical and broadens varietal choice.

Sow indoors in seed trays under growing lights. Move seedlings into individual pots four weeks after germination. Transplant into the garden after “hardening off” plants for a week.

 

Transplants should be moved to a sheltered outdoor location away from direct sunlight and wind for a week before planting, kept watered and brought indoors on nights that drop below 45 degrees.

After hardening off, transplants should be placed in garden beds, preferably on cloudy days or in the early evening to avoid sun scald. Water daily until they are established.

Sow seeds directly into prepared garden beds, following the spacing recommendations on the seed packet. Keep seed beds moist and weed-free.

COOL-SEASON VEGETABLES

Onions, leeks

15

25

1

30

Cauliflower

1

15

8

15

30

Cabbage

1

30

29

25

1

Broccoli

1

31

31

8

Peas, snow peas

15

15

Lettuce, salad greens

1

15

Spinach

1

15

Beets

1

30

Radishes

10

1

Kale

15

10

Carrots

15

1

Swiss chard

15

1

Potatoes

20

20

WARM-SEASON VEGETABLES

Tomatoes

1

1

24

1

1

Eggplant

1

15

3

10

1

Peppers

7

3

10

1

1

Green beans

15

15

Sweet corn

30

15

Cantaloupe, melons, watermelons

1

1

Summer squash, zucchini

1

1

Winter squash, pumpkins

1

15

Cucumbers

1

15

Sweet potato

15

1

Lima beans, asparagus beans

30

1

ANNUAL HERBS

Parsley

15

1

25

1

30

Basil

15

15

8

15

15

Cilantro

1

15

Dill

1

30

Adjusting the schedule

for your own zone

In other parts of the United States, use your average last frost date as the benchmark for seed-starting and transplanting. Understand, though, that some warm-season vegetables struggle or fail in colder states and that cool-season varieties perform poorly in areas where summers are hot. For Southern states and California, autumn offers a second growing season for many annual vegetables, herbs and flowers.

AVG. LAST

FREEZE

Jan. 1

Feb. 1

Feb. 15

None

Feb. 1

Mar. 1

Mar. 15

Mar. 10

20

Mar. 1

April 1

May 1

April 1

10

April 1

May 1

May 15

20

May 1

April 15

June 1

x

10

x

20

May 1

June 1

x

June 1

x

x

10

May 15

x

x

20

x

x

 

for the period between 1980 and 2010

Duluth

Portland

Minneapolis

Albany

Boston

Madison

New York City

Lansing

Des Moines

Pittsburgh

Philadelphia

Chicago

Columbus

D.C.

Dover

Lincoln

Indianapolis

Charleston

Richmond

St. Louis

Raleigh

Louisville

Wichita

Nashville

Asheville

Little

Rock

Memphis

Atlanta

Charleston

Montgomery

Fort Worth

Tallahassee

Jacksonville

New Orleans

Houston

Miami

Seattle

Butte

Portland 

Bismarck

Billings

Boise

Burns

Rapid City

Casper

Winnemucca

Reno

Sacramento

Lincoln

Salt Lake

City

San Francisco

Denver

Las

Vegas

Wichita

Oklahoma City

Los

Santa Fe

Angeles

Phoenix

Fort Worth

Houston

Spring is less than six weeks away, and gardeners are preparing to start plants that will be ready for the growing season. Geared to the Mid-Atlantic climate, this calendar assumes a last frost date of April 15, late for Washington but still a time of risk to gardens to the north and west of the city. If frost is predicted after transplants are planted, they should be covered for the night. To avoid the work and required equipment and materials of indoor seed-starting, commercially grown transplants can be used instead come spring. Growing from seed is more economical and broadens varietal choice.

After hardening off, transplants should be placed in garden beds, preferably on cloudy days or in the early evening to avoid sun scald. Water daily until they are established.

Sow seeds directly into prepared garden beds, following the spacing recommendations on the seed packet. Keep seed beds moist and weed-free.

Sow indoors in seed trays under growing lights. Move seedlings into individual pots four weeks after germination. Transplant into the garden after “hardening off” plants for a week.

 

Transplants should be moved to a sheltered outdoor location away from direct sunlight and wind for a week before planting, kept watered and brought indoors on nights that drop below 45degrees.

COOL-SEASON VEGETABLES

Onions, leeks

15

25

1

30

Cauliflower

1

15

8

15

30

Cabbage

1

29

1

30

25

Broccoli

1

1

31

31

8

Peas

15

15

Lettuce,

salad greens

1

15

Spinach

1

15

Beets

1

30

Radishes

10

1

15

Kale

10

Carrots

15

1

Swiss chard

15

1

Potatoes

20

20

WARM-SEASON VEGETABLES

Tomatoes

1

1

24

1

1

Eggplant

1

15

3

10

1

Peppers

7

3

10

1

1

Green beans

15

15

Sweet corn

30

15

Cantaloupe,

watermelons

1

1

Summer squash,

zucchini

1

1

Winter squash,

pumpkins

1

15

Cucumbers

1

15

1

Sweet potato

15

Lima beans,

asparagus beans

30

1

ANNUAL HERBS

Parsley

15

1

25

1

30

Basil

15

15

8

15

15

Cilantro

1

15

Dill

1

30

Adjusting the schedule for your own zone

In other parts of the United States, use your average last frost date as the benchmark for seed-starting and transplanting. Understand, though, that some warm-season vegetables struggle or fail in colder states and that cool-season varieties perform poorly in areas where summers are hot. For Southern states and California, autumn offers a second growing season for many annual vegetables, herbs and flowers.

Selected cities

 

AVG. LAST

FREEZE

Miami, Los Angeles

Houston, Las Vegas

Fort Worth, Seattle

Memphis, Tallahassee

St. Louis, Richmond

Wichita, Des Moines

Minneapolis, Albany

Santa Fe, N.M.

Bismarck, N.D.

Casper, Wyo.

Winnemucca, Nev.

Butte, Mont.

Burns, Ore.

 

Jan. 1

Jan. 1

Feb. 1

Feb. 1

Feb. 15

None

Feb. 1

Feb. 1

Mar. 1

Mar. 1

Mar. 15

Mar. 10

20

Mar. 1

Mar. 1

April 1

April 1

May 1

April 1

10

April 1

April 1

May 1

May 1

May 15

20

May 1

April 15

May 1

June 1

June 1

x

10

x

20

WARM-SEASON VEGETABLES

May 1

May 15

June 1

x

x

June 1

x

x

x

10

May 15

x

x

x

x

20

x

x

x

x

for the period between 1980 and 2010

Seattle

Butte

Portland 

Bismarck

Duluth

Billings

Portland

Boise

Burns

Minneapolis

Albany

Rapid City

Boston

Madison

Casper

New York City

Winnemucca

Lansing

Des Moines

Pittsburgh

Reno

Chicago

Philadelphia

Columbus

Sacramento

Lincoln

D.C.

Salt Lake

City

Dover

Indianapolis

San Francisco

Charleston

Denver

Las

Vegas

Richmond

St. Louis

Wichita

Raleigh

Louisville

Nashville

Asheville

Little

Oklahoma City

Los

Santa Fe

Rock

Angeles

Memphis

Atlanta

Phoenix

Charleston

Montgomery

Jackson

Fort Worth

Tallahassee

Jacksonville

New Orleans

Houston

Miami

Spring is less than six weeks away, and gardeners are preparing to start plants that will be ready for the growing season. Geared to the Mid-Atlantic climate, this calendar assumes a last frost date of April 15, late for Washington but still a time of risk to gardens to the north and west of the city. If frost is predicted after transplants are planted, they should be covered for the night. To avoid the work and required equipment and materials of indoor seed-starting, commercially grown transplants can be used instead come spring. Growing from seed is more economical and broadens varietal choice.

Sow indoors in seed trays under growing lights. Move seedlings into individual pots four weeks after germination. Transplant into the garden after “hardening off” plants for a week.

 

Transplants should be moved to a sheltered outdoor location away from direct sunlight and wind for a week before planting, kept watered and brought indoors on nights that drop below 45 degrees.

After hardening off, transplants should be placed in garden beds, preferably on cloudy days or in the early evening to avoid sun scald. Water daily until they are established.

Sow seeds directly into prepared garden beds, following the spacing recommendations on the seed packet. Keep seed beds moist and weed-free.

COOL-SEASON VEGETABLES

Onions, leeks

15

25

1

30

Cauliflower

1

15

8

15

30

Cabbage

1

29

1

30

25

Broccoli

1

1

31

31

8

Peas, snow peas

15

15

Lettuce, other

salad greens

1

15

Spinach

1

15

Beets

1

30

Radishes

10

1

15

Kale

10

Carrots

15

1

Swiss chard

15

1

Potatoes

20

20

WARM-SEASON VEGETABLES

Tomatoes

1

1

24

1

1

Eggplant

1

15

3

10

1

Peppers

7

3

10

1

1

Green beans

15

15

Sweet corn

30

15

Cantaloupe,

watermelons

1

1

Summer squash,

zucchini

1

1

Winter squash,

pumpkins

1

15

Cucumbers

1

15

1

Sweet potato

15

Lima beans,

asparagus beans

30

1

ANNUAL HERBS

Parsley

15

1

25

1

30

Basil

15

15

8

15

15

Cilantro

1

15

Dill

1

30

Adjusting the schedule for your own zone

In other parts of the United States, use your average last frost date as the benchmark for seed-starting and transplanting. Understand, though, that some warm-season vegetables struggle or fail in colder states and that cool-season varieties perform poorly in areas where summers are hot. For Southern states and California, autumn offers a second growing season for many annual vegetables, herbs and flowers.

Selected cities

 

AVG. LAST

FREEZE

Miami, Los Angeles

Houston, Las Vegas

Fort Worth, Seattle

Memphis, Tallahassee

St. Louis, Richmond

Wichita, Des Moines

Minneapolis, Albany

Santa Fe, N.M.

Bismarck, N.D.

Casper, Wyo.

Winnemucca, Nev.

Butte, Mont.

Burns, Ore.

 

Jan. 1

Jan. 1

Feb. 1

Feb. 1

Feb. 15

None

Feb. 1

Feb. 1

Mar. 1

Mar. 1

Mar. 15

Mar. 10

20

Mar. 1

Mar. 1

April 1

April 1

May 1

April 1

10

April 1

April 1

May 1

May 1

May 15

20

May 1

April 15

May 1

June 1

June 1

x

10

x

20

May 1

May 15

June 1

x

x

June 1

x

x

x

10

May 15

x

x

x

x

20

x

x

x

x

for the period between 1980 and 2010

for the period between 1980 and 2010

Seattle

Butte

Portland 

Bismarck

Duluth

Billings

Boise

Portland

Burns

Minneapolis

Boston

Albany

Rapid City

Idaho Falls

Madison

Winnemucca

Casper

Lansing

New York City

Des Moines

Reno

Pittsburgh

Philadelphia

Chicago

Columbus

Sacramento

Salt Lake

City

Lincoln

D.C.

Dover

San Francisco

Indianapolis

Denver

Charleston

Richmond

Las

Vegas

St. Louis

Wichita

Louisville

Raleigh

Asheville

Nashville

Little

Oklahoma City

Los

Santa Fe

Rock

Angeles

Memphis

Phoenix

Atlanta

Charleston

Montgomery

Jackson

Fort Worth

Tallahassee

Jacksonville

New Orleans

Houston

Miami

SOURCE: Midwestern Regional Climate Center, almanac.com. GRAPHIC: Patterson Clark - The Washington Post. Published Feb. 11, 2016.