This is a journal of my vegetable gardens. Skippy was my first dog and he thought the garden was his, even though I did all the work. Now Suzie and Charley follow in his footsteps. We're located near Boston (USDA zone 6A). I have a community plot, a backyard vegetable garden, fruit trees, berry bushes, chickens, and bees. I use sustainable organic methods and do my best to grow all of my family's vegetables myself.
Saturday, February 07, 2009
generate your own vegetable planting calendar on-line
I've put together a planting calendar that will calculate the planting dates for crops for whatever zone you're in. Just enter your last frost date, click the button and everything gets calculated. (magic!)
It's not quite done yet. I don't think the last few dates calculate yet. Check back to this page and I'll add fall planting too.
Please let me know if any planting dates don't seem right. Mostly, the dates are as recommended by Johnny's website and Botanical Interests seed packages. Each single date refers to 'the week of'.
Since I have two gardens with different frost dates, I'm planning to print out a calendar for each and then highlight the crops I'll plant in each garden.
I also started to add the culture information for specific crops at the bottom of the calendar, because I'm often looking these up at Johnny's website. They have great info. To find it however, I have to search for the vegetable, then click on 'more detail', then click on 'growing info'. I'd like to have it more accessible. I'll add more of these too. (And add links back to Johnny's - I hope they don't mind.)
I'm glad to get this chart done because I see that I need to plant my onions the week of February 12. That's next week! Yippy!
I have all my seeds, but don't have plant shelves and lights set up yet. Today I purchased lights and shelving. Maybe tomorrow I'll be able to assemble.
Other planting calendars:
Grow your own excel calendar
Better Homes and Gardens
Tim's Square Foot Gardening Page
Farmer's Almanac Calendar personalized by zip code
Farmer's Almanac Gardening by the Moon Calendar
Heirloom Seeds Spring Calendar
Heirloom Seeds Fall Calendar
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Thank you so much for this calendar, this is exactly what I need to start my first ever veggie garden. I love your blog btw.
I love how everyone does their planting tables. I do mine in excel (I can also change the last frost date). I have a tendency to push my dates with row covers, so I'm always earlier starting certain things. I'm starting my first lettuce seed indoors right at the end of February.
Wow, over the last couple weeks I have spent A LOT of time trying to find this information. Between the seed packets and the web with a lot of mixed up stuff floating in my head! Thanks so much. This is so much easier!
This is amazing! Every time I come to your blog I learn something or find something new. I will definitely enter the info in. As Stacy mentioned, between all the (sometimes conflicting) sources, its quite mixed up in my head, especially between the different crops. This is great!
Kathy, this is amazingly cool! Thank you!
I hope you'll post photos of your shelving/lighting setup!
Thanks, how exciting.
This is absolutely awesome! I am in awe of how creative you are! Thanks for the help!
You are brilliant! It's nice to have reassurance from different gardeners as to when to plant.
My question is who do you trust most regarding the last frost date. I'm in zone 5b and from sources online, there is almost a full month discrepancy in last frost dates. As a first time gardener, it's hard to know what to go with.
Just one of the reasons this is the BEST gardening blog online.
Kim, I think you really need to have some experience from your own garden or neighborhood to go by. Otherwise its just a guess and you should probably go with the most conservative, i.e. the latest spring frost date. When I got my first plot at the community garden last year, I asked other gardeners when they got their last frost (May 15-20) and went by this date. Its several weeks later than my home garden (April 28), sheltered by houses less than a mile away.
Thanks for the calendar! Love it! I was wondering how you came with your frost date -- thanks for the explanation about how your garden is sheltered by houses. I live in Lakeville on the South Shore (near Taunton) and our last frost date is around mid-May so 4/20 seemed too early for your area until you explained it.
My home garden is very sheltered and unfortunately LOTS of cement around here. It keeps us warm. Glad you like the calendar!
Thanks for the link to the planting calendar. I'm planning my warm-season vegetable garden and, as with most plans made in winter, it's probably more ambitious on paper than it will be in the ground.
Enjoyed your garden list. I'm still in trouble for tossing out the grow lights when we moved, got to figure out a plan B on that one. Here in Durham, NC we planted kale, peas, salad greens and arugula 2 weeks ago! Today we found the peas and kale sprouting today despite the 15 degree weather earlier in the week. Also we saw 2 Question mark butterflies flying about in our 70 degree temps today.
Enjoy your blog...
I did something similiar with an Excel spreadsheet:-) It sure does make garden planning easier:-)
Sounds like lots of gardeners use excel for records and planning.
I love to hear about the high temps everywhere today. We got up to maybe 50*F. Nice! Lots of people out and about in the streets, trails, basketball courts etc. Not in the gardens yet... And no butterflies here.... yet...
Awesome job Kathy!
Now, make our calendars say mid MARCH! lol
Is it best to start seeds in potting soil or that soilless stuff?
Thanks for this tool, Kathy! It was really really close to what I usually do. There was only one little thing that stood out to me as not working for our climate: the peas. We sow our first crop of peas on Valentine's Day (your tool said March 1). By that time, the chance of a severe frost has passed, even though we'll continue to get little freezes until early April. And our soil spends a grand total of about 1 week being too hard to work, so the '5 weeks before last frost or as soon as the soil can be worked' rule doesn't really apply to us. But that's what you get in a milder climate, I guess.
Yes. I was thinking about the peas too. Last year I planted March 19 and the tool says early April for me. I'll move this up. The problem with peas, is planting usually doesn't go my the frost date, it goes by the soil. But I'll move it up and see if it works... Thanks!
Potting soil is a real good question and I don't know the answer. I use the biggest cheapest bag of pre-fertilized potting soil I can find. Usually Miracl-Gro at about $10 for an enormous bag at Costco. Not an organic or sustainable gardening choice, but it works very well.
I think I'll put this up as a poll soon and see what suggestions others have.
Harmony, I edited the pea planting date. It now gives March 17 for me. We usually try to get our peas in by St Patrick's Day, though most years this is still too early and in the next week or two they go in. That's up to 6 or 7 weeks before last frost or when soil can be worked. I added a note that this tool may not work in warmer climates like yours. Thanks again.
THANK YOU!!! I'm going to try this out this evening and compare it with the dates I got (by much less magical but probably much more error prone means).
Wow! Thanks so much for the calendar. I've been gardening for years but have guessing when to start my seeds. Now,I'll be organized like never before. Your blog is the best and keeps me coming back all year long.
Awesome, though I still will be optimistic and forget last frost dates are right only 50% of the time and kill some plants...
Thank you for this! It's really appreciated right now because we've been in the middle of a move and didn't realize I should be starting some things NOW! Wheeee!
Kathy, thank you! I've been fussing around with NOAA and Wilson County Extension and just confusing myself wildly. This calendar should make things a little more organized.
Every time I read your blog I learn something interesting or find a terrific link. Skippy's Garden is a great place to be.
Absolutely right CVG! You can go ahead and plant earlier than these dates if you want to risk it. Then you get to eat your harvest a few days earlier. Or you can wait and worry less....
Amy, you can always buy the seedlings later, but more fun to grow your own. And the dates have a lot of flexibility. Plus-or-minus weeks.
Ann-Marie, I hope the schedule works for you. It was my thought that this is a simple format for planting.
This is wonderful and just what I have needed. Thank you so much!
I am a newbie and one thing that struck me as odd is what happenes after you harvest and you have no more veggies produced? Do you have a resource that could help me plan when I need to plant all of my successive crops so I have a steady supply of veggies and herbs all season (year) long?
I am in Seattle and am growing lettuce, brocoli, tomatoes, corn, peppers, squash, bush beans, soy beans, carrots, onions, potatoes, and a couple fruits like strawberries and raspberries.
Thanks Kathy! This will be my very first raised bed veggie garden! I hit the jackpot finding your blog!! So many questions, and you have covered so much!
I will be checking in often as we are on the same planting schedule ( i am on the South Shore of Boston). Love that Skippy thinks its his garden, i have 2 labs who will be "helping" me!
There is a slide chart that does also calculates when to harvest and plants based on local frost dates called Clyde's Garden Planner. It has a sliding frost line so that it works all over the US and Canada, and we've found it very useful to our family :)
Clyde's Garden Planner's homepage is http://cdmplanning.hypermart.net
Thanks Hannah. I am going to send away for one!
My solution to growing peas in Indiana is to dig 4" trenches in my raised bed(s) in late fall, then around the first of March add a premix to the trenches then plant my peas. This way you can work the soil and get a jump start on the season! I also am on the frugal side and tend to keep all of the sticks and branches accumulated in the yard and stick them next to the bush pea seeds as a no-cost trellis.
Sounds like a great idea Robert! Thanks.
Thank you so much for this! I am using it myself and sharing it with my other teacher/parent friends and clients! I love the simplicity of it!
This is just the tool I was looking for to help my sister with her planting. Would it be ok for me to share a link to this from my blog?
Sure. Links are great.
Some of you may also be interested in the Fantastic Farm & Garden Calculator http://www.landshareco.org/ for more serious garden or farm planning. It can be used for Biointensive methods, Square Foot, or traditional. It also has three skill levels, garden or farm versions, the ability to enter how many people you want to feed and how much you want to feed each person per week. Plus it has succession planting and intercropping. We used it to plan our micro-farm and CSA and it worked great. I also use it for my 10'x10' home garden.
Wow! this is fantastically helpful. I was jus ton the verge of making one of these for myself, by hand, and I am grateful and relieved that someone has done it for me. thank you, thank you, thank you!
Hi, i see this post is old, but hopefully the calendar still works! I noticed you have tomatoes as a 6 week veggie and your kale and brocolli as an 8 or 10 week veggie. But everything i've read has the tomatoes at 8-10 and the kale and brocolli direct sowed once the soil is workable. I know this can be more art than science sometimes, but thoughts on these lengths of time?
At any rate my peppers, artichokes (just trying them out), and 'maters are in the pots and starting to peak out!
Thanks for this resource, it's fantastic
~Brian, Zone 5 (western suburbs of chicago)
Thanks so much for creating/posting this. I plan on passing it on to other gardener friends. So very helpful and simple way to plan with such a hectic life going on!
This is awesome! I love how it is sorted by date, unlike most seed charts that sort by vegetable. Thank you!
This is the best thing I've seen for an easy reference to planting times! Thanks so much for creating it!
Is this still available? The link is not working.
Thanks for catching that!! Its still working but a broken link. I’ll get it fixed but it will take me a couple days. I will work on my moms garden and yard all day tomorrow. I can probably fix it Saturday. In the meantime there’s a link under “planting tools” on my side bar that is working.
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