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When to Plant Vegetable Seeds or Transplants

Increase vegetable gardening success by matching planting times to your local climate.

Consider soil and air temperature as well as the average last spring and first fall frosts when calculating the length of your growing season. Cool season vegetables like lettuce, radishes, broccoli and peas will sprout and grow in cooler soil and air temperatures and many tolerate a light frost. Warm season vegetables like tomatoes, peppers, squash and melons need warm soil and air temperatures to sprout, grow and thrive.

The average number of frost-free days will help you decide what vegetables can be planted in the garden as seed. Those vegetables requiring a longer frost-free period to start producing need to be placed in the garden as transplants.

Review the seed packets and plant tags for help determining the best time to plant seeds and transplants in your garden.

A bit more information: Jump start the season or extend the harvest with the help of floating row covers, cold frames and cloches.

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