There are few simple joys in life that can compare to eating the delicious hard-grown vegetables from your very own garden. Not only will they taste better than any veggies you’ve ever had, but you’ll also feel extremely proud of yourself for having achieved such an amazing task.
Read on, to find out when exactly to plant your beautiful vegetable garden.
Vegetables are not only different in color, size, and shape – they vary greatly in planting conditions too. Factors such as temperature, humidity, and soil component also play a major role in the growth of healthy vegetable plants.
Take for example North America: the state is divided into 11 zones on the basis of cold; zone 1 is the coldest and 11 is the warmest. A plant that can survive the winter may do well in zone 6 (temperatures drop to -10 degrees Fahrenheit; however a plant suited for the warmer climate of zone 8 may die well before this temperature.
Vegetable plants can be mainly divided into two groups depending upon season.
Cool Season Vegetables
Plants with edible roots, stems, leaves, and buds like spinach, broccoli, and potato plants grow great in the cooler season. Temperatures here range between 40 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit and planting is usually done three weeks before the last spring frost (search for the exact date in your region). If you’re living in a warmer climate, then it’s a good idea to plant the vegetables near late winter.
Cool season vegetables need to be planted in cool dry soil, therefore avoid planting them in soil soggy from the spring rains. Plants will stop producing in the early summer season when temperatures reach 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
Popular plants include:
- Peas, spinach lettuces, kale, parsnips and radishes at 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Onions, turnips, leeks and Chinese cabbage at 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels, sprouts, cabbage, carrots and beets at 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
Note: You’ll need to buy a soil temperature measuring thermometer in order to begin planting.
Warm Season Vegetables
For those of you living in a warm, tropical climate planting edible fruit plants is the right way to go. These plants include tomatoes, cucumbers, beans, peppers, all of which produce edible fruit instead of stem, roots and leaves. Warm season vegetable plants are extremely sensitive to cold and need a temperature of at least 50 degrees Fahrenheit to grow. It’s ideal to begin planting them in the early summer or two seeks after spring’s last frost.
You can get a head start to your garden by first planting the seeds indoors. Once the temperature warms up, begin to transplant them outdoors. This should be done slowly: at first let the plants acclimatize in the sun by protecting them with shades. Summer plants can be extended long into the fall as well if you protect them from the frost with equipment like row covers and cold frames.
Popular plants include: Tomatoes, sweet potatoes, peppers, okras, cucumbers, melons, beans, corn, squash, eggplants and artichoke.
Also check out this awesome guide to when to plant various vegetables.