Rohde’s Nursery’s Spring & Fall Planting Dates &
Soil & Air Germinating Temperatures


Dates are for seeds unless specified: S=Seed, T=Transplants.

Data is combined from 3 different planting guides referenced below. Different sources had different temperatures or different planting dates so I combined them. Some temperatures can be 10 degrees apart and some planting dates can be a month apart. I’m sure either choice will work sometimes. If the experts can’t agree, you need to experiment and take careful notes of the growing conditions to decide what works best in your garden.

Vegetable

Spring Planting
Dates

Air Temps, Day

Soil Temperatures

Fall Planting
Dates

(N=Night)
(D/N=Avg)

Min

Optimum
Range

Max

Asparagus (Asparagus officinalis), (crowns)

Feb (Crowns)

60-75

50

>70, 60-85

95

N.R.

Beans, Lima Bush (Phaseolus limensis var. limenanus)

Mar 23 - Apr 13

80-85, N:55-60

60

65-85

85

Jul 26 - Aug 31

Beans, Lima Pole (Phaseolus limensis)

Mar 23 - Apr 13

80-85, N:55-60

60

65-85

85

Aug 15 - Sep 20

Beans, Pinto (Phaseolus vulgaris)

Mar 20 - Apr

80-90, N:>65

60

60-85

95

Aug 1 - Sep 20

Beans, Snap Bush (Phaseolus vulgaris var. humilis)

Mar 23 - Apr

80-85, N:55-60

55-60

60-85

95

Aug 1 - Sep 20

Beans, Snap Pole (Phaseolus vulgaris)

Mar 23 - Apr 13

80-85, N:55-60

55-60

60-85

95

Jul 26 - Aug 31

Beans, Yellow Bush (Phaseolus vulgaris var. humilis)

Mar 20 - Apr

80-85, N:55-60

60

60-85

95

Aug 1 - Sep 20

Beets (Beta vulgaris)

February

60-75, N: 45-55

40-45

50-85

95

Sep 6 - Sep 30

Broccoli (Brassica oleracea var. botrytis), plants

Feb 1 - 15 (S)
Feb 15 - 29 (T)

70-80, N: 40-50

40

45-85

90

Jul 26 - Sep 6 (S)
Aug 20 - Sep 15 (T)

Brussels Sprouts (Brassica oleracea)

Feb 1 - Feb 15

 

40

68-75

85

Aug 9 - Sep 6 (S)
Aug 20 - Sep 15 (T)

Cabbage (Brassica oleracea var. capitata) , plants

Feb 1 - 15 (S)
Feb 15 - 29 (T)

60-70, N: 40-50

40-50

45-95

100

Jul 26 - Sep 6 (S)
Aug 20 - Sep 15 (T)

Cabbage, Chinese (Brassica pekinensis)

Feb 1 - 15 (S)
Feb 15 - 29 (T)

55-70, N: 40-50

50

50-80

100

Aug 9 - Aug 23 (S)
Aug 23 - Sep 15 (T)

Cantaloupe Muskmelon (Cucumis melo var. cantalupensis)

Mar 23 - Apr

70-95, N: 55

60-70

75-95

95-100

Jun15 - Aug 9

Carrot (Daucus carota var. sativus)

February

60-75, N: 45-50

40-50

45-85

90-95

Aug 9 - Sep

Cauliflower (Brassica oleracea var. botrytis) , plants

Feb 15 - Feb 29
(T, Seed NR)

55-70, N: 45-55

40

45-85

90-100

Jul 26 - Sep 6 (S)
Aug 20 - Sep 15 (T)

Celeriac (Apium graveolens var. Rapaceum) grown like celery

N.R.

D/N: 60-70

40

70-75

85

Mid, Late Summer(T)

Celery (Apium graveolens var. dulce)

N.R.

D/N: 60-70

40

60-70

85

Mid, Late Summer(T)

Chard, Swiss (Beta vulgaris var. cicla)

Feb 1 - Mar 10

60-75, N: 40-45

40

50-85

95-100

Jul 26 - Sep 15

Chicory, Cutting (Cichorium intybus) (Grown like Lettuce)

Witloof Chicory (also French or Belgian Endive),
Radicchio, Puntarelle

March, after
danger of frost

 

45

65 – 75,80

85

N.R.

Collards (Brassica oleracea var. acephala)

Feb 1 - Mar 31

D/N: 60-65

40-50

60-70

85

Aug 23 - Sep 20

Corn, Sweet (Zea mays var. saccharata)

Mar 23 - Apr

D/N:68-72

50-65

60-95

100-105

Aug 1 - Aug 23

Cucumber, Pickling (Cucumis sativus)

Mar 23 - Apr

80-90, N: 60-70

60-65

60-95

90-105

Aug 1 - Sep 6

Cucumber, Slicing (Cucumis sativus)

Mar 23 - Apr

80-90, N: 60-70

60-65

60-95

90-105

Aug 1 - Sep 6

Eggplant (Solanum melongena var. esculentum)

April

72-86, N: 70-75

60-65

75-90

90-95

Jun 15 - Jul 1 (S)
Jul 1 - Aug 23 (T)

Endive, Common (Cichorium endiva) (Grown like Lettuce)

Narrow-leaved called Curly Endive
Broad-leaved called Escarole

March, after
danger of frost

 

 

35-85

 

N.R.

Garlic (Allium sativum)

Fall
EastTx: Jan15 - Feb15

 

 

<65

85

Sep 15 - Oct 18

Tyfon Or Holland Greens
(hybrid of Chinese cabbage x stubble turnip)

February

 

 

 

 

Aug 25 - Oct 1

Kale (Brassica oleracea var. acephala)

Feb 10 - Mar 10

D/N 60-65

40-50

70-75

90-100

Aug 15 - Oct 15

Kohlrabi (Brassica oleracea var. gongylodes)

February

60-70, N: 40-50

40-50

70-75

90

Jul 26 - Aug 23

Leeks (Allium ampeloprasum var. porrum ), seeds

Feb 10 - 25

55-75

40

60-70

90

Sep 10 - Oct 1 (S)
Oct 1 - Nov 1 (T)

Lettuce, Butterhead (Lactuca sativa)

Feb - Mar

D/N:55-60

35-40

40-80

85

Aug 9 - Oct 15

Lettuce, Cos or Romaine (Lactuca sativa)

Feb - Mar

D/N:55-60

35-40

40-80

70-85

Aug 9 - Oct 15

Lettuce, Head (Lactuca sativa)

Feb - Mar

D/N:55-60

35-40

40-80

85

Aug 9 - Oct 15

Lettuce, Leaf (Lactuca sativa)

Feb – Mar

D/N:55-60

35-40

40-80

70-85

Aug 9 - Oct 15

Mustard (greens) (Brassica juncea)

Feb 15 - Apr 27

60-65

40

45-85

105

Jul 26 - Sep 6

Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus)

Apr - May

>85, N: 70-75

60-75

70-95

105

Jul 26 - Aug 23

Onion, Bulbing (Allium cepa)
    Seeds/Transplants (Slips) for this year bulbs

Jan 18 - Feb 1 (S)
Jan 4 - Mar 5 (T)

D/N: 60

35-50

50-95

90-95

Sep 1 - Oct 15 (S)
N.R. (T)

Onion, Bunching [Scallions] (Allium cepa)
    Seeds/Transplants (Sets) for scallions this year

Jan 18 - Feb 1 (S)
Jan 4 - Mar 5 (T)

D/N: 60

35-50

50-95

90-95

Sep 1 - Oct 15 (S,T)

Parsley (Petroselinum crispum)

Feb 01 - Mar 08

45-85

40-50

50-85

90

Jul 26 - Oct 4

Parsnip (Pastinaca sativa)

May - Jun

60-80, N: 40-50

35

50-70

85-90

May - Jun

Peas, Edible-Podded (Pisum sativum var. macrocarpon)

Jan 18 - Feb

60-80, N: 40-50

40

40-75

80-85

N.R.

Peas, English (Pisum sativum)

Jan 18 - Feb

60-80, N: 40-50

40

40-75

80-85

Aug 23 - Nov 1

Peas, Southern (Vigna unguiculata var. unguiculata)

Apr - May 25

85-95, N: 60-65

>65

>65

 

Jul 1 - Sep 6

Pepper, Hot (Capsicum annuum var. longum)

April

85-95, N: 65-70

55-60

65-95

90-95

Jul 1 - Aug 23

Pepper, Bell (Capsicum annuum var. grossum)

Mar 23-May 11

80-90, N: 65-70

55-60

65-95

90-95

Jul 1 - Aug 23

Potato, Irish (Solanum tuberosum), seed

February

75-85, N: 50-60

45-50

>40->50

 

Jul 26 - Aug 9

Potato, Sweet (Ipomoea batatas) (Slips)

Apr - May 15

D/N:>72

>65

>65

 

N.R.

Pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo var. pepo)

Mar 23-Apr 20

85-95, N: 60-70

60

70-90

100

Lrg: Jun 15 - Jul 15
Sml: Jul 15 - Aug 15

Radish (Raphanus sativus)

Feb - Apr 13

40-70, Optm 60-65

40

45-90

90-95

Sep 20 - Nov 15

Rutabaga (Brassica napus var. napobrassica)

Feb - Mar

 

40

45-85

 

Aug 1 - Oct 15

Salsify (Tragopogon pratensis)

As early in spring
as the ground
can be worked

 

 

 

 

Maybe Sep or Fall

Shallots (Allium cepa var. aggregatum) (like onions)

Jan 04 - Mar 05 (T)

 

 

45-95

 

Sep 1 - Oct 15 (S,T)

Spinach (Spinacia oleracea)

Jan 18 - Mar 15

65-75, N: 40-45

35-40

45-75

85-100

Jul 26 - Nov 1

Spinach, Malabar (Basella alba) vine

Seed 2 to 3 wks
after last frost date

>80, N: >60

 

65-75

90’s

Aug

Spinach, New Zealand (Tetragonia tetragonoides)

After last
freeze - April

70-95, N: 60

 

70-75

 

50 to 70 days to
harvest, so can
plant till Aug 15.

Squash, Summer (Cucurbita pepo var. melopepo)

Mar 23 – Apr

60-80

60

70-95

100-105

Aug 1 - Aug 23

Squash, Zucchini (Cucurbita pepo)

Mar 23 – Apr

60-80

60

70-95

100-105

Aug 1 - Aug 23

Squash, Winter (Cucurbita moschata)

Mar 23 - Apr

60-80, N: 55

60

70-95

100-105

Jul 1 - Aug 23

Tomatoes, Large-Fruited
(Lycopersicon esculentum)

Mar 23 - May 11

80-85, N: 60-70

50-60

60-85

95-100

Jul 1 - Aug 23

Tomatoes, Small-Fruited (L. esculentum var. cerasiforme) & Tomatillo (Physalis ixocarpa)

Mar 23 - May 11

80-85, N: 60-70

50-60

60-85

95-100

Jul 1 - Aug 23

Turnip (Brassica rapa var. rapifera)

Feb - Mar 10

60-80, N: 40

40

60-105

100-105

Aug 1 - Nov 1

Watermelon (Citrullus lanatus)

Mar 23 - Apr

80-95, N: 60-70

60-70

70-95

105-110

Jun 15 - Aug 9


Table Columns:

Seed germinating soil temperatures are specific to the vegetable and is the same anywhere in the country you are planting.

“Min” or “Minimum” soil temperature required for seed growth. Any cooler and the plants may have disease problems. You may get poorer germination at this temperature, but it may be necessary to plant at this temperature to avoid heat during crop development. Make sure this temperature is reached during the planting dates.

“Optimum Range” of soil temperatures is where you should sow for best results of germination and vitality, but not necessarily for best harvest.

“Max” or “Maximum” temperature in which the seeds would germinate, but not necessarily produce crops. This temperature would be more important in planting a fall crop as early as you could, when temperatures dropped below this temperature, giving you more growing time before freezes come. Again, planting dates should have taken this into consideration, but you can check the soil to see that the temperature is at or below the maximum.

In the referenced soil temperature charts, you’ll see an “optimum” single temperature given. I left this out. This is the best temperature for most seed germination, but again, it may not be the best temperature to plant for quantity and quality of harvest. It may get too hot or too cold by harvest time, or the soil may never reach that temperature. This is where keeping records for your area would be valuable. You could adjust the beginning planting date for your backyard, even if it was not in the optimum range, to give the best harvest.

Sources (All of these are must reads, and contain much more detailed information)

Planting dates come predominately from:

Other sources of planting dates considered:

Sources for Seed Germination Air and Soil Temperatures:

·       Vegetable Growing Guides: http://www.gardening.cornell.edu/homegardening/sceneb771.html

·       Vegetable Resources, Commercial Crop Guides: http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/vegetable/guides/.

·       Vegetable Planting Guide: http://www.ext.colostate.edu/mg/Gardennotes/720.html.

·       Seed Germination Soil Temperatures: http://heirloomseeds.com/germ-tables/.

·       Vegetable Garden Seed Storage and Germination Requirements, http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2002&context=extensionhist

·       Soil Temperature Conditions for Vegetable Seed Germination, http://www.aces.edu/pubs/docs/A/ANR-1061/

·       Indiana Vegetable Planting Calendar: https://www.hort.purdue.edu/ext/ho-186.pdf

·       Vegetable Garden: Seed For The Garden, http://ag.arizona.edu/pubs/garden/mg/vegetable/temperature.html

·       Vegetable Garden Seed Storage and Germination Requirements, http://www.seedman.com/veggerm.htm

So how do you test your soil temperature, and how did I do it?

One method I found on the internet (http://www.gardenguides.com/93656-test-topsoil-temperature.html) was rather involved for myself (i.e. too much work) but it referenced a better way at this Oregon State University website (http://extension.oregonstate.edu/gardening/it-time-plant-vegetables-ask-your-soil-thermometer). You can use special soil thermometers, and Rohde’s has soil thermometers and compost thermometers that will serve dual functions, but you can also use that collection of rectal thermometers you (probably?) don’t use anymore since the kids are all grown up. Poke a hole about the size of the thermometer you’re using with a big nail, small stick, dowel, or whatever, into the ground in your garden. Go down two inches (measure and mark the probe) for cool season plants and seeds, and four inches for warm season transplants. Leave the thermometer in the hole for a minute or two, just as you would with it stuck up your … well, you know. If you have a digital or instant read, wait for the reading to stabilize. Do this the same time of day, midday or evening after work, are better, for three to seven days to get a stable average. I myself just wondered out when I thought about it and stuck my digital meat thermometer into the muddy soil in a few different places. The thermometer ranges from –40 degrees F to +302 degrees F, so this covers temperatures most every seed would want to germinate in, and temperatures I wouldn’t want to be testing my dirt in. It also measures in centigrade for further confusion. It has a four inch probe so I stick it either half way in the soil or all the way in.

FYI:

The most common pumpkins are varieties of Cucurbita pepo. The large-fruited pumpkins, weighing up to 400 lb, belong to the species Cucurbita maxima. Don't use “jack-o-lantern” pumpkins for cooking. They’re stringy and not too good to eat. Some other pumpkins can be cooked, but better canned pumpkin use winter squash varieties such as butternut, Hubbard, and Boston Marrow. They are better tasting, smoother, and more nutritious. Libby produces most of the canned pumpkin and they use their own variety of butternut called “Dickinson”, a C. moschata specie, picked for its eating qualities. It’s shaped cylindrically for ease of processing on conveyor belts.

Harvest your crops when ripe or a little under ripe, to keep the plants producing in the attempt to achieve ripe fruit and viable seeds for the continuation of the species.

Tomatoes keep longer if picked before they are fully ripe, when still a little green. Let tomatoes ripen in the kitchen out of the sun. Don’t refrigerate the tomatoes before they are ripe. If you do they will never develop all of their flavors. After they ripen you can store them in the frig for a few days. Too long and they will become mealy.