The Best Crops to Start as Direct-Sown Seeds
You may see the plants in this chart in seedling form at garden centers, but the experts at Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds recommend planting these straight from seed instead, directly into your garden soil outside.
It is important to have at least a good guess about when your area will see its final frost of the season, because many seeds and plants can withstand only limited exposure to freezing temperatures. To make your best guess, ask gardening neighbors, call the university extension agency nearest you, ask at a garden supply store or consult the maps at NOAA.
|CROP||WHEN TO PLANT RELATIVE TO FINAL FROST|
|Amaranth||2 weeks after|
|Bean||1 to 2 weeks after|
|Beet||4 weeks before|
|Carrot||4 weeks before|
|Celeriac (celery root)||1 to 2 weeks afters|
|Chinese cabbage||4 weeks before|
|Corn||2 weeks after|
|Cowpea||1 to 2 weeks after|
|Cucumber||2 weeks after|
|Endive||4 weeks before|
|Kale||5 weeks before|
|Kohlrabi||5 weeks before|
|Lettuce (all types)||2 weeks before|
|Muskmelon||2 weeks after|
|Mustard||5 weeks before|
|Onion||6 weeks before|
|Peanut||2 weeks after|
|Pea (English)||4 weeks before|
|Potato||6 weeks before|
|Pumpkin||2 weeks after|
|Radish||4 weeks before|
|Spinach||5 weeks before|
|Squash||2 weeks after|
|Swiss chard||2 weeks before|
|Turnip||5 weeks before|
|Watermelon||2 weeks after|
Learn more about seed starting inShould You Plant Seeds or Seedlings?
Planting in the Fall for a Spring Bounty
Learn how to plant vegetables late in the season to jump-start the spring harvest.
Grow Sweet Potatoes
A delicious crop, sweet potatoes are easy to grow and rich in vitamin C. Learn how to grow sweet potatoes and discover ways to use and store your harvest.
How to Grow Kale
Try the ‘Red Russian’ variety for salads and ‘Lacinato’ if you prefer to eat it cooked.