Garden Planting Guide: When to Plant Seeds and Seedlings for Your Region

Our handy regional garden planting guide will help you figure out when to plant seeds and seedlings this spring. Fill out our easy garden worksheet to get started!

| March/April 2012

  • Photo By posh/Fotolia
  • To estimate the last spring frost date for your region, use this map.
    Illustration Courtesy Mother Earth News
  • Spring is the right time to plant all of your seedlings, but make sure you plant each set at the right time of the season.
    Photo By iStockPhoto

Now is the perfect time to plan your greatest garden ever, and one of the best ways to ensure success is to plan ahead about when you’ll plant what. Some plants thrive in cooler soils, while others will only think about growing when it’s warmer. It’s important to plant your garden seeds and transplants at the right time so they can benefit from appropriate temperatures. New gardeners may want to begin by using purchased seedlings from a garden center or mail-order company, while those with proven green thumbs often like to start seeds indoors in advance of the garden season. Either way, this handy Spring Garden Worksheet will help you put the right plants into the ground at the right time.

Spring Garden Planting Guide

Step 1: Determine your last spring frost date 

To estimate your date, use the range of dates on the map in the Image Gallery above. For a more precise date that takes microclimates into consideration, visit the National Climatic Data Center. (Your best bet is to choose their listing of a 90 percent probability of a freeze-free period.)

The spring frost-free date in my garden is ___________.

Step 2: Calculate planting dates 

If you want to start with seedlings: 

5/12/2014 8:13:00 PM

This always seems to help also and I'll take any little bit help I can take!

5/12/2014 8:09:13 PM

Nice tips about starting seed. My biggest failing is planting too soon or too late, so this is a good reminder. If you’re too soon though, I find putting some plastic sheeting over outdoor plantings can make a big difference and correct for not planting at the proper time. Have fun everyone!

Nathan Reeves
2/15/2014 10:47:59 AM

mother earth news fair 2018 schedule


Next: October 13-14 2018
Topeka, KS

Sit in on dozens of practical workshops from the leading authorities on natural health, organic gardening, real food and more!