Seed Starting Chart: Best Times To Start Your Seeds

Ready to get growing? Our handy chart will help you figure out when and where to start your seeds.

Ready to start that spring garden but not sure when you should start your seeds? We can help. Our seed starting chart helps you determine when and where to start your seeds. Some seeds should be started indoors, while others can be directly sown outside. Refer to our Average Frost Dates to determine your last spring frost.

Your seed packets will have most of the information you need, but here are our recommendations:

Best Times To Start Your Seeds

SeedWhere to StartWhen To Start
ArtichokeInside8-12 weeks before last frost
ArugulaOutsideEarly spring
Asian greensOutsideEarly spring
AsparagusInside12-14 weeks before transplant date
Bean, bushOutsideSoil temperature 60 degrees
Bean, dryOutsideSoil temperature 60 degrees
Bean, favaOutsideAs soon as the soil can be worked
Bean, fresh shellOutsideAfter last frost date
Bean, limaOutsideSoil temperature 75 degrees
Bean, poleOutsideSoil temperature 60 degrees
Bean, soyOutsideAfter last frost date
BeetOutsideMinimum soil temperature 45 degrees
BroccoliInside3-4 weeks before transplant date
Broccoli raabInside3-4 weeks before transplant date
Brussels sproutInsideIn May, ready to transplant in 4-6 weeks
BurdockOutsideAnytime in spring
CabbageInside4-6 weeks before transplant date
Chinese CabbageInside3-5 weeks before last frost
CardoonInside6-8 weeks before last frost
CarrotOutsideMinimum soil temperature 40 degrees
CauliflowerInside4-6 weeks before transplant date
CeleryInside10-12 weeks before transplant date
CeleriacInside10-12 weeks before transplant date
CollardsOutsideEarly spring
Corn, broomOutsideAfter last frost date
Corn, dentOutsideSoil temperature 60 degrees
Corn, ornamentalOutsideSoil temperature 60 degrees
Corn, popcornOutsideSoil temperature 60 degrees
Corn, sweetOutsideSoil temperature 65 degrees
CucumberInside/Outside3-4 weeks before transplant date/Soil temperature 70 degrees
EggplantInside6-8 weeks before transplant date
Endive/EscaroleInside3-4 weeks before transplant date
GourdOutsideSoil temperature 70 degrees
KaleOutsideEarly spring
KohlrabiOutsideEarly spring
LeeksInsideStart February/March for late spring
LettuceOutsideAs early as possible
MelonInside4 weeks before transplant date
MustardOutsideEarly spring
OkraInside/Outside4-5 weeks before transplant date/Soil temperature 70 degrees
Pac choiOutsideEarly spring
ParsnipOutsideEarly spring
OnionInside/Outside10-12 weeks before transplant date
PeaOutsideAs soon as soil can be worked
PepperInside8 weeks before transplant date
PotatoOutsideEarly to midspring
PumpkinOutsideSoil temperature 70 degrees
RadicchioInside3-4 weeks before transplant date
RadishOutsideAs soon as soil can be worked
SorrelOutsideEarly spring
SpinachOutsideAs soon as soil can be worked
Squash, summerOutsideSoil temperature 60 degrees
Squash, winterOutsideSoil temperature 60 degrees
Swiss chardOutsideAs soon as soil can be worked
TomatilloInside4-5 weeks before transplant date
TomatoInside5-6 weeks before transplant date
Turnip/RutabagaOutsideEarly spring
WatermelonInside/Outside1 month before transplant date/Soil temperature 70 degrees
Links for each vegetable will bring you to additional growing information.

Find your Average Frost Date.

Planting by the Moon

Planting according to the phases of the Moon is an age-old practice.

Be sure to also check our Gardening by the Moon calendar, which will guide you to which garden tasks are best done based on phases of the Moon.

Join The Discussion!

What are you growing?

Do you have questions about seeds that are not on our list above?

Let us know in the comments below!

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Reyne Brockman

How much does the seed starting timeline change (in general) if the seedlings are to be transferred to a non-heated greenhouse (in grow bags) as opposed to in the garden?

Cynthia VanSlogteren

Should seedbeds for above ground and root crops follow the same days as planting those crops? Or can any crops be started on days good for seedbeds?


We consider a seedbed to be a bed of cultivated soil prepared for seeds or seedlings that will be transplanted, regardless of if whether they will ultimately be above ground or root crops. If you are direct sowing (planting where you want the plant to grow), then plant by the appropriate best day for that type of crop.

d kelly

I use a separate Google calendar from my personal calendar. Put in my dates there and set alerts, for the following or preceding weekend, to remind myself to get in the garden!

Lauren Cieslinski

Is there a link to the place where I can put in my frost dates for my zone along, with the veggies and medicinal herbs I’m planting, to populate and remind me when to seed, transplant and harvest? Any suggestions?

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