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For the Almanac's fall and spring planting calendars, we've calculated the best time to start seeds indoors, when to transplant young plants outside, and when to direct seed into the ground. This planting calendar is a guide that tells you the best time to start planting your garden based on frost dates. Our planting calendar is customized to your nearest weather station in order to give you the most accurate information possible. Please note:. To plan your garden more accurately in the future, keep a record of your garden's conditions each year, including frost dates and seed-starting dates!
Starting seeds indoors in seed trays or starter pots gives your crops a head start on the growing season, which is especially important in regions with a short growing season. Starting seeds indoors also provides young, tender plants a chance to grow in a stable, controlled environment.
Outdoors, the unpredictability of rain, drought, frost, low and high temperatures, sunlight, and pests and diseases can take a toll on young plants, especially when they're just getting started. Indoors, you can control these elements to maximize your plants' early growth and give them the best shot at thriving when they are eventually transplanted outdoors. For most crops that can be started indoors, seeds should be started about weeks before your last spring frost date.
This gives the plants plenty of time to grow large and healthy enough to survive their eventual transplanting to the garden. about starting seeds indoors here.
Not all vegetables should be started indoors! In fact, most are better off being started directly in the garden aka "direct-sown". The crops that should be started indoors are those that are particularly susceptible to cold temperatures or that have a very long growing season and need a head start. These include tender vegetables such as tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant, as well as crops with a long growing season, like broccoli, cauliflower, and brussels sprouts.
Most other crops do best when sown directly into the garden soil. Root crops, including carrots, radishes, and beets, are especially well-suited to being started directly in the garden, since they do not like having their roots disturbed after planting. The same is true for squash and watermelon, though care must be taken to plant them when the soil is warm enough.
about direct-sowing seeds here! Planting in late summer for a fall harvest has many benefits soil is already warm, temperatures are cooler, fewer pests.
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However, the challenge is getting your crops harvested before the winter frosts begin. When we calculate fall planting dates which are really in the summerwe must for several factors, such as the time to harvest once the crop is mature and whether a crop is tender or hardy when it comes to frost.
The "days to maturity" of a crop and the length of your growing season also factor into whether you start seeds early indoors or directly sow seeds into the ground outside. about the " Best Vegetables to Plant in the Fall.
When seedlings have grown too large for their seed trays or starter pots, it's time to transplant. If it's not yet warm enough to plant outdoors, transplant the seedlings to larger plastic or peat pots indoors and continue care. If outdoor conditions allow, start hardening off your seedlings approximately one week before your last frost date, then transplant them into the garden.
Get more tips for transplanting seedlings. Planting by the Moon also called "Gardening by the Moon" is a traditional way to plant your above- and below-ground crops, especially at the start of the season.
Here's how it works:. Old-time farmers swear that this practice in a larger, tastier harvest, so we've included planting by the Moon dates in our planting calendar, too. Learn more about Planting and Gardening by the Moon. You are here Gardening » Planting Calendar » California.
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