Home & Garden: Planting Calendar: When to Plant These Popular Vegetables

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With the current interest in vegetables and other home-grown produce at its highest level in decades, we all want to know how to grow the best vegetables. In order to bring your produce to your table, you need to plant at the right time. So how do you know when to plant? We've got you covered!

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Suggested planting times vary by hardiness zone, as determined by the USDA and based on annual low-temperature averages. The continental U.S. includes Zones 3 to 10, with most falling into Zones 4 to 9. To find out what zone you live in, refer to this chart from the USDA.

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A couple of quick notes: There are many more factors that determine how well your vegetables will grow, everything from rainfall and wind to temperature variations, and the makeup of your soil. So the best planting dates for your specific garden may vary from this list. If you or your neighbors succeed with a different date range, go with what works for you.

We're including many items that technically aren't vegetables, but are considered as such in common parlance. Basically, if it's produce that could be served as a side dish and wouldn't go into a fruit salad, then it's fair game!

When to plant tomatoes

Tomatoes are a favorite addition to meals ranging from BLTs to salsa to Caprese salad. They're also not vegetables; tomatoes are technically fruits. The fruit/vegetable debate has a long history, and it ultimately had to be resolved by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1893!

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When to plant cucumbers

Famously easy-growing, cucumbers are a favorite of gardeners nationwide. They're perfect for livening up a salad or adding to a sandwich. They can also be turned into pickles (as you long as you don't make these common pickling mistakes) or even hung on your Christmas tree?

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When to plant onions

Available in a variety of strengths and flavors, onions are a go-to addition for countless meals. They store well and can even help keep away pesky insects, including the carrot rust fly.

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When to plant carrots

This root vegetable is often orange-hued, but other varieties come in multiple colors. For your home garden, you may want to grow an assortment of colors, sizes, and sweetness to throw a little variety into your cooking. Carrots are fast-growing and can often be planted and harvested multiple times in a season. And, if you thought that was impressive, check out how carrots won the Trojan War. The planting dates below are the earliest suggest dates.

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When to plant summer squash

Squash and pumpkins are staples for autumnal meals and do some heavy lifting in these squash recipes for fall. Their size makes them dramatic additions to the garden; they can be as much fun to look at as to eat. Maybe throw in some of your eggplants and make a foolproof squash and eggplant casserole!

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When to plant corn

This tall-growing grain is undergoing a modest home gardening renaissance. Its size can potentially overwhelm small gardens, but it's popping up in home gardens much more frequently lately. If you've got extra, maybe try this sausage corn soup.   Planting Calendar: When to Plant These Popular Vegetables © Getty Images, Family Handyman

When to plant bell peppers

There is a wide range of pepper flavors and spice-levels, from pleasantly spicy jalapeños to blazing hot ghost peppers.

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When to plant potatoes

Delicious baked, fried, or roasted, a potato rounds out almost any meal. Decked out with toppings, it can stand on its own. Note that the planting times for potatoes don't follow the usual pattern. Potatoes can be surprisingly tricky, so familiarize yourself with this potatoes 101 guide before you get started. After the hard work is done, learn how to prepare potatoes like a pro!

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The high-temperatures of Zones eight to ten can be too much for them to bear, and you're better off starting a little later to get the best harvest.

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When to plant radishes

Radishes are another root vegetable, and some varieties carry a powerful taste. Radishes are a great choice to fill a small section of your garden. Notice that for Zones nine and ten, the best planting time comes later in the year and continues past December. If you're new to radishes (or a seasoned pro looking for the best of the best) check out this guide on how to choose between radish varieties.

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When to plant eggplant

These large vegetables lend themselves to a wide range of recipes, especially those requiring robustness, such as eggplant lasagna. Note that due to their long growing season, many gardeners prefer to start these plants as indoor seedlings. If you need a little more guidance, here's how to grow organic eggplant in your garden.

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When to plant peas

Peas are packed with vitamins and protein. According to the experts at Peas.org, one serving of peas contains as much vitamin C as two apples and as much protein as a large egg. They freeze easily, making them great to store for the off-season, and a handful can liven up almost any dish or casserole.

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  Planting Calendar: When to Plant These Popular Vegetables © Getty Images, Family Handyman

When to plant green beans

Hardy green beans are a garden classic. They're available in varieties that grow as a bush, or vertically to conserve space. Green beans are quick and easy—check out these other 13 vegetables that take the least amount of time to grow.

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The post Planting Calendar: When to Plant These Popular Vegetables appeared first on Reader's Digest.

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