When should I plant?Knowing when to plant certain vegetables is important when planning your garden. Some vegetables do best when planted as soon as the frost has cleared and the soil is dry enough to work with. Others need warm soil to germinate.
Early Spring Planting
I live in Zone 4, so I use May 15th as my guide. There is about a 50% chance of freezing after that date. This is the time to plant hearty crops that will germinate in cool soil and tolerate a light frost. The plants include peas, beats, carrots, spinach, lettuce, onion sets and radishes. This is also a good time to start other plants like tomatoes and peppers indoors.
Once the risk of frost is gone, usually late May or the first of June, it is time to plant crops like beans, swiss chard, cucumbers, squash and melons.
**seed potatoes should be planted at this time, I plant them in a trash can, so I will wait until the temperature reaches 60-70°F**
Late Spring Planting
Four weeks after the last frost is when the soil is warm enough to support tomato and pepper seedlings.
**This is just a basic guide you'll have to watch the weather, mother nature has a mind of her own. When in doubt, read the directions on the seed packets. Some vegetables have several different varieties with different growing instructions.
Planting by the Moon?Above-ground crops are planted during the light of the Moon (new to full..or Waxing)
Below-ground crops are planted during the dark of the Moon (from the day after it is full to the day before it is new again..or Waning).
For a chart of the waning and waxing of the moon, check out the Farmer's Almanac.
(note for Dr. Phipps, for best results sow seeds in the moonlight, preferably on a clear night. It is acceptable to use a flashlight to make sure your rows are straight.....although I have heard that you can grow more corn in a crooked row...??... If you choose to plant by the moon this year, please have your wife take pictures!)
Certain plants benefit from being planted next to or close to one another. Benefits can range from shade to pest control, and generally just give the plants a higher yielding crop. Below is a chart with some examples.