"When to Plant" your garden and "How much Fertilizer" to use

When to plant your vegetables



Planting Dates for the Spring and Fall garden

A Planting Guide for vegetable gardens in Zone 8.  If you're in a cooler zone simply plant later for the spring garden and earlier for the fall garden.  This is only a "guide" which means dates are not set in stone.  You may find that you can still produce a crop planting earlier or later than the dates given here, I know I have.

  Spring Garden Fall Garden Planting Depth
Beans (snap) Bush Feb 15 - May 15 Aug 10 - Sept 10 1/2 inch
Beans (snap) Pole Feb 15 - May 15 Aug 10 - Aug 31 1/2 inch
Beans (lima) Bush Mar 1 - May 30 Aug 1 - Aug 31 1/2 inch
Beans (lima) Pole Mar 1 - May 30 Aug 1 - Aug 31 1/2 inch
Beets Jan 15 - Feb 28 Aug 15 - Oct 1 1/4 inch
Broccoli Jan 1 - Feb 15 Aug 15 - Oct 15 1/8 inch
Cabbage Oct 1 - Jan 30 Aug 15 - Oct 15 1/8 inch
Cantaloupe Mar 1 - Aug 1   1/4 inch
Carrots Jan 15 - Feb 15 Sept 1 - Oct 30 1/8 inch
Cauliflower Jan 15 - Feb 15 July 1 - Oct 15 1/8 inch
Chard (swiss) Jan 15 - May 1 Aug 15 - Oct 30 1/4 inch
Collards Mar 15 - Oct 1   1/8 inch
Corn (sweet) Feb 15 - May 15   1/2 inch
Cucumbers Mar 15 - Sept 1   1/4 inch
Eggplant (start seeds) Jan 15 - Jun 1   1/8 inch
Eggplant (plants) Mar 15 - July 1    
Garlic   Oct 1 - Nov 30 1 inch
Kohlrabi   Sept 1 - Mar 15 1/2 inch
Onions (start seeds)   Sept 20 - Oct 15 1/8 inch
Onions (transplants) Dec 15 - Feb 15   1 inch
Peas (english) Dec 15 - Jan 31 Sept 1 - Sept 15 1/2 inch
Peas (southern) Mar 1 - Aug 10      1/2 inch
Peppers Hot (start seeds) Jan 15 - May 1   1/8 inch
Peppers Hot (transplants) Mar 15 - Jun 15    
Peppers Bell (start seeds) Jan 15 - Feb 28 Jun 5 - July 5 1/8 inch
Pepper Bell (transplants) Mar 15 - May 15 July 15 - Aug 15  
Potatoes (irish) Jan 20 - Feb 28 Aug 15- Sept 10 4 inches
Potatoes (sweet) Apr 10 - July 1    
Pumpkin Mar 15 Sept 15      *July 15 for Halloween Pumpkins   1/2 inch
Radish Jan 15 - Mar 31 Sept 1 - Nov 1 1/8 inch
Shallots   July 1 - Feb 28 1 inch
Spinach   Oct 1 - Feb 28 1/8 inch
Squash (summer) Mar 1 - Aug 15   1/2 inch
Tomato (start seeds) Jan 1 - Mar 15 Jun 1 - July 1 1/8 inch
Tomato (transplants) Mar 1 - May 1 July 1 - Aug 15  
Turnip   Aug 1 - Feb 28 1/8 inch
Watermelon Mar 15 - Aug 1   1/2 inch



Pre Plant - Fertilizer for the garden

Granular fertilizer is ideal for pre-plant applications. Before making the last pass with your tiller through the garden in the spring or fall, broadcast your fertilizer at the rate shown below. Immediately after spreading the fertilizer till the garden again to incorporate it into the soil. Make your rows and plant. Most folks don’t plant their entire garden at the same time so I would suggest only fertilizing that part of the garden you plan on planting now. Those rates are averaged and apply to most vegetables. *Okra and Sweet Potatoes require about 1/3 less at pre plant.


Fertilizer %

For every 300 sq. ft.

or 100 ft. of row

Per sq. ft. Per ft. of row
8-8-8 6 lbs. .32 ounces .96 ounces
10-10-10 5 lbs. .26 ounces .80 ounces
13-13-13 4.5 lbs. .24 ounces .72 ounces
17-17-17 3 lbs. .16 ounces .48 ounces
20-20-20 2.5 lbs. .13 ounces .40 ounces


Side-Dressing your plants

There are only a few vegetables that don’t require side-dressing, beans, peas and sweet potatoes, everything else requires added nutrients during the season. If you’re side-dressing with granular fertilizer you’ll have to incorporate it into the soil. If not done carefully you stand the chance of damaging the root system. Here’s where a water soluble fertilizer such as Calcium Nitrate or 20-20-20 comes in. Mix the desired amount in your water can or tank and apply near the base of the plants. The water soluble fertilizer will soak in and there’s no need to incorporate it.

Fertilizer %

For every 300 sq. ft.

or 100 ft. of row

Per sq. ft. Per ft. of row
Calcium Nitrate 15-0-0 (water soluble) 2 lbs. .10 ounces .32 ounces
Ammonium Sulfate 1 lb. .05 ounces .16 ounces
20-20-20 (water soluble) 1.5 lbs .08 ounces .24 ounces



What and when to Side-Dress

What

 

When
Beans (Snap, Lima or Butter), Peas Side-Dressing not recommended
Beets, Carrots, Radishes, Turnips, Rutabagas, Kohlrabi Three to four weeks after planting
Cabbage, Collards, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cauliflower Three to four weeks after transplanting and again in two to three weeks.
Cantaloupes, Watermelons, Honeydew Once when vines begin to run
Celery Once after frost danger has passed and again in three to four weeks.
Corn (sweet) At 12 inches tall and again at 36 inches tall.
Tomatoes At first fruit set and every three to four weeks thereafter
Lettuce, Endive, Escarole, Romaine, Fennel Three to four weeks after transplanting
Onions, Garlic, Shallots In the spring when they begin to grow and again when bulbs begin to form
Mustard Greens, Parsley, Spinach Three to four weeks after planting
Okra After first pod set and every four to six weeks thereafter
Peppers, Eggplants At first fruit set
Potatoes (irish) After plants are 6-10 inches tall
Potatoes (sweet) Side-Dressing not recommended
Squash, Cucumbers, Pumpkins As plants begin to run and again in three to four weeks



Crop Rotation - Vegetable Plant Families

Although not always possible, crop rotation should be considered. It’s believed that being on a 3 year rotation (not planting the same family of vegetables in the same spot or row) helps with disease and more balanced nutrient levels. It also helps control pest in the soil.

Family Vegetables
Onion

chives, garlic, garlic chives, elephant garlic, leeks, onion, scallions, shallot

Cabbage /
Mustard

bok choi, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collards, horseradish, kale, kohlrabi, mustard, radish, rutabaga,  turnip

Beetroot / Goosefoot

beet, chard, spinach, sugar beet, swiss chard

Aster / Daisy lettuce, marigolds, sunflower
Squash / Cucurbit cucumber, gourds, melons (cantaloupe/muskmelon, honeydew melon, water melon), squash (acorn, banana, buttercup, butternut, crookneck, pumpkin,  spaghetti, zucchini, west indian gherkin
Beans / Peas

beans, lima bean, cowpea, peas, peanuts

Potato / Nightshade eggplant, peppers, potato, tobacco, tomato, tomatillo
Carrot

carrot, celery, dill, fennel, parsley, parsnip

Grass Family Corn
Misc. Okra

 

 

 

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