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Can I Grow That Here? Vegetable Seed and Transplant Schedules for Garden or Container

Includes information on days to maturity, planting dates, sun requirements, weeks to transplant size and frost tolerance for 34 vegetables.

Last Updated: 11/18
by Amy Grandpre, MSU Extension horticulture assistant, Yellowstone County

THIS MONTGUIDE IS DESIGNED TO HELP AGENTS

or individuals in different areas of Montana calculate the specific time to plant seeds or start transplants and plant them at the proper time. With a limited growing season in much of Montana, this should help gardeners get the most from the growing season they do have. This guideline can be completed by either the agent (if the county has uniform frost dates throughout) or by the individual gardener, once frost dates are determined.

 

Procedure

Define the average first frost date in the fall and the average last frost date in the spring for your area. Then, with the aid of a calendar, calculate from those dates the spring planting dates for your area and the transplant starting dates. Remember to calculate both dates if a variable is given.

Example: Weeks to transplant size, 3–5. Calculate both three weeks before your planting date and also five weeks before your planting date to give you a wider range of time in which to start transplants. This is also the way to calculate your planting dates if variables are given.

For example, snap beans can be planted one week before the last frost to 12 weeks before first frost. Calculate the date one week before last frost date and then the date 12 weeks before first frost. This is your planting range of time. For more information on particular varieties, check seed packets for special instructions and transplant guidelines.

You can also use this publication to answer the title question: Can I grow that here? Once you know the average dates of the last frost in spring and the first frost in fall, count the number of days between. If the “days to maturity” figure for the vegetable you want to grow is a larger number of days and the “frost tolerance” column indicates “none,” the sad truth is that you probably can’t grow that particular vegetable. But as you will see, there are many things that can be grown in most of Montana. Begin by establishing the specific dates for your garden space.

 

Average date of last frost in spring:______________

Average date of first frost in fall:________________

Number of frost-free growing days:_____________

 


Vegetable
Days to maturity
Spring/fall planting dates
Weeks totransplant size Sun requirement Frost tolerance Greenhouse grown? Soil temperature for germination
Container size


BEAN, LIMA

Bush: 75—80

Pole: 85—90

1 week before last frost to 12 weeks before first frost

Dates:

Direct seed Needs full sun None No 65–85 degrees

12 inches wide

8–10 inches deep

Succession plant bush varieties every week or two, up to last planting date

Container varieties: Bush Baby, Fordhook Bush Lima, Fordhook 242, Henderson
BEAN, SNAP 52–70

1 week before last frost to 12 weeks before first frost

Dates:

Direct seed

Needs full sun

None  No 60–85 degrees

8 inches wide

8–10 inches deep

Pole beans tend to mature later than most varieties of bush bean. Succession plant bush types once a week, up to last planting date.

Container varieties: Bush Romano, Contender, Provider and Tendercrop Stringless

BEET

50–80

4 weeks before last frost to 8–10 weeks before first frost

Dates:

Direct seed

Needs full sun

Hardy

No

50–75 degrees

2–12 inches deep

Succession plant every 2–3 weeks, up to last planting date.

Container varieties: Baby Canning and Spinel Baby Beets

BROCCOLI

60–80 after transplanting

6 weeks before last frost to 14 weeks before first frost

Dates:

6–8; Start transplants:

At least 5 hours daily

Hardy

 No

50–65 degrees

20 inches deep

Succession planting: If summers are not too hot, plant more broccoli one month after first planting, up to last planting date.

Container variety: Any will work. Crusader Hybrid is smaller and more compact.

BRUSSELS SPROUTS

80–90 after transplanting

6 weeks before last frost to 3 weeks after last frost

Dates:

 

6–8; Start transplants:

At least 6 hours daily

Hardy

No

65–75 degrees

12 inches wide

12 inches deep

Sprouts harvested after moderate freezes are much sweeter in taste.

 

 

 

 

 

CABBAGE

60–90 after transplanting

6 weeks before last frost to 13 weeks before first frost

Dates:

 

6–8; Start transplants:

At least 5 hours daily

Hardy

No

50–75 degrees

 

8–10 inches wide

12 inches deep

Over–fertilization or cold weather in the five- to eight-leaf stage will cause poor or misshapen heading.

Container varieties: Baby Head or Dwarf Morden

CARROT

60–80 after direct seeding

4 weeks before last frost to 13 weeks before first frost

Date:

Direct seed

At least 5 hours daily

Hardy

No

55–75 degrees

10–12 inches deep or deeper 

Succession plant every 2–3 weeks up to last planting date.

Container varieties: short rooted such as Baby Finger Nantees, Gold Nugget, Oxheart, Short ’n’Sweet and Tiny Sweet

CAULI- FLOWER

50–95 after transplanting

3 weeks before last frost to 14 weeks before first frost

Dates:

 

4–5; Start transplants:

At least 6 hours daily

Hardy

 No

50–75 degrees

No

Weather conditions influence the growth of cauliflower more than any other vegetable. Extreme heat or cold can cause serious crop reductions

 

Vegetable

Days to maturity

Spring/fall planting dates

Weeks to transplant size

Sun requirement

Frost tolerance

Greenhouse grown?

Soil temperature for germination

Container size

CELERY

125 after direct seeding

3 weeks before last frost to 19 weeks before first frost

Dates:

 

10 weeks; start transplants:

At least 5 hours daily

Hardy

 No

50–70 degrees

No

Celery likes some shading in the heat of summer. Cold nights in early season will cause bolting.

 

 

 

 

 

CHARD

55–60 after direct seeding

4 weeks before last frost to 6 weeks before first frost

Date:

Direct seed

At least 5 hours daily

Hardy

 No

40–70 degrees

8–12 inches deep

 

 

 

 

Container variety: any variety

CHINESE CABBAGE

45–60 after direct seeding,

40–50 after transplanting

 

Spring—6 weeks before last frost to frost

Dates:

 

Fall—11 weeks before first frost

Dates:

 

4 weeks; start spring trans- plants:

 

Start fall transplants:

At least 6 hours daily

Hardy

Yes

 50–75 degrees

20 inches deep

Most varieties will bolt with first hot days of summer, so are best planted in summer for fall cropping. Some varieties dislike transplanting.

Greenhouse varieties: any variety can be grown in a cool greenhouse.

Container varieties: most varieties do well, but especially Bok Choy, Michihli and Wong Bok

COLLARD

 

60–80 after direct seeding

 

 

Spring—4 weeks before last frost to 2 weeks after last frost

Dates:

 

Fall—8 to 10 weeks before first frost

Dates:

 

Direct seed

Needs full sun

Hardy

 No

40–70 degrees

12 inches deep

 

 

 

 

Container variety: any variety grows well in containers

CORN, SWEET

70–90+

From last frost to 3 weeks after frost

Dates:

 

4 weeks; start transplants:

 

Needs full sun

None

 No

55 to 85 degrees

21 inches wide

8 inches deep

 

Succession plant second crop 3 weeks after first.

Container variety: any space-saving variety

CUCUMBER

50–70

1 week before last frost to 12 weeks before first frost

Dates:

4 weeks; start transplants:

At least 5 hours daily

None

Yes

65 to 85 degrees

8 inches wide

12 inches deep

 

Greenhouse varieties: special varieties are available including; Burpless Early Pik, Crispy Salty, Pot Luck, Patio Pik and Tiny Dill Cuke

Container varieties: space-saving varieties such as Bush Crop, Patio Pic, Pot Luck and Space Master

EGGPLANT

 

100–120

 

1 week before last frost to 14 weeks before first frost

Dates:

6 to 10 weeks; start transplants:

Needs full sun

None

No

65 to 85 degrees

12 inches deep

 

 

 

 

Container varieties: space-saving varieties such as Dusky, Baby Bell and Morden Midget

 

Vegetable Days to maturity Spring/fall planting dates Weeks to transplant size Sun requirement Frost tolerance Greenhouse grown? Soil temperature for germination Container size
KALE 55 to 75 after direct seeding

Spring—5 weeks before last frost to 2 weeks after last frost

Dates:

Fall—6 to 8 weeks before first frost

Dates:

Direct seed

 

Needs at least 5 hours daily

Hardy  No 40 to 70 degrees

8 inches wide

8 inches deep

   

 

 

Container variety: any variety will work.

KOHLRABI 45 to 60 after direct seeding, 25 to 35 after transplanting

Spring—5 weeks before last frost to 2 weeks after last frost

Dates:

Fall—10 weeks before first frost

Dates:

6 to 8 weeks, Start spring transplants:

Start fall transplants:

Needs at least 5 hours daily

Hardy

 No

50 to 75 degrees

No

   

 

 

Kohlrabi does not grow well in containers or in the greenhouse.

LETTUCE 40 to 60 after direct seeding, 25–35 after transplanting

4 weeks before last frost to 6 weeks before first frost

Dates:

 

4 to 6 weeks; start transplants:

 

At least 5 hours daily

Hardy

Yes

45 to 75 degrees

8 inches wide

8 inches deep

 

Succession plant lettuce every 2 weeks up to last planting date, shifting to warm weather varieties for the summer months. Oak Leaf lettuce is heat resistant.

Greenhouse varieties: Loose leaf varieties such as Arctic King, North Pole and Parris Cos perform best.

Container variety: Any variety grows well, with partial shade.

MUSKMELON

80 to 100 after transplanting

1 week before last frost to 16 weeks before first frost

Dates:

3 to 4 weeks; start transplants:

Needs full sun

None

Yes

65 to 85 degrees

 

At least 24 inches deep

 

Greenhouse Varieties: New Hampshire Granite and Minnesota Midget

Container varieties: Burpee’s Sugar Bush, New Hampshire Midget, Yellow Baby Hybrid, Musketeer and Bush Star

OKRA

 

55 to 65 after direct seeding

 

1 week before last frost to 16 weeks before first frost

Dates:

6 to 8 weeks; start transplants:

Needs full sun

None

 No

70 to 95 degrees

 No

 

 

 

 

Okra does not grow well in containers or in the greenhouse.

Okra responds well when grown with black plastic mulch.

ONION

40 to 70 from sets

Planting for sets and seeds—3 weeks before last frost to 2 weeks after last frost

Dates:

4 to 8 weeks; start transplants:

Needs at least 5 hours daily

Hardy

Yes

50 to 80 degrees

10 to 12 inches deep

For fall scallions, plant a second crop 8 weeks after the spring planting. Keep seedling tops trimmed to 1/2 inch until a week before planting outdoors.

Container varieties: Any variety can be grown, but bunching onions are more productive in small spaces. Try Beltsville Bunching and White Pearl.

Greenhouse Variety: Try any variety.

 

Vegetable

Days to maturity

Spring/fall planting dates

Weeks to transplant size

Sun requirement

Frost tolerance

Greenhouse grown?

Soil temperature for germination

Container size

PARSNIP

100 to 120 after direct seeding

2 to 4 weeks before last frost to 4 weeks after last frost

Dates:

Direct seed

At least 5 hours daily

Hardy

No

50 to 70 degrees

No

 

 

 

 

Parsnips do not grow well in the greenhouse or in containers.

PEAS

55 to 90 after direct seeding

Spring—4 to 6 weeks before last frost to 2 to 3 weeks after last frost

Dates:

Fall—12 weeks before first frost

Dates:

Direct seed

Needs full sun

Very hardy

No 

40 to 70 degrees

12 inches deep

 

 

 

 

Container varieties: space-saving varieties such as Laxton’s Progress, Little Marvel, SugarBon, SugarMel and Sugar Rae

Dwarf peas still require a low trellis to keep air circulating through the vines.

Keep plants picked to encourage production, and keep soil moist once flowers appear.

PEPPER

50 to 75 after transplanting

1 week before last frost to 17 weeks before first frost

Dates:

6 to 8 weeks; start transplants:

At least 6 hours daily

None

 No

65 to 85 degrees

12 inches deep

 

 

 

 

Container varieties: space-saving varieties such as Canape, Gypsy Hybrid, Italian Sweet, Pepper Pot or any hot pepper variety

POTATO

80 to 140

1 week before last frost to 17 weeks before first frost 

Dates:

Direct plant

 

Needs full sun

 

Vegetation tender, potato tubers hardy

No

60 to 65 degrees 

 

 

 

 

 

Potatoes cannot be grown in the greenhouse or in containers.

PUMPKIN

100 to 120 after trans-planting

After last frost date to 15 weeks before first frost

Dates:

4 weeks; start transplants:

 

Needs full sun

 

Foliage No tender, pumpkins take a light frost or two

No

65 to 85 degrees 

 

 

 

 

 

Harvest before a heavy freeze.

Pumpkins cannot be grown in the greenhouse or in containers.

RADISH

20 to 49 after direct seeding

Spring—6 weeks before last frost

Dates:

Fall—7 weeks before first frost

Dates:

Direct seed

At least 6 hours daily

Hardy

Yes

40 to 85 degrees

 4 to 6 inches deep

Succession plant radishes every 10 days until warm weather arrives (day tempera- tures of 70). For fall successions, plant every 10 days, up to last fall planting date.

Greenhouse varieties: French Breakfast and Sparkler

Container varieties: Cherry Belle, Early Scarlet Globe, French Break- fast and Sparkler. The round red and white tipped varieties do best in containers. Stay away from large winter radishes.

RUTABAGA

90 to 100 after direct seeding

6 weeks before last frost to 16 weeks before first frost

Dates:

Direct seed

 

At least 6 hours daily

 

Hardy

No

65 to 75 degrees

No

 

 

 

 

Rutabagas cannot be grown in the greenhouse or in containers.

 

Vegetable Days to maturity
Spring/fall planting dates
Weeks to transplant size Sun requirement Frost tolerance Greenhouse grown? Soil temperature for germination
Container size
SPINACH 40 to 60 after direct seeding

Spring—6 weeks before last frost to 7 weeks before mid-summer

Dates:

Fall—6 to 8 weeks before first frost

Dates:

Direct seed At least 5 hours daily Hardy No 40 to 75 degrees 4 to 6 inches deep
   

 

 

Container variety: any variety

Good hot weather substitute is New Zealand Spinach.

SUMMER SQUASH

45 to 60 after transplanting

From last frost to 10 weeks before first frost

Dates:

4 weeks; start transplants:

 

Needs full sun

 

None

 No

65 to 85 degrees

 

24 inches deep

 

 

 

 

 

Container varieties: Early Yellow Summer Crookneck,

Goldbar Straightneck, Park’s Creamy and Scallopine

WINTER SQUASH

85 to 100 after direct seeding, 60 to 80 after transplanting

1 week before last frost to 13 weeks before first frost

Dates:

3 to 4 weeks; start transplants:

Needs full sun

None

No

65 to 85 degrees

 

24 inches deep

 

 

 

 

 

Container varieties: space-saving bush varieties such as Butterbush

TOMATO

70 after transplanting

1 week before last frost to 17 weeks before first frost

Dates:

6 to 10 weeks; start transplants:

 

Needs at least 8 hours or more full sun daily

 

None

Yes

65 to 85 degrees

Dwarf varieties 6 inches deep Standard varieties 24 inches deep

Greenhouse variety: Patio, Small Fry and Tiny Tim

Container varieties: Patio VF, Pixie, Small Fry VFN, Sweet 100, Toy Boy, Tumblin’ Tom, Yellow Pear, and others designed for containers

 

 

 

 

 

TURNIP

Greens—30 to 75 after direct seeding,

Roots—60 to 75 after direct seeding

 

Spring—6 weeks before last frost to mid-summer

Dates:

Fall—6 to 8 weeks before first frost

Dates:

Direct seed

At least 5 hours daily

Hardy

 No

60 to 75 degrees

10 to 12 inches deep

 

 

 

 

Succession plant every 3 weeks till midsummer.

Container variety: Any variety can be grown in containers.

WATER- MELON

30 to 100 warm days after trans-planting

 

1 week before last frost to 16 weeks before first frost

Dates:

3 to 4 weeks; start transplants:

Needs full sun

None

 No

65 to 75 degrees

24 inches deep

 

 

 

 

Container varieties: special varieties such as Sugar baby

This information was compiled from "Rodale's Garden Problem Solver," by Jeff Ball and "Planting Dates for Vegetables," Montana State University Leaflet 187


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