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When to Plant Early Spring Vegetables in Zone 5

Grow zone 5


Grow Zone 5 Vegetables

If you live in zone 5, here is a schedule of what you can plant and when you can plant it. There are some cool weather crops that can be planted in the spring, just as soon as it is warm enough to get outside and work the ground. These crops include arugula, beets, carrots, mache, mustard, onions from sets, parsnips, peas, potatoes, radishes, salsify, spinach, turnips.

In addition to these vegetables that are sown outdoors in the spring, some vegetables are best started indoors in the spring. Starting the vegetable seeds indoors extends the growing season, by allowing these warm weather crops to grow to large plants before transplanting them outside. When the weather warms enough that it is safe for these plants they are then taken to the vegetable garden and planted. They will be ready to harvest sooner by starting them indoors first. These crops include broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, cucumber, eggplant, endive, leek, lettuce, melon, pepper, and tomato.


January Calendar

January Calendar

What to Plant in January

in Zone 5

Believe it or not, there are some seeds that can be started indoors as early as January to prepare for the summer vegetable garden. These vegetables include leek and celery.

First Week of January

Leek can be started indoors, from seed, in the beginning of the month of January and transplanted outdoors to the vegetable garden 8 weeks later. Usually, this is done in March as soon as the ground can be worked. Leek is a warm and cold weather crop, so it can continue to be successively planted throughout the summer. Some varieties of leek take up to 120 days to mature, so to ensure it can be harvest in time, leek should be planted directly in the garden no later than July 15th.


Celery can be started indoors, from seed, in the middle of January. The celery will be ready to transplant out to the garden 6 weeks later. As with leek, this is usually done in early March, as soon as the ground can be worked.


February Calendar What to Grow in Zone 5

February Calendar What to Grow in Zone 5

What Can be Planted in February

in Zone 5?

The second week of February

Mid-February marks the earliest planting date for broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, endive, kale, and lettuce. All of these plants can be started this early by planting them indoors. Broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, and kale, will be ready to transplant outdoors 6 weeks later, which will be the end of March. Endive and lettuce will be ready to be transplanted outdoors in 4 weeks, which will be mid-March.

After the middle of March, all of these vegetables can be directly sown into the garden in successive plantings to ensure harvest all growing season. All of these vegetables should be planted before mid-July to ensure they are ready to be harvested by the end of the growing season, with the exception of lettuce, which can be planted as late as the end of August.

End of February

Toward the end of the month of February, cauliflower, eggplant, peppers, and tomatoes can be started indoors. The cauliflower can be transplanted to the garden 6 weeks later, or around mid-April. The eggplant, peppers and tomatoes, can be transplanted after 8 weeks, or the end of April. Be sure to cover these plants in the event of a late frost.



What Can be Planted in March

in Zone 5?

The First Week of March

Arugula, mache, mustard, peas, radishes, and spinach can all be planted the first week of March. They do not have to be started indoors. All of these vegetables are directly sown into the vegetable garden as soon as the soil can be worked.


In the middle of March, beets, carrots, lettuces, onion sets, parsnips, white potatoes, salsify, and swiss chard are ready to be grown outdoors. At this time, cucumbers and melons can also be started inside to transplant outdoors 4 weeks later after the last spring frost is expected.

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End of March

Rutabaga and kohlrabi are ready to be planted outdoors by the end of the month of March.

Grow Beans in Zone 5

Grow Beans in Zone 5

What to Plant in April

in Zone 5

Beginning of April

In zone 5, after the first week of April passes, beans, squash and corn can be planted outside. They are planted directly in the garden and 1 week before the last frost is expected. After the seed germinates and presses through the soil, be sure to cover the delicate plant if frost occurs. Beans take several months to mature and can be planted in successive planting up until 3 months prior to the first fall frost. In zone 5, the first expected frost date is October 15th. So all beans should be planted by July 15th to ensure they have time to reach maturity before it gets cold.

Beans work well as companion plants for squash and corn. To learn more about companion planting and growing beans visit: Growing Beans at Home

© 2010 hsschulte

What do you Grow?

anonymous on May 01, 2013:

This information is totally wrong for zone 5. There is nothing you can plant directly in the garden in early march...late March is the earliest in only the mildest years and frost sensitive plants can't be placed out until mid-may. It's like the entire article is off by a month...

anonymous on April 02, 2013:

"In zone 5, after the first week of April passes, beans, squash and corn can be planted outside. They are planted directly in the garden and 1 week before the last frost is expected" - this is not accurate. I'm in zone 5 and our last frost date is May 21. Mild years its May 12-15. If squash are to be planted outside 1 week before the last frost is expected (per your article), then the first week of April is wrong and about 6 weeks early. The 2nd week of May is one week before the last frost in zone 5.

kcsantos on January 19, 2013:

Thanks for sharing this very informative lens. This will help me a lot!

gemjane on January 19, 2013:

This lens is very well-done! Thanks for the clear explanations! I have gardened for years, starting seeds inside and out, but there is always something new to learn!

mrmonkey on January 18, 2013:

are you sure, it's good for all :p

mrmonkey on January 18, 2013:

are you sure, it's good for all :p

mrmonkey on January 18, 2013:

i like it

mrmonkey on January 18, 2013:


mrmonkey on January 18, 2013:


getmoreinfo on January 18, 2013:

I have a nice vegetable and flower garden so I can appreciate these tips on ways to schedule for planting an early spring vegetable garden.

RangerMgr on January 18, 2013:

We grow tomatoes, zucchini, okra, squash, green peppers, water melons. Excellent lens.

1tadej1 on January 18, 2013:

I grow tomatoes, peppers, cucumber, parsley...

anonymous on January 18, 2013:

Great lens. I live in the UK Very difficult to start before Feb/March

CampingmanNW on January 18, 2013:

What a cool lens to run across, thank you. We always start the plants indoors, starting in February.(Pacific Northwest) By the time the weather decides to cooperate, the plants are healthy, large and ready to plant. Doing this also beats the short growing season some. Thanks for all of the great tips, this was a fun lens..

Lorelei Cohen from Canada on May 04, 2012:

We generally start planting outdoors on the May long weekend so I was very surprised to see your early planting tips here. You are correct though. Many plants need to be started indoors much earlier than their outdoor planting date.

anonymous on May 03, 2012:

I live in zone 5 in B.C., and the snow isn't gone off my garden until the end of April, early May. My garden is successful, but I cannot plant nearly as early as you recommend.

flicker lm on March 16, 2012:

I grow my onions from seed and I think I'm way past my usual starting date for that! Oops.

Gayle Dowell from Kansas on March 13, 2012:

Excited about planting my spring veggies. Blessed.

knit1tat2 on February 15, 2012:

Great lens, and good job explaining the when and why, spring is in the air, and it won't be too long now!

Ellen de Casmaker from Powell RIver BC on February 09, 2012:

Great overview of zone 5 - good idea

Virginia Allain from Central Florida on February 01, 2012:

I have quite a few plants that come up each year (rhubarb, strawberries, herbs). I try to keep my gardening simple.

Little Linda Pinda from Florida on February 01, 2012:

Spring gets me excited. I hope to someday be a gardener.

ladykida on December 12, 2011:

Nice lens, but where is zone 5?

bossypants on April 08, 2011:

I have great plans for this year's garden and your lens is a helpful guide to getting seeds and plants in the ground! I'll be referring back to it, in my favorites!

imolaK on March 31, 2011:

Great gardening tips. Blessed by an Angel!

garyrh1 on March 25, 2011:

Ah plants. Gotta love them. The zones are something everyone should read about when thinking about having a garden.

Jeanette from Australia on March 18, 2011:

And we're just coming into Autumn here in Australia... Your lens has been blessed and added to my Growing Vegetables and Herbs lens.

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