Gardening: When is the best time to plant vegetables? – The Providence Journal

Gardening Mag

Gardening: When is the best time to plant vegetables? – The Providence Journal


These raised beds are draining nicely, but they're still too cold and wet to plant.

I know some gardeners who plant their potatoes or tomatoes in the garden on the same day every year. Not me. I think planting time is best based not only on the last frost date in your garden, but also the soil temperature and up-to-date weather predictions. And, of course, late frosts do occur unexpectedly and can wipe out your tomato or pepper seedlings. So don’t jump the gun.

The internet has many guides and suggestions for when you should plant, but I think an experienced next-door neighbor probably has a better sense of when to plant. So, for example, one internet source says the last frost for Cornish Flat, New Hampshire, is May 15, while another says June 11 to 20. That’s over a month of difference! But perhaps an old-timer in your town can advise you, depending on your exact location.

My vegetable garden is in a low spot, with hills on either side. Cold air slides downhill, so I am cautious about planting too early. Often there is a late frost in my garden, but not around my house, which is 15 or 20 feet uphill. Rivers, lakes and the ocean can have a warming effect, too. The closer you are to the Connecticut River or the Atlantic Ocean, the sooner you can plant.

It is often
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