Did You Know? Planting Cool Season Vegetables


Did You Know? that it’s almost time to plant cool season vegetables? March 17 (Happy St. Patrick’s Day) is a general guideline for planting cool season vegetables in the garden. With the winter we’re having, you could have planted cool season vegetables a week or two ago and been safe. But I like to use guidelines instead of hard and fast dates. I’ve learned in the past that holding Mother Nature to a specific date is a bad idea…you and your plants stand a chance of getting burned.

So what can go in the ground in March? Here’s a list of cool season veggies and whether they are best sown directly in the garden or planted as transplants:

  1. planting cool season vegetablesBeets – seed
  2. Broccoli – transplants
  3. Cabbage – transplants
  4. Carrots – seed
  5. Cauliflower – transplants
  6. Fava beans – seed
  7. Kale and collards – seed
  8. Lettuce – transplants
  9. Onions – transplants or sets
  10. Parsley – transplants
  11. Peas – seed
  12. Swiss chard – transplants


I have to put in a disclaimer here so that you won’t blame me if your veggies turn to mush in a cold snap: watch the weather forecast and if you see that temperatures are going to drop into the mid-20s or lower, make plans to protect your veggies. So what are your plans for getting your cool season vegetables in the ground? Have you started yours as transplants or will you be sowing them directly? Let me know what you have in mind for your cool season garden this year. Instead of imbibing a green tinted adult beverage this St. Patrick’s Day, perhaps you’ll be digging in the garden. Leave me a comment below or e-mail me at stacey@midatlanticgardening.com. Happy gardening!

March 12, 2012Permalink 4 Comments

4 thoughts on “Did You Know? Planting Cool Season Vegetables

  1. This is very helpful. I was wondering about planting potatoes. And what plants could I put in the ground mid – late summer and expect to harvest in September or October? I’m a beginner and we’re growing beets, squash, cucumbers, and bell peppers. We also want to grow carrots and potatoes.

  2. Hi Regina! That’s a great idea for a post…thanks for the idea! Here’s a quick list of veggies to consider: broccoli, cabbage, kale, cucumbers, eggplant, squash, carrots and lettuce. If you can let me know where you’re located, I can give you some more specific info. I will do my best to get up a post about fall veggie gardening on Friday. Let me know if you have any other questions!

    • October 29th is the first average frost date for the Baltimore area. Knowing that, you can count backwards to see when your plants will need to be planted to beat the first frost. With that being said, many plants like broccoli, cabbage, kale, carrots and lettuce can handle frost very well so your production can continue well after the October date. In fact, carrots can often be left in the ground throughout the winter and you can harvest them straight from the ground when you need them. Regarding your potatoes, it’s generally not recommended to plant the ones that you purchase from the grocery store since they have been treated with chemicals to discourage the buds to break. It’s not that they will hurt you, they’re just slower growing. But I am a huge believer in pushing the envelope so why not plant a few if you have the space? Cut the potatoes so that they have two eyes per piece and plant them. Be sure to keep the soil hilled up over the potatoes as they grow. Good luck! Keep me posted on how everything is going!

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