At long last, I’ve made a single-page chart that shows the best planting months for the most common vegetables!

My gardening calendar carries this information with slightly more detail; my posts about what to do in the garden each month carry even more detail (here’s September); and the most thorough treatment of the nuances of when to plant which vegetables is found in my posts on specific vegetables (for example, “Growing carrots in Southern California”).

But I’ve wanted to be able to see the whole planting year at a glance. I’ve wanted a single paper chart that I can pin up in my garage.

Then when I ask myself, “Which seeds do I need for sowing in the next few months?”

I glance at the chart, “Oh, looks like carrots and peas and . . .”

Or I ask, “Which seedlings can I buy to fill in the gaps in a vegetable bed right now?”

I glance to find, “Oh, looks like broccoli and cabbage and . . .”

Other charts

Why have I made this chart when others have already made similar ones? (See some good ones in my post, “Which vegetables can I plant now in Southern California?”) I’m ever the skeptic, and I wanted one based on results I’ve observed in my own gardens and others in the region. You’ll notice only a few small differences between my chart and others, but using mine gives me more confidence since it’s backed by firsthand experience.

I also wanted the chart to be very easy to read (“at a glance”). Some others aren’t. So I designed it with that in mind.

Using the chart

The chart shows the best, most reliable months in which to plant each vegetable. Sometimes a given vegetable can be grown successfully if planted a month before or after those shown in the chart. For example, the chart says to plant tomatoes March through June, but if your yard never gets a frost then planting in February is fine, and if you don’t mind a reduced yield then planting in July is fine.

And in fact, some vegetables can be successfully planted every month of the year. See my recent post on growing lettuce in summer, for instance.

The main point of this chart is to show which months each type of vegetable can best, most reliably be planted. That is, if you plant within the months shown on the chart, your plants will almost surely encounter no obstacles related to time of year (season, weather, climate). You will have planted them at a time that is totally appropriate for their environmental needs (day length, soil and air temperature, etc.).

Here’s another look at the chart:

Click this link for a PDF of it which you can keep on your computer or phone, or which you can print out and pin to the wall of your garage, shed, kitchen etc.

Potatoes?

Notice anything missing? How did I forget to include potatoes?! Sorry for the mistake.

Until I find the time to make a new chart that includes them, let me note here that the best times to plant potatoes are August into early September and February, February being the best of the best.

(More at: “Growing potatoes in Southern California.”)

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