When can I plant annuals and vegetables?

shutterstock_448087804Creating and growing your own garden might seem like an intimidating task at first. This is with good reason. There’s a lot to think about when it comes to gardening. You have to consider the right fruits, vegetables or flowers to plant, for example. You would also need to examine your soil and figure out which areas of your home have the most sunlight.

Aside from the logistical preparations needed as well as preparing your gardening tools, it’s important to take note of t when you will plant. This information is not common especially among beginner gardeners, but it’s handy information to have in order to grow your plants in the most effective way possible.

Planting annuals and vegetables occur in different seasons, depending on the plant type. Annuals are basically your plants that go through their entire life cycle in a year. They go from seed to flower to seed within only one year and only have one growing season.


When it comes to planting annuals, it highly depends on the plant type you have and your climate. Usually, though, annuals are classified as either “cool season” annuals or “warm season” annuals. These are based on their hardiness and ability to grow in areas with a little less heat in their soil.

Cool season annuals like the calendula and primrose are those that thrive best when they are on cool soil. They also prefer milder temperatures so it’s best to grow them in the fall and spring. When the weather becomes scorching hot, the seeds of these plants deteriorate. But don’t plant them in weather that’s too cold either as you might not be able to use the soil. If you live in areas where winters can get really cold, you can plant your annuals in early spring. If you live in an area that has only mildly cold winters, you can plant your annuals in fall and they will bloom best in winter time. This is all because annuals that thrive in cool seasons actually need the cold temperature in order to develop roots and foliage in that time, allowing them to bloom.

Warm season annuals, like your marigold, grow and bloom best during the warm months. It’s advisable to plant them in summer, late spring, or early fall. If they’re planted too early into the spring or too late into fall, they tend to deteriorate early and don’t produce the bloom you want. If you live in an area with extremely cold winters, plant warm season annuals after you’re sure that there is no danger of frosting. If you live in an area with a relatively warm winter, you can plant your annuals as early as midspring.

When it comes to annuals, these plants highly value good soil when they start. Make sure to rid your soil of any weeds and add a sufficient layer of compost. You can integrate matured manure and other organic additions here as well. Add fertilizer as well for a complete finish then rake the bed to be smooth. Even if annuals have preferences of season, they can be planted in pots or right in your outdoor garden. You can also buy a plant that has been nursed into its infancy. Ideally, you would want to choose plants that are relatively small but have healthy foliage. Annuals that have leaves turning yellow and are root-bound or are growing too big for their containers won’t grow well in your home garden. They will not bloom well either.

After your seeds settle in, make sure to water your bed thoroughly. Annual seedlings need to be watered consistently, especially when you’re in hot and dry climate. Add fertilizer into the soil and compost so your annuals will be filled with nutrients in their growing season. You can also add a thin layer of mulch to keep the moisture in the soil and avoid weeds.


 There is no one season that fits all vegetables when it comes to planting. You would want to plant the hardy and semi-hardy vegetables in early spring so you can harvest them in spring. You can also plant them in late summer so you can harvest them in the fall. These types of vegetables can tolerate intense cold and hard frosts, typically at 25 to 28 degrees Fahrenheit. The hardier the plant, the more they can tolerate cold temperatures well below under twenty degrees Fahrenheit.

In fact, some of these vegetables can actually still grow even after the first hard frost. Hardy vegetables include broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, collards, English peas, kohlrabi, leeks, kale, mustard greens, parsley, radish, spinach, and turnip. The hardiest of them all are spinach, kale and collards. These three can thrive in cold climates and are best to plant in early fall. On the other hand, semi-hardy vegetables only tolerate light frosts, typically at 29 to 32 degrees Fahrenheit. This means they are best for spring and fall gardening. These include your beets, carrots, cauliflower, celery, Chinese cabbage, endive, Irish potatoes, rutabaga and Swiss chard.

On the opposite end, you have your summertime vegetables. These vegetables are best to plant when the weather is warm and there is no danger of frost as they are easily killed by frosting. These include your beans, corn, cucumber, eggplant, gourds, melon, okra, peppers, pumpkins, southern peas, summer squash, sweet potatoes and tomatoes. These vegetables need warm weather in order to thrive, typically at around 65 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit.


All in all, there is no one-size-fits-all time that’s perfect for each kind of annual and vegetable when it comes to planting them. Doing research for the best possible conditions for your annuals and vegetables is still the best route when it comes to planting them. This is because each and every kind of plant requires a different kind of nurturing. The process and timing of planting your annuals and vegetables play a very big role in their growth. Plant them in the wrong conditions, with the wrong soil and temperature, and they will wither easily.



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