Winter Vegetable Planting Dates

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Winter Vegetables

Do you know what you could be planting now, for eating in February? Or have you considered that some varieties of kale or cabbage are more cold-tolerant than others?

“What to plant” and “when to plant” are the most common questions I receive this time of year. Many times I refer folks to a nifty little “winter vegetable planting dates” chart of mine; if you’ve been a participant at one of my winter gardening workshops, or a follower of this blog for long, you’ve probably seen a version of it. Every year I tweak it a little bit as I experiment with sowings (and if you follow my Facebook page, you know that Mother Nature has recently “forced” me to experiment many times!). I also love to try new-to-me varieties — each fall and winter I grow at least 60 varieties of vegetables in the winter garden! And I can’t resist trying plants that I’ve never grown in winter before (like fennel and cilantro — you’ll hear more about those later). I love experiments that you can EAT!

I hope you can benefit from all of my experimentation, too! I’ll soon be posting results of last year’s row cover trials (plastic vs various weights of fabric), and other goodies that should come just in the nick of time for your winter gardening efforts. For now, here’s the most recent version of my planting guide for your growing pleasure.

Winter Vegetable Planting Guide




Additional Winter Gardening Resources:

These books are in my personal library, and I highly recommend them (these affiliate links cost nothing extra to you, but generate advertising fees that help me support this blog):



  1. jane

    October 2, 2014 at 6:23 pm

    I am wondering if anyone has the same date setup for zone 4a or 5

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  3. Rebecca Cuttler

    November 4, 2014 at 9:20 pm

    Thanks for sharing this great info! Do you start most of your seeds indoors? Or outdoors under cover?

    • Cathy

      November 5, 2014 at 5:54 am

      It depends on the seed. I have noted on the table which ones I usually transplant (those are started from seed indoors).

  4. Betsy Mickey

    November 11, 2014 at 11:38 am

    Cathy, do you have a first freeze date for your area? Gardeners from other areas could find their date, and use the difference to calculate their own planting dates.

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  9. Phillip Townsend

    January 29, 2015 at 6:43 pm

    How early in the spring would you start sowing greens under fabric low tunnels?

    • Cathy

      January 30, 2015 at 4:53 am

      It depends in the type of green. I’m sowing more mache, spinach, and lettuce next week. Asian greens and brassicas like warmer germination temperatures, so I either start those indoors or wait. I’m also starting more lettuce indoors for later transplanting (they’ll have a head start on the ones sown outdoors).

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  11. Adam

    August 10, 2015 at 4:11 pm

    Thank you for all of your articles Cathy. I discovered your site today and have already learned a tremendous amount from your posts.

    So, am I interpreting the chart above correctly that you direct sow seeds (or transplants where noted) uncovered during the dates of the “Open” column and then cover your rows as the weather cools and continue sowing/transplanting under the covers during the period in the “Low Tunnel” column?

    I feel a bit like I’m restating the obvious here but I’m relatively new to gardening so wanted to clarify. Thanks!

    • Cathy

      October 29, 2015 at 9:22 am

      Sorry for the delay! Everything that is seeded by the dates in the “Open” column should have time to mature and be harvested before temperatures drop low enough to require a low tunnel. The dates in the “Low Tunnel” column are much later, so the plants will need to be covered since they won’t mature until late in the season, when the really frigid temperatures arrive.

  12. Marie Geiser

    January 9, 2016 at 3:25 pm

    Hello, new to this site..I live in planting zone 5b how should I calculate for my planting for a winter garden? Thanks for your help. I enjoy all that I am learning.

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