Get a jump on your spring planting schedule
It’s the time of year to think about starting your seeds, but how do you keep track of planting dates? I find it a struggle to remember what seeds need to be planted when. I don’t know about you, but every year I have these big hopes for planting all my seeds, and then I find I’m behind on my schedule.
Now that I’ve moved to a new area of the country, my old planting schedule has completely changed. Here in Central Texas, some seeds are even started indoors as early as January 1st so they are ready to go outside for March or April planting.
I’ve created this handy worksheet to help you determine when your last frost date is, when you should start your seeds indoors, and the best time to plant them outside.
Here’s how to use the Last Frost Date Planting Worksheet:
1. Find your last frost date. This is the date that you are usually NOT going to see another freeze. Maybe you already know it – if not head on over to Dave’s Garden and use the handy freeze/frost date calculator. You look it up by your zip code and they give you a range of dates.How handy is that! I use the 50% data is best for my house because I can always provide frost protection if there is an unexpected cold spell after planting.
2. Enter the average last freeze date from the website, in the first column. (ex: To figure out when I should start my broccoli seeds I take my last frost date of March 5th)
3. Get out a calendar that will cover your seed starting and planting time. Some people in the South will begin seeds in December for setting out in February.
4. Add or subtract the number of “weeks to set out” (in this case subtract 3 weeks) to get the “set out date” That means that in my area I can plant broccoli outside the week of Feb 12th.
5. Count back from the “set out date” (Feb 12 – for my broccoli) by the number of weeks to grow indoors (-6) to get your “start indoor date”. Mine happens to be Jan 1st, which by now is long gone.
No worry if you’ve missed the seed starting date, do it anyway. Most cool weather crops can be planted in succession until the days get very hot during the summer months. If you are purchasing starts from the local nursery this year, the Last Frost Date Planting Worksheet works to help you know when to plant certain vegetables and herbs in your garden without danger of frost damage.
Shared with: From the Farm Hop