Determining When To Plant Your Vegetables

Edward Dunphy, Director of Retail Marketing

Determining when to plant your vegetable garden is always a challenge, but spring 2016 is one that could test even the most seasoned Virginia gardener. The best advice is to follow the historical data. Virginia Cooperative Extension has a very useful publication 426-331Vegetable Planting Guide and Recommended Planting Dates. It is divided into useful sections, such as When to Plant, and How Much to Plant.

This link goes to a guide where the dates have been filled in for the Piedmont and Mountain region of Virginia.

The When to Plant section shows the average last killing frost in spring for most of the CFC Farm & Home Center customers would be May 10th through May 15th. Many novice gardeners make the mistake of putting out tomato plants too early. They are attracted by the warm sunshine on an April day and just can’t resist. Be forewarned, in a year like this one, setting out tomatoes without a plan to protect them from the occasional frosty morning is a recipe for disaster. The chart has instructions on how to customize it for your part of Virginia. Read that section before you dive into it.

The next section is How Much to Plant. This section covers planting distance, and expected yield. In the guide-use directions, it recommends how to calculate the planting depth of seeds based on their diameter. Smaller seeds need to be planted more shallowly than large seeds. You don’t want your turnip seeds to run out of gas before they break the surface!

All CFC Farm & Home Center locations have a great selection of garden seed in stock. Our helpful staff can make suggestions and assist you on your way to fun and productive gardening.