The Q&A Archives: How early on Long Island can I put out vegetable plants?

Question: I am noticing that vegetable plants are being sold. How early can I plant egg plant, tomatos etc?

Answer: Planting time depends on which specific vegetable it is and on the weather each year. Tomatoes, peppers and eggplants along with melons and squash are not tolerant of cold weather or cold soil, so they are usually planted about a week or so after the last spring frost. Other cool season plants such as spinach, cabbage, broccoli, lettuce, peas and potatoes can be planted earlier, before the last frost. You can check your average frost date at the following government web site, but of course this has been a very odd spring. Perhaps your local county extension or a neighbor with some gardening experience can help you decide when it is safe to plant. (You may need to cut and paste the complete url into your browser to make it work correctly.)

Enjoy your garden this summer!

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