When to Plant Vegetables in Richmond, Virginia

Your vegetable planning guide for Richmond, Virginia

On average, your frost-free growing season starts May 1 and ends Oct 30, totalling 182 days. You will find both Spring and Fall planting guides on this page.

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For the Spring:
Your Spring Planting Strategy
Cole crops like broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage can be direct seeded into your garden around March 20, assuming the ground can be worked, but it's better to start them indoors around February 21 and then transplant them into the garden around April 11. Do the same with lettuce and spinach.

Plant onion starts and potatoes around March 2. Sow the seeds of peas (sugar snap and english) at the same time. If the ground is still frozen, then plant these as soon as the ground thaws.

Do you want to grow tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants? Start these indoors around February 21. Then, around April 27 you should start watching the weather forecast and, as soon as no frost is forecast, go ahead and transplant those into the ground.

Now, for all the summer vegetables like beans, cowpeas, corn, squashes, pumpkins, cucumbers, watermelons, gourds and sunflowers, you should plant those seeds directly into the ground around May 1, or if your soil is still very cold, once the soil is near 60° F in temperature. Having said that, we note that your location has a shorter than average growing season. Many summer vegetables need more days to mature than your area will provide. For that reason, we recommend you get a head-start by starting these summer vegetables indoors around April 11, and transplant those seedlings out after the danger of frost is past.

Okay, now here are the cold, hard numbers, along with specific plants:

Crop Sow seeds indoors Transplant seedlings into the garden Direct sow seeds
Asparagus n/a Mar 17 - Apr 1 n/a
Beans n/a n/a May 1 - May 29
Beets n/a n/a Mar 6 - Mar 20
Broccoli Feb 21 - Mar 6 Apr 3 - Apr 17 n/a
Brussel Sprouts Feb 21 - Mar 6 Apr 3 - Apr 17 n/a
Cabbage Feb 21 - Mar 6 Apr 3 - Apr 17 n/a
Cantaloupe n/a n/a Apr 17 - May 1
Carrots n/a n/a Mar 20 - Apr 17
Cauliflower Feb 21 - Mar 6 Apr 3 - Apr 17 n/a
Chard n/a n/a Mar 20 - Apr 3
Collards Feb 21 - Mar 6 Apr 3 - Apr 17 n/a
Corn n/a n/a May 1 - May 15
Cucumbers n/a n/a May 1 - May 15
Eggplants Feb 21 - Mar 6 May 1 - May 15 n/a
Gourds, Squash and Pumpkins n/a n/a May 1 - May 15
Kale Feb 21 - Mar 6 Apr 3 - Apr 17 n/a
Kohlrabi Feb 21 - Mar 6 Apr 3 - Apr 17 n/a
Lettuce Feb 21 - Mar 6 Mar 20 - Apr 17 Mar 20 - Apr 17
Mustard Feb 21 - Mar 6 Apr 3 - Apr 17 n/a
Okra n/a n/a May 1 - May 15
Onions Feb 14 - Feb 21 Mar 2 - Apr 1 n/a
Peas (English) n/a n/a Mar 2 - Apr 1
Peas (Southern) n/a n/a May 1 - May 29
Peas (Sugar Snap) n/a n/a Mar 2 - Apr 1
Peppers Feb 21 - Mar 6 May 1 - May 15 n/a
Potatoes n/a n/a Mar 2 - Apr 1
Radishes n/a n/a Mar 17 - May 15
Spinach Feb 21 - Mar 6 Apr 3 - Apr 17 Mar 17 - Apr 17
Sweet Potatoes n/a May 1 - May 22 n/a
Tomatoes Feb 21 - Mar 6 May 1 - May 15 n/a
Watermelon n/a n/a May 1 - May 15

For the Fall:
Your Fall Planting Strategy
Gardening in the fall can be much more challenging than spring planting, because you are in a race to get your crops mature and harvested before the winter frosts begin, around October 30. This means you need to consider how much time each variety needs between planting and picking. Those numbers vary widely between different varieties of the same kinds of plants! Usually the "Days to Harvest" are present on the seed packet.

Most tomatoes, peppers and eggplants, for example, require around 100 days to harvest, therefore you'd want to transplant those into the ground around July 22. Anyway, it's important to remember that the numbers in this fall planting guide are only a starting point for you! Good luck and good gardening to you.

Fall is the time to plant garlic. Around September 15, take your cloves apart and plant the toes about 3 to 4 inches deep. This may not be accurate! Garlic dates vary wildly around the country. The way to be sure is to use a soil thermometer. When the soil temperature is 60° at a depth of 4 inches, then plant your garlic.

Cole crops like broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage can be direct seeded into your garden around August 21, but because of the heat during that time of year, it's better to start them indoors around July 2 and then transplant them into the garden around August 11. Do the same with lettuce and spinach.

Sow peas directly around August 16.

Now, for all the usual hot weather veggies like beans, cowpeas, corn, squashes, pumpkins, cucumbers, watermelons, gourds and sunflowers, you should plant those seeds directly into the ground around July 17.

Okay, now here are the cold, hard numbers, along with specific plants:

Crop Sow seeds indoors Transplant seedlings into the garden Direct sow seeds
Beans n/a n/a Jul 17 - Aug 16
Beets n/a n/a Aug 16 - Sep 30
Broccoli Jun 5 - Jul 20 Jul 17 - Aug 31 n/a
Brussel Sprouts Jun 5 - Jul 20 Jul 17 - Aug 31 n/a
Cabbage Jun 5 - Jul 20 Jul 17 - Aug 31 n/a
Cantaloupe n/a n/a Jul 2 - Jul 17
Carrots n/a n/a Aug 1 - Sep 30
Cauliflower Jun 5 - Jul 20 Jul 17 - Aug 31 n/a
Chard n/a n/a Jul 17 - Sep 30
Collards Jul 2 - Aug 16 Aug 1 - Sep 15 n/a
Corn n/a n/a Jul 17 - Aug 1
Cucumbers n/a n/a Jul 17 - Aug 1
Eggplants May 21 - Jun 5 Jul 2 - Jul 17 n/a
Garlic n/a n/a Aug 16 - Sep 30
Gourds, Squash and Pumpkins n/a n/a Jun 17 - Jul 17
Kale Jun 5 - Jul 20 Jul 17 - Aug 31 n/a
Kohlrabi Jun 5 - Jul 20 Jul 17 - Aug 31 n/a
Lettuce Aug 1 - Aug 31 Aug 31 - Sep 30 Aug 31 - Sep 30
Mustard n/a n/a Aug 31 - Sep 30
Okra n/a n/a Jun 17 - Jul 17
Onions n/a n/a Sep 30 - Oct 10
Parsley Jun 17 - Aug 1 Aug 1 - Sep 15 n/a
Peas (English) n/a n/a Aug 1 - Aug 31
Peas (Southern) n/a n/a Jun 17 - Jul 17
Peas (Sugar Snap) n/a n/a Aug 1 - Aug 31
Peppers May 26 - Jun 10 Jul 7 - Jul 22 n/a
Potatoes n/a n/a Aug 1 - Aug 31
Radishes n/a n/a Aug 31 - Sep 30
Spinach Jul 17 - Aug 31 Aug 16 - Sep 30 Aug 16 - Sep 30
Tomatoes May 26 - Jun 10 Jul 7 - Jul 22 n/a
Turnips n/a n/a Sep 15 - Oct 15
Watermelon n/a n/a Jun 17 - Jul 17

How accurate is all this? For nearly all locations, we are confident in the dates. There are, however, some difficult areas of the world that don't match up perfectly with the dates we have given. For that reason, we recommend you use this guide as a very good starting place, but don't interpret the dates as absolutely perfect for every location.

Did you find this useful? Garden.org has a vast array of useful features. May we recommend that you take a look at our excellent food gardening guide?

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