When to Plant Vegetables in Columbus, Ohio

Your vegetable planning guide for
Columbus, Ohio

On average, your frost-free growing season starts Apr 26 and ends Oct 13, totalling 170 days. You will find both Spring and Fall planting guides on this page.

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For the Spring:
Your planting strategy:
Cole crops like broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage can be direct seeded into your garden around March 15, assuming the ground can be worked, but it's better to start them indoors around February 16 and then transplant them into the garden around April 6. Do the same with lettuce and spinach.

Plant onion starts and potatoes around February 26. 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 16. Then, around April 22 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 April 26, or if your soil is still very cold, once the soil is near 60° F in temperature.

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 12 - Mar 27 n/a
Beans n/a n/a Apr 26 - May 24
Beets n/a n/a Mar 1 - Mar 15
Broccoli Feb 16 - Mar 1 Mar 29 - Apr 12 n/a
Brussel Sprouts Feb 16 - Mar 1 Mar 29 - Apr 12 n/a
Cabbage Feb 16 - Mar 1 Mar 29 - Apr 12 n/a
Cantaloupe n/a n/a Apr 12 - Apr 26
Carrots n/a n/a Mar 15 - Apr 12
Cauliflower Feb 16 - Mar 1 Mar 29 - Apr 12 n/a
Chard n/a n/a Mar 15 - Mar 29
Collards Feb 16 - Mar 1 Mar 29 - Apr 12 n/a
Corn n/a n/a Apr 26 - May 10
Cucumbers n/a n/a Apr 26 - May 10
Eggplants Feb 16 - Mar 1 Apr 26 - May 10 n/a
Gourds, Squash and Pumpkins n/a n/a Apr 26 - May 10
Kale Feb 16 - Mar 1 Mar 29 - Apr 12 n/a
Kohlrabi Feb 16 - Mar 1 Mar 29 - Apr 12 n/a
Lettuce Feb 16 - Mar 1 Mar 15 - Apr 12 Mar 15 - Apr 12
Mustard Feb 16 - Mar 1 Mar 29 - Apr 12 n/a
Okra n/a n/a Apr 26 - May 10
Onions Feb 9 - Feb 16 Feb 26 - Mar 27 n/a
Peas (English) n/a n/a Feb 26 - Mar 27
Peas (Southern) n/a n/a Apr 26 - May 24
Peas (Sugar Snap) n/a n/a Feb 26 - Mar 27
Peppers Feb 16 - Mar 1 Apr 26 - May 10 n/a
Potatoes n/a n/a Feb 26 - Mar 27
Radishes n/a n/a Mar 12 - May 10
Spinach Feb 16 - Mar 1 Mar 29 - Apr 12 Mar 12 - Apr 12
Sweet Potatoes n/a Apr 26 - May 17 n/a
Tomatoes Feb 16 - Mar 1 Apr 26 - May 10 n/a
Watermelon n/a n/a Apr 26 - May 10

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 13. 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 5. 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 August 29, 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 4, but because of the heat during that time of year, it's better to start them indoors around June 15 and then transplant them into the garden around July 25. Do the same with lettuce and spinach.

Sow peas directly around July 30.

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 June 30.

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 Jun 30 - Jul 30
Beets n/a n/a Jul 30 - Sep 13
Broccoli May 19 - Jul 3 Jun 30 - Aug 14 n/a
Brussel Sprouts May 19 - Jul 3 Jun 30 - Aug 14 n/a
Cabbage May 19 - Jul 3 Jun 30 - Aug 14 n/a
Cantaloupe n/a n/a Jun 15 - Jun 30
Carrots n/a n/a Jul 15 - Sep 13
Cauliflower May 19 - Jul 3 Jun 30 - Aug 14 n/a
Chard n/a n/a Jun 30 - Sep 13
Collards Jun 15 - Jul 30 Jul 15 - Aug 29 n/a
Corn n/a n/a Jun 30 - Jul 15
Cucumbers n/a n/a Jun 30 - Jul 15
Eggplants May 4 - May 19 Jun 15 - Jun 30 n/a
Garlic n/a n/a Jul 30 - Sep 13
Gourds, Squash and Pumpkins n/a n/a May 31 - Jun 30
Kale May 19 - Jul 3 Jun 30 - Aug 14 n/a
Kohlrabi May 19 - Jul 3 Jun 30 - Aug 14 n/a
Lettuce Jul 15 - Aug 14 Aug 14 - Sep 13 Aug 14 - Sep 13
Mustard n/a n/a Aug 14 - Sep 13
Okra n/a n/a May 31 - Jun 30
Onions n/a n/a Sep 13 - Sep 23
Parsley May 31 - Jul 15 Jul 15 - Aug 29 n/a
Peas (English) n/a n/a Jul 15 - Aug 14
Peas (Southern) n/a n/a May 31 - Jun 30
Peas (Sugar Snap) n/a n/a Jul 15 - Aug 14
Peppers May 9 - May 24 Jun 20 - Jul 5 n/a
Potatoes n/a n/a Jul 15 - Aug 14
Radishes n/a n/a Aug 14 - Sep 13
Spinach Jun 30 - Aug 14 Jul 30 - Sep 13 Jul 30 - Sep 13
Tomatoes May 9 - May 24 Jun 20 - Jul 5 n/a
Turnips n/a n/a Aug 29 - Sep 28
Watermelon n/a n/a May 31 - Jun 30

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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