When to Plant Vegetables in Columbus, Ohio

Your vegetable planning guide for
Columbus, Ohio

On average, your frost-free growing season starts May 9 and ends Sep 30, totalling 144 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 28, assuming the ground can be worked, but it's better to start them indoors around February 29 and then transplant them into the garden around April 19. Do the same with lettuce and spinach.

Plant onion starts and potatoes around March 10. 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 29. Then, around May 5 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 9, 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 19, 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 25 - Apr 9 n/a
Beans n/a n/a May 9 - Jun 6
Beets n/a n/a Mar 14 - Mar 28
Broccoli Feb 29 - Mar 14 Apr 11 - Apr 25 n/a
Brussel Sprouts Feb 29 - Mar 14 Apr 11 - Apr 25 n/a
Cabbage Feb 29 - Mar 14 Apr 11 - Apr 25 n/a
Cantaloupe n/a n/a Apr 25 - May 9
Carrots n/a n/a Mar 28 - Apr 25
Cauliflower Feb 29 - Mar 14 Apr 11 - Apr 25 n/a
Chard n/a n/a Mar 28 - Apr 11
Collards Feb 29 - Mar 14 Apr 11 - Apr 25 n/a
Corn n/a n/a May 9 - May 23
Cucumbers n/a n/a May 9 - May 23
Eggplants Feb 29 - Mar 14 May 9 - May 23 n/a
Gourds, Squash and Pumpkins n/a n/a May 9 - May 23
Kale Feb 29 - Mar 14 Apr 11 - Apr 25 n/a
Kohlrabi Feb 29 - Mar 14 Apr 11 - Apr 25 n/a
Lettuce Feb 29 - Mar 14 Mar 28 - Apr 25 Mar 28 - Apr 25
Mustard Feb 29 - Mar 14 Apr 11 - Apr 25 n/a
Okra n/a n/a May 9 - May 23
Onions Feb 22 - Feb 29 Mar 10 - Apr 9 n/a
Peas (English) n/a n/a Mar 10 - Apr 9
Peas (Southern) n/a n/a May 9 - Jun 6
Peas (Sugar Snap) n/a n/a Mar 10 - Apr 9
Peppers Feb 29 - Mar 14 May 9 - May 23 n/a
Potatoes n/a n/a Mar 10 - Apr 9
Radishes n/a n/a Mar 25 - May 23
Spinach Feb 29 - Mar 14 Apr 11 - Apr 25 Mar 25 - Apr 25
Sweet Potatoes n/a May 9 - May 30 n/a
Tomatoes Feb 29 - Mar 14 May 9 - May 23 n/a
Watermelon n/a n/a May 9 - May 23

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 September 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 June 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 August 16, 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 July 22, but because of the heat during that time of year, it's better to start them indoors around June 2 and then transplant them into the garden around July 12. Do the same with lettuce and spinach.

Sow peas directly around July 17.

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 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 Jun 17 - Jul 17
Beets n/a n/a Jul 17 - Aug 31
Broccoli May 6 - Jun 20 Jun 17 - Aug 1 n/a
Brussel Sprouts May 6 - Jun 20 Jun 17 - Aug 1 n/a
Cabbage May 6 - Jun 20 Jun 17 - Aug 1 n/a
Cantaloupe n/a n/a Jun 2 - Jun 17
Carrots n/a n/a Jul 2 - Aug 31
Cauliflower May 6 - Jun 20 Jun 17 - Aug 1 n/a
Chard n/a n/a Jun 17 - Aug 31
Collards Jun 2 - Jul 17 Jul 2 - Aug 16 n/a
Corn n/a n/a Jun 17 - Jul 2
Cucumbers n/a n/a Jun 17 - Jul 2
Eggplants Apr 21 - May 6 Jun 2 - Jun 17 n/a
Garlic n/a n/a Jul 17 - Aug 31
Gourds, Squash and Pumpkins n/a n/a May 18 - Jun 17
Kale May 6 - Jun 20 Jun 17 - Aug 1 n/a
Kohlrabi May 6 - Jun 20 Jun 17 - Aug 1 n/a
Lettuce Jul 2 - Aug 1 Aug 1 - Aug 31 Aug 1 - Aug 31
Mustard n/a n/a Aug 1 - Aug 31
Okra n/a n/a May 18 - Jun 17
Onions n/a n/a Aug 31 - Sep 10
Parsley May 18 - Jul 2 Jul 2 - Aug 16 n/a
Peas (English) n/a n/a Jul 2 - Aug 1
Peas (Southern) n/a n/a May 18 - Jun 17
Peas (Sugar Snap) n/a n/a Jul 2 - Aug 1
Peppers Apr 26 - May 11 Jun 7 - Jun 22 n/a
Potatoes n/a n/a Jul 2 - Aug 1
Radishes n/a n/a Aug 1 - Aug 31
Spinach Jun 17 - Aug 1 Jul 17 - Aug 31 Jul 17 - Aug 31
Tomatoes Apr 26 - May 11 Jun 7 - Jun 22 n/a
Turnips n/a n/a Aug 16 - Sep 15
Watermelon n/a n/a May 18 - Jun 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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