When to Plant Vegetables in Boston, MA

Your vegetable planning guide for
Boston, MA

On average, your frost-free growing season starts Apr 7 and ends Nov 7, totalling 214 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 February 25, assuming the ground can be worked, but it's better to start them indoors around January 28 and then transplant them into the garden around March 18. Do the same with lettuce and spinach.

Plant onion starts and potatoes around February 7. 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 January 28. Then, around April 3 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 7, 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 Feb 22 - Mar 8 n/a
Beans n/a n/a Apr 7 - May 5
Beets n/a n/a Feb 11 - Feb 25
Broccoli Jan 28 - Feb 11 Mar 10 - Mar 24 n/a
Brussel Sprouts Jan 28 - Feb 11 Mar 10 - Mar 24 n/a
Cabbage Jan 28 - Feb 11 Mar 10 - Mar 24 n/a
Cantaloupe n/a n/a Mar 24 - Apr 7
Carrots n/a n/a Feb 25 - Mar 24
Cauliflower Jan 28 - Feb 11 Mar 10 - Mar 24 n/a
Chard n/a n/a Feb 25 - Mar 10
Collards Jan 28 - Feb 11 Mar 10 - Mar 24 n/a
Corn n/a n/a Apr 7 - Apr 21
Cucumbers n/a n/a Apr 7 - Apr 21
Eggplants Jan 28 - Feb 11 Apr 7 - Apr 21 n/a
Gourds, Squash and Pumpkins n/a n/a Apr 7 - Apr 21
Kale Jan 28 - Feb 11 Mar 10 - Mar 24 n/a
Kohlrabi Jan 28 - Feb 11 Mar 10 - Mar 24 n/a
Lettuce Jan 28 - Feb 11 Feb 25 - Mar 24 Feb 25 - Mar 24
Mustard Jan 28 - Feb 11 Mar 10 - Mar 24 n/a
Okra n/a n/a Apr 7 - Apr 21
Onions Jan 21 - Jan 28 Feb 7 - Mar 8 n/a
Peas (English) n/a n/a Feb 7 - Mar 8
Peas (Southern) n/a n/a Apr 7 - May 5
Peas (Sugar Snap) n/a n/a Feb 7 - Mar 8
Peppers Jan 28 - Feb 11 Apr 7 - Apr 21 n/a
Potatoes n/a n/a Feb 7 - Mar 8
Radishes n/a n/a Feb 22 - Apr 21
Spinach Jan 28 - Feb 11 Mar 10 - Mar 24 Feb 22 - Mar 24
Sweet Potatoes n/a Apr 7 - Apr 28 n/a
Tomatoes Jan 28 - Feb 11 Apr 7 - Apr 21 n/a
Watermelon n/a n/a Apr 7 - Apr 21

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 November 7. 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 30. 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 23, 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 29, but because of the heat during that time of year, it's better to start them indoors around July 10 and then transplant them into the garden around August 19. Do the same with lettuce and spinach.

Sow peas directly around August 24.

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 25.

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 25 - Aug 24
Beets n/a n/a Aug 24 - Oct 8
Broccoli Jun 13 - Jul 28 Jul 25 - Sep 8 n/a
Brussel Sprouts Jun 13 - Jul 28 Jul 25 - Sep 8 n/a
Cabbage Jun 13 - Jul 28 Jul 25 - Sep 8 n/a
Cantaloupe n/a n/a Jul 10 - Jul 25
Carrots n/a n/a Aug 9 - Oct 8
Cauliflower Jun 13 - Jul 28 Jul 25 - Sep 8 n/a
Chard n/a n/a Jul 25 - Oct 8
Collards Jul 10 - Aug 24 Aug 9 - Sep 23 n/a
Corn n/a n/a Jul 25 - Aug 9
Cucumbers n/a n/a Jul 25 - Aug 9
Eggplants May 29 - Jun 13 Jul 10 - Jul 25 n/a
Garlic n/a n/a Aug 24 - Oct 8
Gourds, Squash and Pumpkins n/a n/a Jun 25 - Jul 25
Kale Jun 13 - Jul 28 Jul 25 - Sep 8 n/a
Kohlrabi Jun 13 - Jul 28 Jul 25 - Sep 8 n/a
Lettuce Aug 9 - Sep 8 Sep 8 - Oct 8 Sep 8 - Oct 8
Mustard n/a n/a Sep 8 - Oct 8
Okra n/a n/a Jun 25 - Jul 25
Onions n/a n/a Oct 8 - Oct 18
Parsley Jun 25 - Aug 9 Aug 9 - Sep 23 n/a
Peas (English) n/a n/a Aug 9 - Sep 8
Peas (Southern) n/a n/a Jun 25 - Jul 25
Peas (Sugar Snap) n/a n/a Aug 9 - Sep 8
Peppers Jun 3 - Jun 18 Jul 15 - Jul 30 n/a
Potatoes n/a n/a Aug 9 - Sep 8
Radishes n/a n/a Sep 8 - Oct 8
Spinach Jul 25 - Sep 8 Aug 24 - Oct 8 Aug 24 - Oct 8
Tomatoes Jun 3 - Jun 18 Jul 15 - Jul 30 n/a
Turnips n/a n/a Sep 23 - Oct 23
Watermelon n/a n/a Jun 25 - Jul 25

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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