When to Plant Vegetables in Ft Collins, CO

Your vegetable planning guide for
Ft Collins, CO

On average, your frost-free growing season starts May 11 and ends Sep 23, totalling 135 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 30, assuming the ground can be worked, but it's better to start them indoors around March 2 and then transplant them into the garden around April 21. Do the same with lettuce and spinach.

Plant onion starts and potatoes around March 12. 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 March 2. Then, around May 7 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 11, 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 21, 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 27 - Apr 11 n/a
Beans n/a n/a May 11 - Jun 8
Beets n/a n/a Mar 16 - Mar 30
Broccoli Mar 2 - Mar 16 Apr 13 - Apr 27 n/a
Brussel Sprouts Mar 2 - Mar 16 Apr 13 - Apr 27 n/a
Cabbage Mar 2 - Mar 16 Apr 13 - Apr 27 n/a
Cantaloupe n/a n/a Apr 27 - May 11
Carrots n/a n/a Mar 30 - Apr 27
Cauliflower Mar 2 - Mar 16 Apr 13 - Apr 27 n/a
Chard n/a n/a Mar 30 - Apr 13
Collards Mar 2 - Mar 16 Apr 13 - Apr 27 n/a
Corn n/a n/a May 11 - May 25
Cucumbers n/a n/a May 11 - May 25
Eggplants Mar 2 - Mar 16 May 11 - May 25 n/a
Gourds, Squash and Pumpkins n/a n/a May 11 - May 25
Kale Mar 2 - Mar 16 Apr 13 - Apr 27 n/a
Kohlrabi Mar 2 - Mar 16 Apr 13 - Apr 27 n/a
Lettuce Mar 2 - Mar 16 Mar 30 - Apr 27 Mar 30 - Apr 27
Mustard Mar 2 - Mar 16 Apr 13 - Apr 27 n/a
Okra n/a n/a May 11 - May 25
Onions Feb 24 - Mar 2 Mar 12 - Apr 11 n/a
Peas (English) n/a n/a Mar 12 - Apr 11
Peas (Southern) n/a n/a May 11 - Jun 8
Peas (Sugar Snap) n/a n/a Mar 12 - Apr 11
Peppers Mar 2 - Mar 16 May 11 - May 25 n/a
Potatoes n/a n/a Mar 12 - Apr 11
Radishes n/a n/a Mar 27 - May 25
Spinach Mar 2 - Mar 16 Apr 13 - Apr 27 Mar 27 - Apr 27
Sweet Potatoes n/a May 11 - Jun 1 n/a
Tomatoes Mar 2 - Mar 16 May 11 - May 25 n/a
Watermelon n/a n/a May 11 - May 25

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 23. 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 15. 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 9, 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 15, but because of the heat during that time of year, it's better to start them indoors around May 26 and then transplant them into the garden around July 5. Do the same with lettuce and spinach.

Sow peas directly around July 10.

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 10.

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 10 - Jul 10
Beets n/a n/a Jul 10 - Aug 24
Broccoli Apr 29 - Jun 13 Jun 10 - Jul 25 n/a
Brussel Sprouts Apr 29 - Jun 13 Jun 10 - Jul 25 n/a
Cabbage Apr 29 - Jun 13 Jun 10 - Jul 25 n/a
Cantaloupe n/a n/a May 26 - Jun 10
Carrots n/a n/a Jun 25 - Aug 24
Cauliflower Apr 29 - Jun 13 Jun 10 - Jul 25 n/a
Chard n/a n/a Jun 10 - Aug 24
Collards May 26 - Jul 10 Jun 25 - Aug 9 n/a
Corn n/a n/a Jun 10 - Jun 25
Cucumbers n/a n/a Jun 10 - Jun 25
Eggplants Apr 14 - Apr 29 May 26 - Jun 10 n/a
Garlic n/a n/a Jul 10 - Aug 24
Gourds, Squash and Pumpkins n/a n/a May 11 - Jun 10
Kale Apr 29 - Jun 13 Jun 10 - Jul 25 n/a
Kohlrabi Apr 29 - Jun 13 Jun 10 - Jul 25 n/a
Lettuce Jun 25 - Jul 25 Jul 25 - Aug 24 Jul 25 - Aug 24
Mustard n/a n/a Jul 25 - Aug 24
Okra n/a n/a May 11 - Jun 10
Onions n/a n/a Aug 24 - Sep 3
Parsley May 11 - Jun 25 Jun 25 - Aug 9 n/a
Peas (English) n/a n/a Jun 25 - Jul 25
Peas (Southern) n/a n/a May 11 - Jun 10
Peas (Sugar Snap) n/a n/a Jun 25 - Jul 25
Peppers Apr 19 - May 4 May 31 - Jun 15 n/a
Potatoes n/a n/a Jun 25 - Jul 25
Radishes n/a n/a Jul 25 - Aug 24
Spinach Jun 10 - Jul 25 Jul 10 - Aug 24 Jul 10 - Aug 24
Tomatoes Apr 19 - May 4 May 31 - Jun 15 n/a
Turnips n/a n/a Aug 9 - Sep 8
Watermelon n/a n/a May 11 - Jun 10

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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