When to Plant Vegetables in Rapid City, SD

Your vegetable planning guide for
Rapid City, SD

On average, your frost-free growing season starts May 9 and ends Sep 27, totalling 141 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 27. 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 19. 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 13, 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 19, but because of the heat during that time of year, it's better to start them indoors around May 30 and then transplant them into the garden around July 9. Do the same with lettuce and spinach.

Sow peas directly around July 14.

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 14.

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 14 - Jul 14
Beets n/a n/a Jul 14 - Aug 28
Broccoli May 3 - Jun 17 Jun 14 - Jul 29 n/a
Brussel Sprouts May 3 - Jun 17 Jun 14 - Jul 29 n/a
Cabbage May 3 - Jun 17 Jun 14 - Jul 29 n/a
Cantaloupe n/a n/a May 30 - Jun 14
Carrots n/a n/a Jun 29 - Aug 28
Cauliflower May 3 - Jun 17 Jun 14 - Jul 29 n/a
Chard n/a n/a Jun 14 - Aug 28
Collards May 30 - Jul 14 Jun 29 - Aug 13 n/a
Corn n/a n/a Jun 14 - Jun 29
Cucumbers n/a n/a Jun 14 - Jun 29
Eggplants Apr 18 - May 3 May 30 - Jun 14 n/a
Garlic n/a n/a Jul 14 - Aug 28
Gourds, Squash and Pumpkins n/a n/a May 15 - Jun 14
Kale May 3 - Jun 17 Jun 14 - Jul 29 n/a
Kohlrabi May 3 - Jun 17 Jun 14 - Jul 29 n/a
Lettuce Jun 29 - Jul 29 Jul 29 - Aug 28 Jul 29 - Aug 28
Mustard n/a n/a Jul 29 - Aug 28
Okra n/a n/a May 15 - Jun 14
Onions n/a n/a Aug 28 - Sep 7
Parsley May 15 - Jun 29 Jun 29 - Aug 13 n/a
Peas (English) n/a n/a Jun 29 - Jul 29
Peas (Southern) n/a n/a May 15 - Jun 14
Peas (Sugar Snap) n/a n/a Jun 29 - Jul 29
Peppers Apr 23 - May 8 Jun 4 - Jun 19 n/a
Potatoes n/a n/a Jun 29 - Jul 29
Radishes n/a n/a Jul 29 - Aug 28
Spinach Jun 14 - Jul 29 Jul 14 - Aug 28 Jul 14 - Aug 28
Tomatoes Apr 23 - May 8 Jun 4 - Jun 19 n/a
Turnips n/a n/a Aug 13 - Sep 12
Watermelon n/a n/a May 15 - Jun 14

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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