When to Plant Vegetables in Norfolk, VA

Your vegetable planning guide for
Norfolk, VA

On average, your frost-free growing season starts Mar 20 and ends Nov 23, totalling 248 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 7, assuming the ground can be worked, but it's better to start them indoors around January 10 and then transplant them into the garden around February 29. Do the same with lettuce and spinach.

Plant onion starts and potatoes around January 20. 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 10. Then, around March 16 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 March 20, 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 4 - Feb 19 n/a
Beans n/a n/a Mar 20 - Apr 17
Beets n/a n/a Jan 24 - Feb 7
Broccoli Jan 10 - Jan 24 Feb 21 - Mar 6 n/a
Brussel Sprouts Jan 10 - Jan 24 Feb 21 - Mar 6 n/a
Cabbage Jan 10 - Jan 24 Feb 21 - Mar 6 n/a
Cantaloupe n/a n/a Mar 6 - Mar 20
Carrots n/a n/a Feb 7 - Mar 6
Cauliflower Jan 10 - Jan 24 Feb 21 - Mar 6 n/a
Chard n/a n/a Feb 7 - Feb 21
Collards Jan 10 - Jan 24 Feb 21 - Mar 6 n/a
Corn n/a n/a Mar 20 - Apr 3
Cucumbers n/a n/a Mar 20 - Apr 3
Eggplants Jan 10 - Jan 24 Mar 20 - Apr 3 n/a
Gourds, Squash and Pumpkins n/a n/a Mar 20 - Apr 3
Kale Jan 10 - Jan 24 Feb 21 - Mar 6 n/a
Kohlrabi Jan 10 - Jan 24 Feb 21 - Mar 6 n/a
Lettuce Jan 10 - Jan 24 Feb 7 - Mar 6 Feb 7 - Mar 6
Mustard Jan 10 - Jan 24 Feb 21 - Mar 6 n/a
Okra n/a n/a Mar 20 - Apr 3
Onions Jan 3 - Jan 10 Jan 20 - Feb 19 n/a
Peas (English) n/a n/a Jan 20 - Feb 19
Peas (Southern) n/a n/a Mar 20 - Apr 17
Peas (Sugar Snap) n/a n/a Jan 20 - Feb 19
Peppers Jan 10 - Jan 24 Mar 20 - Apr 3 n/a
Potatoes n/a n/a Jan 20 - Feb 19
Radishes n/a n/a Feb 4 - Apr 3
Spinach Jan 10 - Jan 24 Feb 21 - Mar 6 Feb 4 - Mar 6
Sweet Potatoes n/a Mar 20 - Apr 10 n/a
Tomatoes Jan 10 - Jan 24 Mar 20 - Apr 3 n/a
Watermelon n/a n/a Mar 20 - Apr 3

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 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 August 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 October 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 September 14, but because of the heat during that time of year, it's better to start them indoors around July 26 and then transplant them into the garden around September 4. Do the same with lettuce and spinach.

Sow peas directly around September 9.

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