When to Plant Vegetables in Whitefish, MT

Your vegetable planning guide for
Whitefish, MT

On average, your frost-free growing season starts May 22 and ends Sep 16, totalling 117 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 April 10, assuming the ground can be worked, but it's better to start them indoors around March 13 and then transplant them into the garden around May 2. Do the same with lettuce and spinach.

Plant onion starts and potatoes around March 23. 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 13. Then, around May 18 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 22, 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 May 2, 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 Apr 7 - Apr 22 n/a
Beans n/a n/a May 22 - Jun 19
Beets n/a n/a Mar 27 - Apr 10
Broccoli Mar 13 - Mar 27 Apr 24 - May 8 n/a
Brussel Sprouts Mar 13 - Mar 27 Apr 24 - May 8 n/a
Cabbage Mar 13 - Mar 27 Apr 24 - May 8 n/a
Cantaloupe n/a n/a May 8 - May 22
Carrots n/a n/a Apr 10 - May 8
Cauliflower Mar 13 - Mar 27 Apr 24 - May 8 n/a
Chard n/a n/a Apr 10 - Apr 24
Collards Mar 13 - Mar 27 Apr 24 - May 8 n/a
Corn n/a n/a May 22 - Jun 5
Cucumbers n/a n/a May 22 - Jun 5
Eggplants Mar 13 - Mar 27 May 22 - Jun 5 n/a
Gourds, Squash and Pumpkins n/a n/a May 22 - Jun 5
Kale Mar 13 - Mar 27 Apr 24 - May 8 n/a
Kohlrabi Mar 13 - Mar 27 Apr 24 - May 8 n/a
Lettuce Mar 13 - Mar 27 Apr 10 - May 8 Apr 10 - May 8
Mustard Mar 13 - Mar 27 Apr 24 - May 8 n/a
Okra n/a n/a May 22 - Jun 5
Onions Mar 6 - Mar 13 Mar 23 - Apr 22 n/a
Peas (English) n/a n/a Mar 23 - Apr 22
Peas (Southern) n/a n/a May 22 - Jun 19
Peas (Sugar Snap) n/a n/a Mar 23 - Apr 22
Peppers Mar 13 - Mar 27 May 22 - Jun 5 n/a
Potatoes n/a n/a Mar 23 - Apr 22
Radishes n/a n/a Apr 7 - Jun 5
Spinach Mar 13 - Mar 27 Apr 24 - May 8 Apr 7 - May 8
Sweet Potatoes n/a May 22 - Jun 12 n/a
Tomatoes Mar 13 - Mar 27 May 22 - Jun 5 n/a
Watermelon n/a n/a May 22 - Jun 5

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 16. 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 8. 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 2, 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 8, but because of the heat during that time of year, it's better to start them indoors around May 19 and then transplant them into the garden around June 28. Do the same with lettuce and spinach.

Sow peas directly around July 3.

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 3.

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 3 - Jul 3
Beets n/a n/a Jul 3 - Aug 17
Broccoli Apr 22 - Jun 6 Jun 3 - Jul 18 n/a
Brussel Sprouts Apr 22 - Jun 6 Jun 3 - Jul 18 n/a
Cabbage Apr 22 - Jun 6 Jun 3 - Jul 18 n/a
Cantaloupe n/a n/a May 19 - Jun 3
Carrots n/a n/a Jun 18 - Aug 17
Cauliflower Apr 22 - Jun 6 Jun 3 - Jul 18 n/a
Chard n/a n/a Jun 3 - Aug 17
Collards May 19 - Jul 3 Jun 18 - Aug 2 n/a
Corn n/a n/a Jun 3 - Jun 18
Cucumbers n/a n/a Jun 3 - Jun 18
Eggplants Apr 7 - Apr 22 May 19 - Jun 3 n/a
Garlic n/a n/a Jul 3 - Aug 17
Gourds, Squash and Pumpkins n/a n/a May 4 - Jun 3
Kale Apr 22 - Jun 6 Jun 3 - Jul 18 n/a
Kohlrabi Apr 22 - Jun 6 Jun 3 - Jul 18 n/a
Lettuce Jun 18 - Jul 18 Jul 18 - Aug 17 Jul 18 - Aug 17
Mustard n/a n/a Jul 18 - Aug 17
Okra n/a n/a May 4 - Jun 3
Onions n/a n/a Aug 17 - Aug 27
Parsley May 4 - Jun 18 Jun 18 - Aug 2 n/a
Peas (English) n/a n/a Jun 18 - Jul 18
Peas (Southern) n/a n/a May 4 - Jun 3
Peas (Sugar Snap) n/a n/a Jun 18 - Jul 18
Peppers Apr 12 - Apr 27 May 24 - Jun 8 n/a
Potatoes n/a n/a Jun 18 - Jul 18
Radishes n/a n/a Jul 18 - Aug 17
Spinach Jun 3 - Jul 18 Jul 3 - Aug 17 Jul 3 - Aug 17
Tomatoes Apr 12 - Apr 27 May 24 - Jun 8 n/a
Turnips n/a n/a Aug 2 - Sep 1
Watermelon n/a n/a May 4 - Jun 3

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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