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When to Start Seeds: Your Guide to Fall Planting

The beautiful weather of fall makes it perfect for extending the harvest. This fall planting guide covers 17 popular crops to help you grow more food.

carrots and beets fall harvestcarrots and beets fall harvest

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When Should I Plant Seeds for Fall?

The following table indicates when to start seeds relative to your fall frost date.
Example: Start lettuce seeds indoors, 11 weeks before, or sow outside 9 weeks before your fall frost date.

Click here to find your fall frost date. Need help getting started? Get my step-by-step guide to starting seeds indoors.

Crop Name Indoor
Start Date
Transplant
Latest Date
Direct Sow
Outdoors
Beans N/A N/A 12 weeks before
Beets N/A N/A 9 weeks before
Broccoli 18 weeks before 11 weeks before 11 weeks before
Carrot N/A N/A 11 weeks before
Cauliflower 15 weeks before 11 weeks before N/A
Collard greens 15 weeks before 11 weeks before 11 weeks before
Garlic N/A N/A week of
Kale 16 weeks before 11 weeks before 11 weeks before
Kohlrabi N/A N/A 8 weeks before
Lettuce 11 weeks before 9 weeks before 9 weeks before
Peas N/A N/A 12 weeks before
Potatoes N/A N/A 15 weeks before
Radish N/A N/A 5 weeks before
Rutabaga N/A N/A 12 weeks before
Spinach N/A N/A 7 weeks before
Swiss chard 13 weeks before 9 weeks before 9 weeks before
Turnips N/A N/A 8 weeks before

Fall planting is an important aspect of the year-round harvest. Get more tips for preparing the garden for fall here. Don’t forget to plant your garlic! Here’s my favorite variety.

Note for Hot Climate Gardeners

If you live in a hot, dry climate, or at a high elevation, frost dates might not always be your best guide for fall planting. Instead, wait until temperatures consistently dip below 90 degrees.

Check with your local extension office to get specific details relative to your unique conditions. 

Get your seed starting dates automatically calculated for you!

Staying on course and starting seeds at the right time requires just a bit of planning and organization. Imagine a tool in which you type in your frost date, and it automatically calculates the following for EACH CROP:

  • indoor seed starting dates
  • transplanting dates
  • direct sowing outside dates
  • succession planting (how many days between sowing for a continuous harvest)
  • spacing in the garden
  • days to harvest
  • companion planting suggestions
  • special soil amendments

Sound amazing?

The good news: This tool exists, and it is just one of six tools you receive with my Complete Garden Planning System, which includes practical tools for planning your season from seed to harvest.

The Complete Garden Planning SystemThe Complete Garden Planning System

Have you extended your harvest season into fall?

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