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When to Plant Early Spring Vegetables in Zone 5

Updated on February 9, 2018

Grow zone 5

Grow Zone 5 Vegetables

If you live in zone 5, here is a schedule of what you can plant and when you can plant it. There are some cool weather crops that can be planted in the spring, just as soon as it is warm enough to get outside and work the ground. These crops include arugula, beets, carrots, mache, mustard, onions from sets, parsnips, peas, potatoes, radishes, salsify, spinach, turnips.

In addition to these vegetables that are sown outdoors in the spring, some vegetables are best started indoors in the spring. Starting the vegetable seeds indoors extends the growing season, by allowing these warm weather crops to grow to large plants before transplanting them outside. When the weather warms enough that it is safe for these plants they are then taken to the vegetable garden and planted. They will be ready to harvest sooner by starting them indoors first. These crops include broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, cucumber, eggplant, endive, leek, lettuce, melon, pepper, and tomato.


January Calendar
January Calendar

What to Plant in January

in Zone 5

Believe it or not, there are some seeds that can be started indoors as early as January to prepare for the summer vegetable garden. These vegetables include leek and celery.

First Week of January

Leek can be started indoors, from seed, in the beginning of the month of January and transplanted outdoors to the vegetable garden 8 weeks later. Usually, this is done in March as soon as the ground can be worked. Leek is a warm and cold weather crop, so it can continue to be successively planted throughout the summer. Some varieties of leek take up to 120 days to mature, so to ensure it can be harvest in time, leek should be planted directly in the garden no later than July 15th.


Celery can be started indoors, from seed, in the middle of January. The celery will be ready to transplant out to the garden 6 weeks later. As with leek, this is usually done in early March, as soon as the ground can be worked.


February Calendar What to Grow in Zone 5
February Calendar What to Grow in Zone 5

What Can be Planted in February

in Zone 5?

The second week of February

Mid-February marks the earliest planting date for broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, endive, kale, and lettuce. All of these plants can be started this early by planting them indoors. Broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, and kale, will be ready to transplant outdoors 6 weeks later, which will be the end of March. Endive and lettuce will be ready to be transplanted outdoors in 4 weeks, which will be mid-March.

After the middle of March, all of these vegetables can be directly sown into the garden in successive plantings to ensure harvest all growing season. All of these vegetables should be planted before mid-July to ensure they are ready to be harvested by the end of the growing season, with the exception of lettuce, which can be planted as late as the end of August.

End of February

Toward the end of the month of February, cauliflower, eggplant, peppers, and tomatoes can be started indoors. The cauliflower can be transplanted to the garden 6 weeks later, or around mid-April. The eggplant, peppers and tomatoes, can be transplanted after 8 weeks, or the end of April. Be sure to cover these plants in the event of a late frost.


What Can be Planted in March

in Zone 5?

The First Week of March

Arugula, mache, mustard, peas, radishes, and spinach can all be planted the first week of March. They do not have to be started indoors. All of these vegetables are directly sown into the vegetable garden as soon as the soil can be worked.


In the middle of March, beets, carrots, lettuces, onion sets, parsnips, white potatoes, salsify, and swiss chard are ready to be grown outdoors. At this time, cucumbers and melons can also be started inside to transplant outdoors 4 weeks later after the last spring frost is expected.

End of March

Rutabaga and kohlrabi are ready to be planted outdoors by the end of the month of March.

Grow Beans in Zone 5
Grow Beans in Zone 5

What to Plant in April

in Zone 5

Beginning of April

In zone 5, after the first week of April passes, beans, squash and corn can be planted outside. They are planted directly in the garden and 1 week before the last frost is expected. After the seed germinates and presses through the soil, be sure to cover the delicate plant if frost occurs. Beans take several months to mature and can be planted in successive planting up until 3 months prior to the first fall frost. In zone 5, the first expected frost date is October 15th. So all beans should be planted by July 15th to ensure they have time to reach maturity before it gets cold.

Beans work well as companion plants for squash and corn. To learn more about companion planting and growing beans visit: Growing Beans at Home

© 2010 hsschulte

What do you Grow?

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    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      This information is totally wrong for zone 5. There is nothing you can plant directly in the garden in early march...late March is the earliest in only the mildest years and frost sensitive plants can't be placed out until mid-may. It's like the entire article is off by a month...

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      "In zone 5, after the first week of April passes, beans, squash and corn can be planted outside. They are planted directly in the garden and 1 week before the last frost is expected" - this is not accurate. I'm in zone 5 and our last frost date is May 21. Mild years its May 12-15. If squash are to be planted outside 1 week before the last frost is expected (per your article), then the first week of April is wrong and about 6 weeks early. The 2nd week of May is one week before the last frost in zone 5.

    • kcsantos profile image

      kcsantos 5 years ago

      Thanks for sharing this very informative lens. This will help me a lot!

    • profile image

      gemjane 5 years ago

      This lens is very well-done! Thanks for the clear explanations! I have gardened for years, starting seeds inside and out, but there is always something new to learn!

    • profile image

      mrmonkey 5 years ago

      are you sure, it's good for all :p

    • profile image

      mrmonkey 5 years ago

      are you sure, it's good for all :p

    • profile image

      mrmonkey 5 years ago

      i like it

    • profile image

      mrmonkey 5 years ago


    • profile image

      mrmonkey 5 years ago


    • profile image

      getmoreinfo 5 years ago

      I have a nice vegetable and flower garden so I can appreciate these tips on ways to schedule for planting an early spring vegetable garden.

    • profile image

      RangerMgr 5 years ago

      We grow tomatoes, zucchini, okra, squash, green peppers, water melons. Excellent lens.

    • profile image

      1tadej1 5 years ago

      I grow tomatoes, peppers, cucumber, parsley...

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Great lens. I live in the UK Very difficult to start before Feb/March

    • CampingmanNW profile image

      CampingmanNW 5 years ago

      What a cool lens to run across, thank you. We always start the plants indoors, starting in February.(Pacific Northwest) By the time the weather decides to cooperate, the plants are healthy, large and ready to plant. Doing this also beats the short growing season some. Thanks for all of the great tips, this was a fun lens..

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 5 years ago from Canada

      We generally start planting outdoors on the May long weekend so I was very surprised to see your early planting tips here. You are correct though. Many plants need to be started indoors much earlier than their outdoor planting date.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I live in zone 5 in B.C., and the snow isn't gone off my garden until the end of April, early May. My garden is successful, but I cannot plant nearly as early as you recommend.

    • flicker lm profile image

      flicker lm 5 years ago

      I grow my onions from seed and I think I'm way past my usual starting date for that! Oops.

    • Gayle Dowell profile image

      Gayle Dowell 5 years ago from Kansas

      Excited about planting my spring veggies. Blessed.

    • knit1tat2 profile image

      knit1tat2 6 years ago

      Great lens, and good job explaining the when and why, spring is in the air, and it won't be too long now!

    • edecas4 profile image

      Ellen de Casmaker 6 years ago from Powell RIver BC

      Great overview of zone 5 - good idea

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 6 years ago from Central Florida

      I have quite a few plants that come up each year (rhubarb, strawberries, herbs). I try to keep my gardening simple.

    • LittleLindaPinda profile image

      Little Linda Pinda 6 years ago from Florida

      Spring gets me excited. I hope to someday be a gardener.

    • profile image

      ladykida 6 years ago

      Nice lens, but where is zone 5?

    • profile image

      bossypants 6 years ago

      I have great plans for this year's garden and your lens is a helpful guide to getting seeds and plants in the ground! I'll be referring back to it, in my favorites!

    • imolaK profile image

      imolaK 6 years ago

      Great gardening tips. Blessed by an Angel!

    • garyrh1 profile image

      garyrh1 6 years ago

      Ah plants. Gotta love them. The zones are something everyone should read about when thinking about having a garden.

    • GonnaFly profile image

      Jeanette 6 years ago from Australia

      And we're just coming into Autumn here in Australia... Your lens has been blessed and added to my Growing Vegetables and Herbs lens.