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Warm Season Veggie Planting Dates

Posted by okiedawn Z7 OK (My Page) on
Thu, Apr 4, 13 at 18:18

Now that most of us have our last freeze and/or frost behind us, here's the recommended planting dates for warm-season crops:

MAR 25 - APR 30
Sweet Corn (can plant old-fashioned corn earlier, but supersweet types near soil temps greater than 60 degrees)

APR 10-30
Beans (except Lima,perhaps)
Eggplant
Tomato

APR 10-30 OR LATER
Cucumber
Okra
Pepper
Pumpkin
Summer Squash

APR 15-30
Lima Bean (needs soil temp at 65 in order to germinate well)

MAY 1 - 20
Watermelon
Cantaloupe, muskmelon and other assorted melons

MAY 1 - JUNE 10
Southern Pea
Sweet Potato

MAY 15 - JUNE 15
Winter Squash

For most of the above, you need soil temperatures of at least 60 degrees to get good, quick seed germination. The later their recommended planting date on this list, the warmer they like the soil, so for most of the veggies that have May recommended planting dates, soil temps of 60-70 degrees are even better,

Often people plant tomatoes and peppers at the same time, but tomatoes are more tolerant of cool air and soil temps. Peppers do better if you wait a couple of weeks after putting tomatoes in the ground.

So, y'all, let the planting games begin!

Dawn


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Warm Season Veggie Planting Dates

Dawn,
I was just curling up with the computer to finalize my garden plan, and here is your lovely list! You saved me hours....thank you so much. The rain is going to be putting our bed preparation behind schedule (I don't think we'll have our dirt and be ready to plant until April 20 at the very earliest) and I was afraid with that late start we'd only be able to plant some okra, watermelon, and habanero, put your list has given me hope.
Thank you so much for taking the time to do this!
Krista (newly transplanted to Oklahoma from the New Mexico desert and feeling a little water logged)


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RE: Warm Season Veggie Planting Dates

Krista,

You're welcome.

Enjoy the waterlogging while it lasts. Before long we'll enter the hard, dry,baked groundseason that is typical of our summer weather.

At least you're out of the desert now, although some summers I start thinking everything is going to dry up and blow away and we'll end up being in a desert eventually.

This isn't even wet enough to qualify for "wet spring" status, but if the rain keeps up for a few more weeks, we may end up with a wet spring which beats a dry spring every time.

Remember, too, that all of us get a second chance at cool-season (and some warm-season) crops in fall. You can look at the fall planting dates on the OSU document linked below just to get an idea when fall planting begins.

On the linked document, there are two tables of planting dates--one for cool-season crops and the other is for warm-season crops.

Dawn

Here is a link that might be useful: Fall Garden Planning Guide


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RE: Warm Season Veggie Planting Dates

That is super helpful, thank you Dawn for posting!

This is maybe a dumb question, but I shall ask anyway: are those dates for direct sowing seeds or for planting out transplants or is the date the same for both?


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RE: Warm Season Veggie Planting Dates

shallot, It depends on what the usual/traditional method of planting is for a given crop. For example, with the pepper and tomato plants, it generally means transplants. There is a very specific reason for that and it is because our air temperatures get so hot so early that tomato and pepper plants grown from direct seeding likely would not produce a harvest until fall. That occurs because once the air temperatures reach a certain temperature, blossoms often drop without setting fruit, often because the heat has harmed the pollen. Eggplants also normally go into the ground as plants, not seeds. When you put 6-8 week old transplants into the ground, the plants can set fruit before the heat arrives and you can be harvesting tomatoes, peppers or eggplants months earlier than you would if you used direct seeding in our climate.

With everything else, except sweet potatoes, the more traditional way of planting is to direct-seed them in the ground. Sweet potatoes are grown from slips, which are stems with leaves that have sprouted on a sweet potato. You break off the slips and plant them in the ground (or you purchase slips). In recent years, they have been selling sweet potato plants in containers at stores just like tomato transplant or pepper transplants. However, the slips often have multiple plants crammed into one pot and grow together, twisting and turning and becoming misshapen. Even though a gardener separates those and plants them separately, you still can get bizarrely-shaped sweet potatoes from them.

With everything that normally is direct-seeded, you certainly can start the seeds in flats or in individual containers and transplant them into the ground. That's your choice. One reason to do it? Assuming it takes seeds indoors a week to sprout and then you let the young seedlings grow another week or two before you transplant them into the ground, you're starting out with 3-week-old plants instead of seeds---and that can give you a harvest three weeks earlier. Another reason to use transplants? Maybe a person is brand new to gardening and would rather start with purchased transplants instead of planting seeds. That's fine. In a rainy year, seeds may rot before they sprout, so that's another reason to use transplants.

So, for most things you can put seeds or transplants into the ground using the recommended planting dates, but if you use transplants, you can reasonably expect an earlier harvest.

Dawn


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RE: Warm Season Veggie Planting Dates

I am just planting tomatoes and a few cucumbers this year. I've increased my tomatoes so won't have room for anything else. My tomato seedlings are ready to be planted even though I started them late. I am totally shocked by their growth rate and Don't know if it is attributable to the new lights, different seed mix, regular fert schedule, or what, but they grew in leaps and bounds and continue to do very well. Am so anxious to get this season started, but will keep an eye on weather. Cold spell forecast for next well. geez......

Susan


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RE: Warm Season Veggie Planting Dates

I am just planting tomatoes and a few cucumbers this year. I've increased my tomatoes so won't have room for anything else. My tomato seedlings are ready to be planted even though I started them late. I am totally shocked by their growth rate and Don't know if it is attributable to the new lights, different seed mix, regular fert schedule, or what, but they grew in leaps and bounds and continue to do very well. Am so anxious to get this season started, but will keep an eye on weather. Cold spell forecast for next well. geez......

Susan


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RE: Warm Season Veggie Planting Dates

I hate next week's forecast because it totally messes with my plan to get a bunch of planting done.

Tomato plants only need 6-8 weeks from seed to transplant date and get really big and unruly really fast. If I don't get these plants in the ground in the next week, I'm going to need to put them up into larger containers, and they're already in pretty large ones.

I'm not as worried about the cold down here (maybe I should be because we hit 33 degrees two nights ago), but am really concerned about all the hail in the forecast. If that hail wasn't in the forecast, I'd likely plant tomatoes today.

I try not to let the threat of severe weather interfere in my planting schedule too much. If I held back my plants and didn't plant them because hail is in the forecast, I'd never get a garden planted until July or August. Still, there's nothing worse than ignoring the forecast, planting and then having a hail storm hit them on their first on second day in the ground.

Susan, are y'all going to be down near freezing?

We're only expecting lows around 40-41 degrees,

Dawn


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RE: Warm Season Veggie Planting Dates

The forecasts vary - not surprising in Oklahoma. We could get very close as it stands right now.

Dawn, I just put my tomatoes in large cups (last Sunday) and roots are already coming out the bottom! I went from 5 oz to 20 oz and would like to get them in the ground or forever pots without another potting up.

Anyone know what soil temps are in OKC?

Susan


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RE: Warm Season Veggie Planting Dates

That's why we try to get them into the ground as soon as we can...when they are ready to grow, they're gonna grow and it is important to get them into the ground before they get rootbound. Once they reach a certain point with a certain number of leaves, growth just explodes....as you can see with your root growth just this week.

To a certain extent you can slow down plant growth by keeping the plants at a slightly cooler temperature. People often grow their seedlings at too high of an indoor temperature and get very rapid growth. While it seems cool at the time, it isn't necessarily a good thing. Plants that grow too fast indoors can get rootbound and stall. I have tried to keep mine from getting too tall too fast by moving them out to the greenhouse when they were tiny and had only 2 true leaves. It worked up to a point....but once the daytime highs were in the 70s, their growth accelerated even though the nights in the greenhouse usually were in the 40s or low 50s. Inside the house I try to keep them at 60-65 degrees and no warmer, which usually means closing off the heating vent in the room where the light shelf is because that many lights make enough heat on their own. Sometimes I even close off that room from the rest of the house and open windows to let some cool outdoors air come in to cool down the room.

I'll link the soil temperatures below. You should go by the 3-day average, but it will seem low because it is reflecting the cold days/nights we just had. You could look at the 1-day and see what a difference a warm day and night makes. With the nice weather we're having now, the 3-day averages will climb pretty fast, at least until next week's cold front rolls through.

Dawn

Here is a link that might be useful: 3-Day Ave Soil Temps At 4


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RE: Warm Season Veggie Planting Dates

Thank you Dawn for clarifiying! I guess I will start some cucmbers and squashes off today then so I can have transplants ready.


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RE: Warm Season Veggie Planting Dates

Shallot, You're welcome. I love putting 3-week-old transplants in the ground and getting an earlier harvest, but that's just me. It drives my traditional farming friends here, who only direct seed most things, crazy, crazy, crazy because I can plant a week or two later than they direct-seed and still get an earlier harvest. However, if I gardened on the scale that some of them do, I wouldn't use transplants either for cukes or squash because it would take too much time to put them all in the ground.

Dawn


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RE: Warm Season Veggie Planting Dates

Thanks, Dawn, for the helpful info including the link to the mesonet soil temps. I am glad I looked at this thread because I intended to plant tomatoes today. Guess I'll just be moving them to larger pots instead, for planting in the ground after the cold front passes. I would rather avoid this extra step but they are taking off and I want them to be warm and cozy when they go in the ground.

Donna


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Warm Season Veggie Planting Dates

Thanks, Dawn, for the helpful info including the link to the mesonet soil temps. I am glad I looked at this thread because I intended to plant tomatoes today. Guess I'll just be moving them to larger pots instead, for planting in the ground after the cold front passes. I would rather avoid this extra step but they are taking off and I want them to be warm and cozy when they go in the ground.

Donna


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RE: Warm Season Veggie Planting Dates

Donna, Believe me, if it wasn't for the cold front coming through later this week, I'd have tomato plants in the ground now. Last week, our forecast lows for Wed-Thurs here south of Marietta this week didn't worry me much because they were showing 40-41. Now our lows for those nights are forecast to be around 36 degrees, so I am glad I don't have tomato plants in the ground yet. I hope that this week's cold nights are the last ones we'll see, but it wouldn't surprise me if we don't get another cold front or two with similar cold nights about once a week through the end of April.

While I really appreciate the rainier, cooler weather and am so grateful we aren't having another spring like we had in 2011 and 2012, I'm ready for the warm-up to last instead of see-sawing back and forth from warm to cold and back again. At least we aren't complaining that it is too hot and that has to count for something.

Dawn


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RE: Warm Season Veggie Planting Dates

When I recall the last two years of persistent high temps I am more than grateful for the cooler spell we're having. But time is a wasting for getting these tomatoes in pots or ground to produce before the heat rears its ugly, hot head!

I also need to start focusing on the butterfly garden and plants! Yikes!!

Susan


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RE: Warm Season Veggie Planting Dates

Taking a cue from Shallot and I started some zukes and cukes and cantaloupe and some basil and oregano yesterday. I've always direct-sown the zukes and cukes but haven't really ever had what I'd call a successful harvest, so am trying this out. Plan to build a trellis at the north end of the garden and let these things climb, hopefully. That will leave me space to put my green beans interplanted in the onions when they are closer to coming out and maybe tuck in a pumpkin or two to climb out the side of the garden into the grass.

Actually, I might have plenty of pumpkins from volunteers - I'd piled a few dozen pumpkins that were Halloween porch decorations in the far end of the yard and the birds have had a field day with them as they break down. Now there are a billion seeds there, and I feel like some of them might take root.


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RE: Warm Season Veggie Planting Dates

Mia, they probably will pop up like crazy. Mine always have.

Dawn, thank you for the link! Looks good for planting a lot of things if the above ground temps will cooperate. I hope we Don't start to see cold on next week's forecast now. Dawn, any heads up on that? What is your gut telling you?

Today's forecast shows us getting down to 32 tomorrow night but maybe it will only be for a very brief time.

Susan


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