When to Sow and Plant Seeds

1 Material
15 Minutes

If you live in the United States or Canada and are wondering when to sow and plant seeds for your garden, this is the best guide! We’ll cover all of the basics including how to find your Plant Hardiness Zone, when is the last frost, and when to begin sowing seeds both indoors and also outdoors in your garden. This guide will focus on your vegetable garden, but the concept will work for any kind of seeds.

PS - if you find value here, be sure to check out the link to the blog post for more information and resources!

Let’s start growing!

Know Your Zone

First, you need to know your zone. Do you know what Plant Hardiness Zone you live in? While the zones are approximate and not absolute, they are a great guide to help you determine which plants will thrive and achieve their optimal hardiness.

For example, we live in Alexandria, VA which is Zone 7. When looking for the best vegetables to grow in our zone, I will always search for Zone 7.

You can either view your zone below or use the USDA’s interactive map --> https://planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/PHZMWeb/Default.aspx

For our favorite neighbors to the north, you can either view your zone below or use the Agriculture Canada’s interactive map --> http://www.agr.gc.ca/atlas/agpv?webmap-en=78529700717d4cab81c13e9f9404ef10&webmap-fr=c1b454842d3748b0bb0807d7817d34c2

Find Your Frost Date

See, that was easy, right? Next, you need to determine the last frost date for your zone. Of course, this is approximate as well, but it’s the date where we begin. The Farmer’s Almanac has a super easy calculator to use. All you have to do is enter your zip code and they will show you the first and last frost dates for your zone.

Access the frost finder --> https://www.almanac.com/gardening/frostdates

For reference, this is what ours looks like for Alexandria, VA.

So you know your zone, and you know the last frost date in your zone. All you have to do is look on your seed packet to determine when to plant - the dates will be the EARLIEST dates. Get out your calendar, and count the weeks back. That is when you can begin sowing indoors and planting outdoors. Easy, right?

Here's an example for Zone 7 (indoors).

6 weeks out (Feb 19)



Brussels sprouts



The same concept applies as to when to plant outdoors. The Farmer’s Almanac also has a calculator to determine when to start your indoor seeds and plant outdoors --> https://www.almanac.com/gardening/planting-calendar

A simple hack to keep all of this information organized is to do your planning in a journal or Bullet Journal.

That’s it, my friends! Easy to follow, right? Are you ready to start planting this year’s harvest? 

Be sure to check click on the link and head over to the blog post for more information and resources. Happy gardening! Hugs, Holly

PS - we have some super cool free printables for you too!

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2 of 3 comments
  • Siropav
    on Feb 28, 2019

    Gee, if I had this info previously, I would not have had to take a horticulture class to become a Master Gardener here in Arizona! Good info, but there is so much more to planting a successful garden: plant types, soil, area pests, fertilizer, water sources etc, etc, etc. Ask your local Master Gardener at your nearest Community College!

  • Joan Stanley
    on Mar 3, 2019

    In Texas was always have a nice Pre-Spring. All the plants and trees bud out and start blooming. Then we get The hardest freeze of the season. True to custom, our hard freeze will hit tomorrow night, March 3rd. All plants bought but history warns us to wait.

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