What to Plant When. USDA Zones and their Effect on Your Garden

This post was most recently updated on May 2nd, 2020

Gardening information sure can get a bit confusing at times! You may have a book to follow along with what to plant in the garden week by week. But unless it is written for your specific area, you and your plants will probably struggle if you follow it. Below is a month by month planting guide for each USDA zone.

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However, the first thing you need to find out is roughly what USDA Zone you live in. USDA Zones are divided up based on your area’s average temperatures over the last 30 or so years.

Knowing what zone you are in will ensure you are planting the right plants at the right time of year for optimal success.

Here is a map that you might find useful. You can find another more detailed US map here.

USDA ZONE
Source

As with many things, zones are a generalization. Your specific site, and even different spots on your site will have their own microclimates that may increase or decrease your zone numbers significantly.

Shady exposed or damp areas will lower your zone number, sunny sheltered spots against brick walls can increase it.

The lists below will give you a starting place to work out what you can plant in your garden in given months but I suggest you start your own garden diary and keep track of what varieties you plant and when.

If you are looking for more information about vegetable gardening, have a good read over our growing a prolific garden information.

Keeping track of what you plant and when and what works well for you is an important key to success.

Different varieties of plants have different heat and cold tolerances, as well as different lengths of time to maturity. Read the descriptions that are on the seed packets carefully.

I recommend using heritage seed varieties when possible – they are often disease resistant and contain more nutrients than commercial varieties which are grown for looks and transportability. Seeds for Generations have a great range of such seeds.

If you live in colder areas, choose varieties named “early” as they tend to have shorter growing seasons and you are more likely to have a mature crop before the weather gets too cold again.

If you are a newbie to gardening, or if you want to learn a lot more, check out our very in depth course – The Productive Gardener.

Colder areas will also do better with early tunnels and a glass house or greenhouse for hot weather foods like tomatoes, cucumbers, melons, eggplants, sweet potatoes and peppers.

What to Plant When Series

This is a growing series that will be added to as the seasons arrive this year.

Northern Hemisphere:

June
July
August
September
October
November
December
January
February
March
April
May

Southern Hemisphere:

December
January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November

Our Monthly Gardening Guide for Zones 1-10

Note: I am based in New Zealand, but 90% of my readers are from the USA so the months/seasons are done for the northern hemisphere. For the right one for the southern hemisphere, simply add on 6 months and use that one instead

Knowing what to plant in your garden in September is very helpful for planning your garden. This is also what people in the Southern hemisphere should plant in March!
WHat to grow in your garden in early spring - may in the northern hemisphere or September in the southern hemisphere. #piwakawakavalley
Here is what to plant in your spring garden in April in the northern hemisphere or October in the southern hemisphere, for USDA zones 1-10. #gardening #veggiegarden #vegetablegarden #homesteading #piwakawakavalley
What to grow in your spring garden in march in the northern hemisphere or in september in the southern hemisphere #homesteading #piwakaeakavalley
Knowing what to grow in your winter vegetable garden is tricky. Here is a list of plants in your USDA Zone that you can plant in February (or July) beginner gardening, growing food, urban garden, winter garden, vegetable garden, self sufficiency
Not sure what to plant in your Winter garden this month? Here is a list of tasks and plants that are suitable for the month of January - or July in the Southern Hemisphere. #vegetablegarden #wintergarden #homesteading
Not sure what to plant in your Winter garden this month? Here is a list of tasks and plants that are suitable for the month of December - or June in the Southern Hemisphere. #vegetablegarden #wintergarden #homesteading
Not sure what to plant in your Fall garden this month? Here is a list of tasks and plants that are suitable for the month of November - or May in the Southern Hemisphere. #vegetablegarden #fallgarden #homesteading
Here is some helpful advice for your garden this fall/autumn. A list of tasks to do and plants you can plant in October in the Northern Hemisphere and April in the Southern Hemisphere.
Knowing what to plant in your garden in August is very helpful for planning your garden. This is also what people in the southern hemisphere should plant in February!
How do you what to plant in your vegetable garden in June? Gardening information sure can get a bit confusing at times! You may get a book to follow along with what to plant in the garden week by week. But unless it is written for your specific area, you will probably struggle if you follow it. Here I will show you what to plant in your vegetable garden in June if you are in the Northern Hemisphere and what to plant in your vegetable garden in December if you are in the Southern Hemisphere.

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If you would like help getting the most out of your garden, I would love to help you, find out more here

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The first thing you need to find out is roughly what USDA Zone you live in. USDA Zones are divided up based on your area's average temperatures over the last 30 or so years. Knowing what zone you are in will ensure you are planting the right plants at the right time of year for optimal success.

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