Here is a handy chart courtesy of Seed Savers Exchange. Seeds or transplants of cool season veggies can be planted when the temperatures are at least 40 degrees, which is March and April in Virginia. There are two types of cool season veggies. Hardy types can withstand a heavy frost and temperatures as low as 40 degrees so they can be planted two to three weeks before the average last frost. In Northern Virginia, the average last frost date is between April 10 and 21 so I arbitrarily pick April 15 to be able to remember. That means that I can either directly sow seed into the ground the weekend of March 25 (because I work during the week) or (having started the seeds indoors) I can plant the small plants into the ground. Semi-hardy plants can withstand a light frost and prefer slightly warmer temperatures toward 50 degrees so they have to be planted later, two weeks before average last frost date which would be the weekend of April 1. If a severe temperature drop would to occur, I would protect the plants by covering them with empty 2-liter plastic soda bottles that had bottoms cut off.
Pegplant’s Post Gardening Newsletter
Subscribe to Pegplant’s Post Gardening Newsletter, a free, monthly e-newsletter about gardening in the DC metro area. Each issue lists local gardening events; recently published books; articles; tips and news; a spotlight on gardening-related products, tools, seeds, or plants; and sometimes a giveaway. Just enter your e-mail in the subscribe box below.
Pegplant’s Post Monthly Newsletter
If you are interested in having me speak to your organization, please check out my list of presentation topics on my website and contact me. I enjoy talking about culinary herbs, edible flowers, holiday herbs & spices, plant propagation, and seed saving. Don’t forget to check out the Facebook group Culinary Herbs and Spices.
- Bulb Companies
- Cooperative Extension
- Culinary Herbs and Spices Facebook Group
- Culinary Herbs Resources
- Demonstration Gardens
- Edible & Non-Edible Flowers
- Garden Clubs
- Local Books
- Local Nurseries and Plant Stores
- Master Gardener
- Monthly Events
- New Books: 2022 & 2023
- Pegplant’s Post Gardening Newsletter
- Pests and Diseases
- Public Gardens
- Seed Companies
- Soil Tests
- Speaking/Presentation Topics
- Zones and Frost Dates