Seed Starting Date Guide

CropNumber of weeks to start seeds before setting-out dateWhen to start insideFor Zone 8bSetting-out date
FromToSafe time to set out plants (relative to frost-free date)FromTo
Artichoke8
6-Jan
Β 
on frost-free date
3-Mar
Β 
Basil6
27-Jan
Β 
1 week after
10-Mar
Β 
Beets*4 to 6
6-Jan
20-Jan
2 weeks before
17-Feb
Β 
Broccoli4 to 6
6-Jan
20-Jan
2 weeks before
17-Feb
Β 
Cabbage4 to 6
23-Dec
3-Feb
4 weeks before
3-Feb
3-Mar
Cauliflower4 to 6
6-Jan
3-Feb
2 weeks before
17-Feb
3-Mar
Celery & Celeriac10 to 12
16-Dec
30-Dec
1 week after
10-Mar
Β 
Collards4 to 6
23-Dec
6-Jan
4 weeks before
3-Feb
Β 
Corn Salad/MΓ’che4 to 6
9-Dec
13-Jan
3 to 6 weeks before
20-Jan
10-Feb
Corn*2 to 4
3-Feb
3-Mar
0 to 2 weeks after
3-Mar
17-Mar
Cucumber3 to 4
10-Feb
24-Feb
1 to 2 weeks after
10-Mar
17-Mar
Eggplant8 to 10
6-Jan
27-Jan
2 to 3 weeks after
17-Mar
24-Mar
Kale4 to 6
23-Dec
6-Jan
4 weeks before
3-Feb
Β 
Kohlrabi*4 to 6
23-Dec
6-Jan
4 weeks before
3-Feb
Β 
Leeks8 to 10
9-Dec
23-Dec
2 weeks before
17-Feb
Β 
Lettuce4 to 5
30-Dec
13-Jan
3 to 4 weeks before
3-Feb
10-Feb
Melons3 to 4
17-Feb
24-Feb
2 weeks after
17-Mar
Β 
Mustard*4 to 6
23-Dec
6-Jan
4 weeks before
3-Feb
Β 
Okra*4 to 6
3-Feb
3-Mar
2 to 4 weeks after
17-Mar
31-Mar
Onions8 to 10
25-Nov
9-Dec
4 weeks before
3-Feb
Β 
Parsley9 to 10
2-Dec
16-Dec
2 to 3 weeks before
10-Feb
17-Feb
Peas*3 to 4
9-Dec
30-Dec
6 to 8 weeks before
6-Jan
20-Jan
Peppers8
20-Jan
Β 
2 weeks after
17-Mar
Β 
Pumpkins3 to 4
17-Feb
24-Feb
2 weeks after
17-Mar
Β 
Spinach4 to 6
9-Dec
13-Jan
3 to 6 weeks before
20-Jan
10-Feb
Squash3 to 4
17-Feb
24-Feb
2 weeks after
17-Mar
Β 
Swiss Chard4 to 6
6-Jan
20-Jan
2 weeks before
17-Feb
Β 
Tomatoes6 to 8
13-Jan
3-Feb
1 to 2 weeks after
10-Mar
17-Mar
Watermelon3 to 4
17-Feb
24-Feb
2 weeks after
17-Mar
Β 
Β 
Ageratum6 to 8
6-Jan
20-Jan
on frost-free date
3-Mar
Β 
Agrostemma (Corn Cockle)*6 to 8
6-Jan
20-Jan
on frost-free date
3-Mar
Β 
Amaranthus4 to 6
27-Jan
10-Feb
1 week after
10-Mar
Β 
Ammi (False Queen Anne’s Lace)*6 to 8
6-Jan
20-Jan
on frost-free date
3-Mar
Β 
Artemisia (Sweet Annie)6 to 8
6-Jan
20-Jan
on frost-free date
3-Mar
Β 
Asclepias (Butterfly Weed)10 to 12
9-Dec
23-Dec
on frost-free date
3-Mar
Β 
Aster, China6 to 8
6-Jan
20-Jan
on frost-free date
3-Mar
Β 
Bells of Ireland**6 to 8
6-Jan
20-Jan
on frost-free date
3-Mar
Β 
Calendula*6 to 8
6-Jan
20-Jan
on frost-free date
3-Mar
Β 
Cardoon6 to 8
6-Jan
20-Jan
on frost-free date
3-Mar
Β 
Carthamus (Safflower)*4 to 6
20-Jan
3-Feb
on frost-free date
3-Mar
Β 
Castor Bean6 to 8
13-Jan
27-Jan
1 week after
10-Mar
Β 
Celosia6 to 8
13-Jan
27-Jan
1 week after
10-Mar
Β 
Centaurea (Bachelor’s Button)*6 to 8
6-Jan
20-Jan
on frost-free date
3-Mar
Β 
Chinese Lanterns8 to 12
9-Dec
6-Jan
on frost-free date
3-Mar
Β 
Coleus8
13-Jan
Β 
1 week after
10-Mar
Β 
Cosmos*5 to 7
13-Jan
27-Jan
on frost-free date
3-Mar
Β 
Craspedia (Drumstick Flower)8 to 10
23-Dec
6-Jan
on frost-free date
3-Mar
Β 
Datura (Angel’s Trumpet)8 to 12
23-Dec
27-Jan
2 to 3 weeks after
17-Mar
24-Mar
Delphinium10 to 16
11-Nov
23-Dec
on frost-free date
3-Mar
Β 
Dianthus (Sweet William)10 to 12
25-Nov
16-Dec
1 to 2 weeks before
17-Feb
24-Feb
Digitalis (Foxglove)10 to 12
9-Dec
23-Dec
on frost-free date
3-Mar
Β 
Eucalyptus10 to 12
9-Dec
23-Dec
on frost-free date
3-Mar
Β 
Euphorbia (Snow-on-the-Mountain)*4 to 6
20-Jan
3-Feb
on frost-free date
3-Mar
Β 
Flower Collections & Mixes*6 to 8
6-Jan
20-Jan
on frost-free date
3-Mar
Β 
Forget-Me-Not8 to 9
30-Dec
6-Jan
on frost-free date
3-Mar
Β 
Gaillardia (Blanket Flower)8 to 10
23-Dec
6-Jan
on frost-free date
3-Mar
Β 
Gomphrena (Globe Amaranth)6 to 8
6-Jan
20-Jan
on frost-free date
3-Mar
Β 
Helianthus maximillianii8 to 10
23-Dec
6-Jan
on frost-free date
3-Mar
Β 
Hibiscus8 to 10
30-Dec
13-Jan
1 week after
10-Mar
Β 
Hollyhock8 to 10
23-Dec
6-Jan
on frost-free date
3-Mar
Β 
Hyacinth Bean4 to 6
27-Jan
10-Feb
1 week after
10-Mar
Β 
Impatiens8 to 10
30-Dec
13-Jan
1 week after
10-Mar
Β 
Kale, Ornamental6 to 8
6-Jan
20-Jan
on frost-free date
3-Mar
Β 
Larkspur*6 to 8
6-Jan
20-Jan
on frost-free date
3-Mar
Β 
Lisianthus12 to 13
2-Dec
9-Dec
on frost-free date
3-Mar
Β 
Lupine6 to 8
23-Dec
6-Jan
2 weeks before
17-Feb
Β 
Marigold6 to 8
13-Jan
27-Jan
1 week after
10-Mar
Β 
Monarda (Bee Balm)6 to 8
6-Jan
20-Jan
on frost-free date
3-Mar
Β 
Morning Glory3 to 4
24-Feb
10-Mar
3 to 4 weeks after
24-Mar
31-Mar
Nigella*4 to 6
20-Jan
3-Feb
on frost-free date
3-Mar
Β 
Phlox**4
6-Jan
Β 
1 to 2 weeks before
17-Feb
24-Feb
Pepper, Ornamental8
13-Jan
Β 
1 week after
10-Mar
Β 
Petunia8 to 10
23-Dec
6-Jan
on frost-free date
3-Mar
Β 
Polygonum (Prince’s Feather)8 to 10
23-Dec
6-Jan
on frost-free date
3-Mar
Β 
California Poppy*2 to 3
10-Feb
17-Feb
on frost-free date
3-Mar
Β 
Corn Poppy*2 to 3
10-Feb
17-Feb
on frost-free date
3-Mar
Β 
Iceland Poppy6 to 8
6-Jan
20-Jan
on frost-free date
3-Mar
Β 
Ptilotus6 to 8
6-Jan
20-Jan
on frost-free date
3-Mar
Β 
Rudbeckia (Black-Eyed Susan)8 to 10
23-Dec
6-Jan
on frost-free date
3-Mar
Β 
Salpiglossis (Painted Tongue)4 to 6
20-Jan
3-Feb
on frost-free date
3-Mar
Β 
Salvia6 to 8
23-Dec
20-Jan
on frost-free date
3-Mar
Β 
Sanvitalia6 to 8
6-Jan
20-Jan
on frost-free date
3-Mar
Β 
Scabiosa (Pincushion Flower)4 to 6
20-Jan
3-Feb
on frost-free date
3-Mar
Β 
Scarlet Runner Bean2 to 3
Β 
Β 
soil 60 degrees
Β 
Β 
Snapdragon8 to 10
23-Dec
6-Jan
on frost-free date
3-Mar
Β 
Statice8
6-Jan
Β 
on frost-free date
3-Mar
Β 
Stock8 to 10
23-Dec
6-Jan
on frost-free date
3-Mar
Β 
Sunflowers*3-4
3-Feb
10-Feb
on frost-free date
3-Mar
Β 
Strawflower6 to 8
6-Jan
20-Jan
on frost-free date
3-Mar
Β 
Sweet Pea*4 to 6
6-Jan
27-Jan
1 to 2 weeks before
17-Feb
24-Feb
Thunbergia (Black-Eyed Susan Vine)6 to 8
6-Jan
20-Jan
on frost-free date
3-Mar
Β 
Tithonia (Mexican Sunflower)*6
27-Jan
Β 
1 week after
10-Mar
Β 
Verbena8 to 12
9-Dec
6-Jan
on frost-free date
3-Mar
Β 
Viola (Pansy)8 to 12
25-Nov
30-Dec
1 to 2 weeks before
17-Feb
24-Feb
Yarrow8 to 12
23-Dec
6-Jan
on frost-free date
3-Mar
Β 
Zinnia4
10-Feb
Β 
1 week after
10-Mar
Β 
* Usually direct-sown, but may be started indoors
** Specifically recommended for direct-seeding outdoors
Β