Planting Dates for Seeds based on Frost Dates & Moon Phases

This is one of the best planting guide tools I have found that is from the Farmers Almanac to help you know when to plant both indoors and outdoors in your garden for the best plant growth.

This tool using your zip code provides you with the best indoor planting dates based on frost dates and for planting directly in the garden, as well as dates to plant seedlings or transplants outdoors and the last dates to plant outdoors.

Planting Calendar using your zip code

Planting Dates for Seeds based on Frost Dates and Moon Phases broken down for you to determine how you want to plant your seeds, transplants, and seedlings.

Planting by Frost Dates

This is the preferred method by a vast majority of gardeners and is based on the typical last date of frost in your area.  This can vary so it is important to look at your weather forecasts for two weeks out to see if there is anything on the horizon that might impact this last frost date.

Also depending on your specific location and the microclimate in your garden, you might need to adjust these planting dates.

Each year can be different so it is important to know what weather patterns you have seen for your specific area, in my zipcode I have seen it fluctuate by as much as 30 days.

The other thing you can do is be prepared with frost cloth and other tools to protect your garden if there is a surprise cold spell so that you can protect your plants.

Understanding Moon Phase (Lunar Cycles/Moon Cycles) Planting Dates

The chart also provides the best planting dates based on the moon phases.

Moon phase planting goes back to ancient times when they gardened in harmony with the different phases of the moon.  Today some people still swear by this method of planting.

Gardening by the phases of the moon is very controversial and even though it is widely followed there is no scientific evidence that it improves your crop’s growth or production.  On the other hand, it will not have any negative impact on your garden so there is no harm in gardening by the moon phases.

The moon goes through a cycle change every 29.5 days and appears differently in the sky depending on its position between the Earth and the Sun.

The four phases used in basic lunar phase gardening are the New Moon, First Quarter Moon, Full Moon, and Fourth (or last) Quarter Moon.

New Moon to Full Moon is the best time to plant seeds or seedlings that produce fruit/vegetables above ground.

Waning Moon is the best time to plant root crop vegetables that grow beneath the surface.  This is also the recommended time to harvest since the plant’s photosynthesis is slowing which indicates that the vegetables and fruit you harvest can have a longer shelf life.

Soil Temperature

With either of these methods of planting seeds, transplants, and seedlings it is important to know your soil temperatures to provide the best opportunity for your plant’s growth and success to produce a strong root system and subsequently a large crop.

As you can see depending on your location you can start your gardening indoors by growing your seeds as early as January to provide your seedlings plenty of time to grow and develop a strong root structure.

I hope this article has been valuable to you as you began planting your garden for the new year.

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