When to Plant

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When can I plant?

The United States Plant Hardiness Zone Map shows the typical average low winter temperatures in each zone. We are located in Zone 6 (the green area), but the conditions within a zone are governed by many factors including topography, elevation, the amount of rainfall and snow, wind conditions, proximity to water and more, and therefore may vary considerably. Northerly Connecticut towns at higher elevations away from the coast, for example, generally experience colder conditions farther into Spring than shoreline towns, even though they are in the same zone. Only you know what the conditions are in your area, and you should plant accordingly.

Although we all get the itch to plant as soon as we get that first warm Spring day, we offer some advice below based on more than 80 years of experience.

In our experience

At Glendale, our last frost is usually around the end of April, and the first frost is around the second week of October. As a rule of thumb, we would plant cold weather crops like lettuce and cabbage around the third week of April, but tomatoes, peppers and eggplant would be planted during the latter half of May, safely past our last frost and after the soil had thoroughly warmed.

Buy now, plant later?

Sometimes customers like something they see and want to buy and store it at home for later planting because its too cold. If you buy early, be sure to store your plants inside at night, and during the day try to get them outside into a sunny area protected from the wind. Whatever you do, don’t keep them in a dark area like a garage or basement for an extended period of time, since growth will almost certainly be stunted and foliage may yellow or begin to rot. Sorry, no refunds or exchanges on frozen or damaged plants!

Does it pay to plant early?

Some people like to get vegetables such as tomatoes in the ground before it has warmed up in the hopes of being able to win the “first ripe tomato” contest in their neighborhood. When it comes to planting anything other than cold weather crops like lettuce, cabbage and other greens however, it pays to wait until the danger of frost is well past and the soil has warmed up. Be patient if the nights are still cold, because the low temperatures can slow plant growth considerably, cause smaller plants to die or dampen off, and permanently damage some crops such as eggplant. One way to get a jump on the season is to purchase tomatoes in 1 gallon containers. Although more expensive, these plants are quite a bit larger and hardier than those grown in flats, which will need a little extra growing time once you put them in your garden.

If you have questions about when, where or what to plant, just ask our staff.

Glendale Farms