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When Should I Transplant My Seedlings?

It's important to know what plant hardiness zone you live in to understand when, on average, different types of plants can survive the climate. In Iowa, we are in Zone 5. This means our average last frost in the spring is around April 30th and our average first frost in the fall is around October 1st. Some plants can tolerate frost and even prefer cooler temps, so you can transplant them in April once the nighttime temps get no lower than 28-30 degrees. Other plants love the heat and won't really thrive until the daytime temps reach 75+ during the day and 50+ at night. These types of plants should not be transplanted until at least early to mid-May.

 

What does all this mean? Well if you're like me, you've probably always bought your plants and planted them all at once. This is not the best idea because the cold weather crops won't survive very long in the heat and the warm weather crops could be damaged if you plant them too soon. So for best results, spread out your planting over several weeks in the spring. You can also try succession planting by planting another round of the cool weather crops in September and harvest them well into October!​   

   

Cool Weather Crops

  • Broccoli/Cauliflower

  • Cabbage/Swiss Chard

  • Brussels Sprouts

  • Kale/Spinach

  • Peas/Carrots

  • Spinach/Lettuce

  • Turnips/Radishes

  • Onions/Potatoes

  • Garlic/Leeks

  • Asparagus/Artichokes


      Warm Weather Crops

  • Tomatoes

  • Peppers

  • Green Beans

  • Eggplant/Okra

  • Cucumbers

  • Zucchini/Squash

  • Melons/Pumpkins

  • Sweet Potatoes

  • Sweet Corn

  • Most Herbs

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