When to Plant Vegetables in Zone 6

by Becky
Published: Updated:

I finally did it. After many years of tweaking planting times and dates, I made a chart of when plant vegetables in zone 6. It includes dates sow seeds indoors, transplant and direct sow vegetables into the garden.

This post contains affiliate links. Full disclosure can be found here.

when to plant in zone 6b excel

With so many requests from you all on when exactly to plant for a zone 6 garden, I finally buckled down and made a printable chart of when to plant vegetables in zone 6. But I also had help from Cameron who is amazing at Excel and helped me to input and organize all the dates. I’m so excited because this is going to help me stay organized this year too!

I have specifically tailored the planting dates to my exact climate conditions in Zone 6 (I am in 6b to be exact). However, within zone 6 your average last frost date may vary a bit from mine. My average last frost date for my area is April 24th. 

Depending on your average last frost date you may want to slide all the dates I use for planting forward or backward.

Please note, there is a reason behind all the dates I use. And before you check it out and start to question some of the dates, I’ll explain why I plant when I do. 

I am in the southeast and have to think about how to combat plant problems like disease and pests naturally. In order to reduce diseases, I plant tomatoes, peppers, corn, squash, and melons at least two weeks past my last frost date, sometimes later. Even in an unseasonably warm year, I follow this rule and it has served me very well. 

Many people will tell you to plant a little earlier or you will feel behind (I always do). Remind yourself that patience is worth the reward. Planting warm season crops a little later not only helps you to reduce disease pressure but also helps you to avoid flooding, hail, and cold snaps which are more common in the Spring.

Pssst… for my friends in colder zones: If you plan on adjusting these dates to work with your zone make sure you have enough time for your warm season crops to mature. I have plenty of time to wait a few weeks to plant where I live but you may not and will need to start closer to your average last frost date. If you plant under a low tunnel or in a greenhouse you can avoid some of mother nature’s surprises. 

Other plants like cabbage, spinach, kale, lettuce, and radishes, I sow very early in the season in order to avoid cabbage worms, bolting, and bitter greens.

Lettuce, cabbage, mesclun mix, and kale I plant under protection of a row cover or clear plastic in Spring (if you use plastic, opening the tunnel on warm days is a must). My dates in Spring for these crops are based on using row cover. I think you would be fine without it too, but if you’re nervous about it wait and extra week or two.

One last disclaimer 🙂 This chart will be constantly evolving and changing. Every year, I tweak things just a little. I will update it here if I make improvements. Feel free to use this as a starting place and then tweak to your specific needs.

Alternative Option For Super Easy Crop Planning! (updated 2023):

I have recently been trying out a different way of crop planning, via a computer program, called Seed Time. At first I was skeptical, but it’s actually way cooler than I initially thought! It’s also FREE to sign up! If you want added features, like 20% off seeds and access to all the abilities it has, there is a paid version too.

easy crop planning seed time

You put in your zone, your zip code, and what your planting (including variety) and it plans out your calendar for you. So you can see when to seed indoors, when to transplant, when to cultivate, and when you’ll be harvesting. Then you print out your calendar. Super awesome and easy to use for a beginner. Definitely check it out if you want to take the work away. Check it out HERE!

Chart Key for The Seasonal Homestead Version:

Y= Yes

N= No

Sow indoors= grow in soil blocks (preferred) or trays with seed starting soil under lights indoors. You can also start plants outdoors with soil blocks or in trays in a greenhouse.

Transplant= The day when you will move your soil blocks from indoors to outdoors to plant. Prior to this day, you’ll need to harden off your plants by getting them used to the outdoors. Take them outside for 30 minutes to an hour the first day and incrementally add more time with each following day until they are used to being outside in the elements. I usually allow at least a week for this process. Plants like tomatoes and peppers require two weeks of harden off time.

Direct Sow= Plant seeds directly in the garden outdoors.

Harvest= Harvest time is incredibly variable based on what varieties you grow. I added this in so you could get an idea of when plants are finished being harvested. I highly recommend succession planting another vegetable or a cover crop immediately following the end of the harvest of each vegetable.

Additional Important Notes – When to Plant Vegetables in Zone 6 Chart:

Vegetables are ordered as best I could by date when you’ll need to get started on a vegetable, whether that be sow indoors or direct sown.

Throughout the chart I say “Y” or Yes for sowing indoors but also provide a direct sow date. This is because sowing indoors is my preferred method but of course mother nature always direct sows! Haha! Therefore, this a possibility if you choose and a date is provided.

When to plant vegetables in Zone 6
When to plant vegetables in Zone 6 for Fall gardening

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Ashley December 29, 2020 - 3:55 pm

I am not sure how I should adjust this for Zone 9a. I read through but I guess I don’t get it, I just did indoor sewing yesterday of Cabbage, Collards, Radishes, Lettuce, Broccoli and Red Onion. I hope I didn’t start too early.

theseasonalhomestead January 1, 2021 - 2:25 am

Hey Ashley. It doesn’t sound like you are too early. Probably right on time! What you could do to adjust the planner is find your last frost date for your area. My average last frost date is around May 1st.

If your average last frost date is March 1st, for example, you would take all the dates on the calendar and move them two months earlier. So for tomatoes instead of planting them mid May like me, you would be planting mid March.

This would be true for everything on the Spring/Summer schedule. For fall planting you would probably be pushing everything later in the year and don’t need to plant as early as me in zone 6 because you get warm weather for longer. My average first fall frost is the last week in October. If yours is in December you would push all the fall planting out a few months later than what it says for my zone 6 fall crop schedule.

I hope that makes sense! 🙂

Dania January 2, 2021 - 2:42 am

Hi Becky, thanks so much for this and all your other content! Definitely inspiring, especially through the long dark of winter! I’ll be trying the Aji Charapita this year–my husband and I hope it’s the pepper we tried in the lowlands of southeastern Peru. Greetings from zone 5B.

theseasonalhomestead January 2, 2021 - 12:49 pm

Thank you for the sweet comment. It’s good to hear! And I agree focusing on the garden helps to make it through winter. I can’t wait to start again.

That is exciting about the Aji Charapita. I have some seeds of that pepper that I was given but I haven’t tried it yet. It sounds like the pepper you tried in Peru really left an impression. I’d love to hear how it turns out for you and if it is the same one!

Kennady H January 2, 2021 - 3:44 pm

Fantastic blog! Found your page from YouTube, and love the content you have posted there! My husband and I just purchased a farm as well and looking forward to starting our journey! Already practicing being patient lol

theseasonalhomestead January 3, 2021 - 4:16 am

Thanks Kennady! That is so fun about your farm! I’m excited for you, it is the best!

Sagrario February 22, 2024 - 7:12 pm

Great information, I have been having a difficult time trying to figure out what to plant in my garden this year in Zone 6B in the state of Connecticut. thank you so much for this information. greatly appreciated.

Elizabeth March 25, 2024 - 2:28 am

I also discovered seed time this year! It’s been a game changer! I’m growing more with the same amount of space and supplies because I waste less!

Becky March 30, 2024 - 8:59 pm

Hi Elizabeth! I’m glad you’re loving Seedtime. Me too. It does end up saving time and you can definitely make back the cost of a paid account with wasting less supplies and being able to grow more food! Yay!


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