Home Gardening: What, How, And When To Plant In Your Growing Region.

With prices on just about everything heading skyward, many people are starting to look to their backyard to provide some of the food for their family. I remember when I was a kid that my mom had a big garden that we got tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, herbs, squash, etc. from – you name the vegetable and at some point she was growing it in the garden. Over the years the garden got less and less use as our lives got busier, but I sure wish I had learned more about gardening when I got older, as I have to learn it from scratch now! From figuring out the growing season, learning when to plant what, and how to maintain the plants, it can all be very confusing. Luckily I came across an article at Sunset Magazine that had a “how-to” and a growing schedule for all regions west of the Mississippi in the USA, which is going to come in very handy as we start putting together our garden. (Here is another page with more charts for a few more regions) Here is what the guide says for my region, the Rocky Mountains:


Harvest all warm-season crops (corn, cucumbers, melons, squash, zucchini)
Note: Pick everything that is ready before killing frost is expected; for light frost, protect chiles and tomatoes with floating row covers.


“¢ Barley
“¢ Garlic
“¢ Wheat


Enrich soil:
“¢ Add compost & fertilizer

“¢ Chives
“¢ Onions (sets)
“¢ Potatoes


“¢ Hop vines
“¢ Oregano
“¢ Peppermint
“¢ Potatoes
“¢ Hardy rosemary (‘Arp’ is the most cold-tolerant; it overwinters if temps don’t go below -10°)


Plant, after danger of frost is past:
“¢ Basil (seedlings; through Jun)
“¢ Chiles (seedlings; through Jun)
“¢ Corn (from seed)
“¢ Cucumbers (seedlings; through Jun)
“¢ Edamame (seed; mid-May through early Jun)
“¢ Lemongrass (seed)
“¢ Marjoram (through Jun)
“¢ Melons (seedlings; through Jun)
“¢ Squash (seedlings; through)
“¢ Tomatoes (seedlings; through Jun)
“¢ Zucchini (seedlings; through Jun)


“¢ Eureka lemon in container (bring inside during winter)
“¢ Lemongrass (divisions)


“¢ Garlic
“¢ Herbs
“¢ Potatoes


“¢ Early warm-season crops (beans, cucumbers, early tomatoes)
“¢ Barley (early Aug)
“¢ Hops (late Aug through early Sep)

* May be planted any time of year

How convenient is that? That list will be taped in the garage and on the refrigerator right away so I can be sure to be ready for our raised bed garden I am building. Sure, we might have to uproot everything at some point if we end up buying a house, but I am willing to take that risk – after all, we still have to live our lives as usual. We already have a tomato plant growing in the front yard that is providing beautiful tomatoes every week for our salad. It doesn’t seem to be that difficult to grow them, but I imagine with many different plants thing will get a little more complicated. So glad I found that list, and make sure you go check out your region’s growing list and schedule!

Looking for more inspiration and ideas for growing your own food at home? Check out these personal finance bloggers who are doing just that!

@ That One Caveman – Frugally Grow Vegetables in a Small Space with Your Container Garden.

@ Frugal Dad – How to Build a Square Foot Garden.

@ Blueprint For Financial Prosperity – Garden Progress Update (Plus Bonus Video!)

@ Being Frugal – My Square-Foot Garden Overfloweth

@ Remodeling This Life – Picking Fruit

Photo by D&J Huber

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Comments (24)

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  1. Thanks for highlighting my container garden article. I hope next year I can put together a garden the size of yours. That looks like a lot of great food for you and your family!

  2. That almost looks like a picture from our garden. We plant one every year with tomatoes, green beans, green peppers, banana peppers, onions, jalapeno peppers.

  3. Frugal Dad says:

    Thanks for mentioning my square foot garden article. It was in interesting experiment this year, really, but something I plan to grow into an even larger project next Spring.

  4. Scott says:

    Actually it doesn’t have a calendar for “all regions of the USA,” just the west.

    Anybody know where I can see something similar for the Midwest?

  5. Scott says:

    Sorry for the double dip here, but I forgot to check the box to keep abreast of follow up comments….

  6. Personal Finance Buzz…

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  7. Miranda says:

    Thanks for this article! We love our family garden. But we never thought to plant stuff in winter. Now we can! I also think that mentioning the square foot garden is a great idea. After all, it is possible to grow produce even if you don’t have a great deal of space.

  8. david says:

    Thanks Scott, had not noticed that. Just added a link to top paragraph.

  9. Briana says:

    Great tips! We did our first garden this year and have discovered some things that work for us and that do not work for us. Next year we know we are skipping broccoli, cauliflower, green peppers. We will plant more zucchini, tomatoes, and green beans! we are also going to have to enrich our soil!

    So far it has been alot of work but fun, family time! Thanks for the list.

  10. Patrick says:

    I love barley and hops. 😉

  11. david says:

    Hmmm, I wonder why…. 😉

  12. Garrett says:

    I’d like to watch someone try to plan anything under two feet of snow in March. or April, or May.

    hint: This doesn’t work for all regions west of the Mississippi. i.e. MN, IA, ND, SD

    Not a bad guide for those in the south, though.

  13. david says:

    Seedlings are started in a greenhouse or in your house when there is snow on the ground in those areas. I grew up on the east coast with snow until April, and my mom started plantings inside until everything thawed outside.

  14. Anni says:

    Great list, too bad there isn’t one for East of the Mississippi!

  15. Uncle B says:

    Quit whinning, I live just north of Toronto Canada and I have managed to grow enough produce that canning became necessary. I do freeze a lot of food for the winter too. We can’t grow the glorious gardens you describe, but many of the tips apply. I appreciate any gardening information I can get. We have reduced our cash output for food with the garden and hope to continue doing so for a few more years! Thanks for the great article.

  16. […] Home Gardening: What, How, And When To Plant In Your Growing Region. @ My Two Dollars […]

  17. […] My Two Dollars – Home Gardening: What, How, And When To Plant In Your Growing Region. […]

  18. […] Two Dollars has a nice gardening guide which is cool cause I have been ranting about my garden all […]

  19. Becky says:

    myeasygardening.com is also a great place to get successful gardening tips.

  20. Maryellen says:

    Awesome list! I think this gave me motivation to start a garden this year. Thanks for posting!

  21. Dawn says:

    Great article! Thanks so much! I plan on printing this out and posting it by my gardening tools to make sure I stay on track!

  22. […] Home Gardening : What, How, And When To Plant In Your Growing … […]

  23. Very informative article with many interesting ideas! Can’t say I totally agree with all you have said here, but there are several important ideas you have emphasized that can be rather usable on gardening and associated topics. Definitely keep providing more recommendations on this topic and related issues, as there are plenty of people who are working to understand the pluses and minuses.