Knowing the best times to start seeds, direct sow and transplant garden crops is key to growing a successful garden. Our When to Plant app — recommended in Wired magazine's App Guide as a Top Pick for gardening apps — gives you the best planting times for vegetables, herbs, fruit, cover crops and common companion planting flowers.
By using your ZIP code and a database of almost 5,000 weather stations across North America, the When to Plant app locates average frost dates for your garden from the nearest station, and calculates the best range of planting dates for each crop.
This app is a helpful tool for spring, summer and fall planting. You can specify that the app recommend separate spring and fall planting times for cool-season crops in areas with hot summers or long growing seasons. The app includes planting times and growing information on more than 120 crops and plants.
For information about other apps by MOTHER EARTH NEWS, see our Wiser Living Apps info page.
Here is a glimpse of the When to Plant app, plus more about what it can do:
From the app’s home page, you can choose to view plants alphabetically (by clicking “All Plants”), by sowing month, or by crops that can be planted immediately in your area. You can also mark crops as your favorites, and easily view just your favorites list.
Within the When to Plant app, you can see the “window” of time in which you can direct sow, start seeds indoors, plant out, and harvest each crop based on the frost dates in your ZIP code. The different colored lines show different planting info for each crop: The blue line shows when you can start seeds indoors, the green line shows when you can direct sow seeds or plant out transplants, and the orange line shows the range of possible harvest dates.
When to Plant also includes growing information on each of the dozens of crops and plants included. Click on a crop to learn its crop family, preferred soil type, sun requirements, sowing instructions, troubleshooting tips, recommended spacing, harvest how-to, and more.
The app provides easy access to National Weather Service long-range forecast maps (U.S. only). You can see maps projecting temperature, precipitation, weather hazards and drought.
Don't have a mobile device? Try our Vegetable Garden Planner program, which offers this planting date information, and much more, on your desktop computer.