MN Spring Planting Schedule (Direct and Indoor)

By Julie Sews - 10:09:00 AM

In Minneapolis our average last frost is April 30 according to the Farmer's Almanac, and our average last known killing frost is May 10 according to Bachman's.  Our last known frost is May 25. Using this tool from bioarray I generated the following planting schedule with the last known frost date of May 25, since we have had a warm winter and spring I figure you could bump up these dates a few days to a week  if the weather seems to still be nice.   I altered some dates from this tool, when I felt they sounded wrong based on other sources and experience.  I also added planting dates for vegetables not mentioned with this tool that I plan to plant myself based on prior research and experience and Mother Earth News.
I didn't do the March plantings, I'm skipping growing cool season seedlings this season (too much going on) and I plan to direct seed in a few weeks and work on prepping the garden for that, I figure if my direct seeding doesn't look good by May I'll just buy seedlings.  So if you haven't done the March stuff, no big deal your still fine.

from Lifehacker

3/23  Sow broccoli, kale, cool weather lettuce, escarole, eggplant and thyme seeds indoors (9 weeks before last frost)
3/30 Sow pepper seeds indoors (keep temp above 78*F for germination). Also sow indoors marigold, parsley, basil and beet seeds. (8 weeks before last frost).

4/09 direct plant beets (Beets remain undamaged even when temperatures drop into the mid-20s)
4/11   As soon as the soil can be worked its time to sow peas, fava beans, arugula, and radish directly in the garden (I plan to also direct seed broccoli, lettuce and kale) (up to 6 or 7 weeks before last frost).
4/13 Sow tomato seeds indoors. Sow cabbage seeds indoors. (6 weeks before last frost).
4/20 Transplant lettuce, broccoli and kale seedlings into the garden (use row cover if necessary). Sow more cool-weather lettuce seed indoors. (4 weeks before last frost).

5/4 Sow pumpkin, cucumber and zinnia seeds indoors. Direct seed turnips (3 weeks before last frost).
5/11 Sow summer squash, watermelon and melon seeds indoors. Sow 2nd planting of peas directly in the garden and direct sow carrots and parsnip, beans, swiss chard, cilantro. Plant potato and onion sets. (2 weeks before last frost). 
5/18 Sow 2nd cool-weather lettuce crop, more beets, spinach indoors or in garden. (1 week before last frost).
5/25 Sow directly in garden seeds for sunflowers, nasturtiums. Plant 2nd crop of radish. (Week of last frost).
 Mother earth News says: Sweet Potatoes keep slips moist and wait to plant them until the soil temperature is consistently above 70 degrees.  So plant now if the soil temp is above 70 degrees. 

6/1 Transplant tomatoes to garden. Plant seeds for corn, beans and soy beans directly in garden. (1 week after last frost).
6/08 Sow 3rd cool-weather lettuce crop indoors or in garden. Transplant peppers, pumpkins, squash, cucumbers and melons to the garden if the soil is well warmed. (2 weeks after last frost).
6/29 Sow warm-weather lettuce crop (Summer Crisp type) indoors or in garden. Sow 2nd crop of beans, 3rd crop of radish in garden. (5 weeks after last frost).

7/20 Sow 2nd warm-weather lettuce crop (Summer Crisp type) indoors or in garden (8 weeks after last frost).

8/10  Sow 3rd warm-weather lettuce crop (Summer Crisp type) indoors or in garden. Sow 3rd crop of beans, 4th crop of radish in garden. (11 weeks after last frost).

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  1. Looks like a great plan. I started planting my cold weather seedlings already, and most of my seeds have sprouted. I did a few late crops of lettuce, cilantro and dill last fall, and they did great. I was still harvesting after everything else was done. I will do more of that this year for sure.

    Our average last frost date is April 30th now? Did that change when we went from z4a to z4b?


    1. I'm still working on the plan part. I'm so behind this year! I've been pretty busy lately, and soon I need to make my concrete block planting garden, rip out some sod to expand our garden space, add a bottom to our potato bin, make a compost I'll be busy this month! I think I'll direct plant next week, didn't seem like a good idea to plant know with the freeze warnings. What do you have to do in your garden this month?

      I got that date from the farmer's almanac, I just checked on Bachman's site and the average last frost is May 10th. So, I guess it's hard to find an exact date. I do now the last known frost date is May 25th, so once you know the weather for the week of May 25th and it looks fine it should OK to plant most veggies.

  2. Your to do list is packed just like mine! I plan to build a concrete block planter this summer sometime. I can't wait to read about your construction experience and see how yours turns out, please share your advice. :-) I've started planting my cold weather seedlings (and covered them the last few nights). I have more of those to plant. Also, I have a large perennial garden that used to be full sun, but the neighbors trees have matured and it's now half shade. SOOO, I have to move all of the sun loving plants to the new bed I made. I might try to make my own potato bin too. I have it on the list, but we'll see how much time I end up having. I've never had good luck with potatoes.

    Oh, I got excited for a minute! I've always heard May 12th-15th pretty consistently. I wonder if the Farmer's Almanac had 4/30 as a prediction for this year. It would make sense if it moved up though, given the zone change. I'm too nervous to plant my warm weather stuff that early this year, but I'll have to keep an eye on it over the next few years and see if it's changing. I remember in 2010 we had a hard freeze around May 10th, I wrote a blog post about the damage it did. I knew a bunch of people that planted their gardens early because it was a warm spring, only to lose mostly everything. You are right about keeping an eye on the forecast, that's the smartest way to go.


    1. That's a bummer that your neighbor's trees are shading your yard. In our backyard we have a huge tree in our yard that's to big to even trim myself, and our neighbor has a huge one that shades the other side. After we get geothermal put in (sometime in the next few years)I plan to start turning our backyard into a pretty shade garden with small patches of lawn, and an outdoor room. Although I'd rather have it sunny and grow more veggies!

      If you make a potato bin, make sure you use untreated wood and cedar (or another naturally weather resistant wood), have them cut it at the store for you (saves so much time!), and make a bottom for it unless your placing it on top of soil in your garden. I didn't make a bottom for mine and placed it on my drive way, which proved difficult to put away into my garage for winter storage. I actually did my potatoes late in the season and couldn't find seed potatoes so I used grocery store organic potato eyes, and I had no problems. It didn't grow a lot but I did grow some! I'll probably do the same this year.

  3. I'm experiencing my first spring in MN and have found your planting schedule -thanks for that insight! We have NO sunny areas in either the front or back yards here. The plantain (et al, weeds) grow well in shade, lol ...but luckily there's community garden space across the street...


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