Gardening · Homesteading · Urban Homesteading

Growing A Garden In Zone 7 (and 8)

Our homestead is in Zone 7 (to 8), in the Pacific Northwest. Many of our readers are as well, so we have complied a collection of planning for when to get seeds & plants in the ground. Your dates may vary a bit if you are in a micro-climate (such as above 500 feet elevation, in a small valley surrounded by hills). If surrounded by more pavement, earlier dates may work. If you live a bit farther out in the country, a week later can be a good idea. Some years you may lose the first seeding in the ground: to the rain, a freeze, hungry birds and slugs. I always plant a second set a week after, just in case, for beans and peas.

And that honestly is the hardest part of gardening I have found: Knowing when to plant. Some seed companies give great resources on the back of the packages, others…not so much.

Zone 7 is an overall temperate zone. While we have freezes in winter, they don’t usually last long, and the winters are wet and mild(ish). Summers are usually dry and can be warm, but usually are not bad. Which leads to a stickler: Where we live it is considered zone 8, but really is zone 7 due to micro-climate and the rainfall in winter/early spring. Living near the foothills makes it colder as well. So while the maps say we are 8, I hedge for 7 for safety. (Wonder where you are? Check out the zone map)

Zone 7 Gardening

When to plant seeds, and when to transplant in the outdoors, and when to put fall crops in. 

  • Last Frost: April 15th
  • First Frost: October 15th

This of course can vary year by year. We can get a hail storm on May 1st, or a quick frost in September. Gardening is half science, half hopes and wishes.

The Produce to plant in Zone 7

Artichokes:

Indoors February 18th

Transplant April 15th

 

Beans:

Direct seed April 15th

Sow ever 2 weeks direct seed, bush beans can be seeded up to early August for fall crops.

 

Beets:

Indoors February 18th

Transplant April 1st

Direct seed outdoors March 22nd

Sow every 2 weeks direct seed, till summer heat comes. Resume seeding last week of July to first week of August for fall crops.

 

Broccoli: 

Indoors February 18th

Transplant April 1st

Indoors June 21st

Transplant July 26th

This crop grows best as a fall crop. It can bolt to seed in early warm springs. Protect late summer plants from summer heat with shade cloth.

 

Brussel Sprouts:

Indoors February 18th

Transplant April 1st

This crop grows best as a fall crop. It can bolt to seed in early warm springs. Seed in middle of April, plant in June for fall.

 

Cabbage:

Indoors February 7th

Transplant March 18th

Indoors June 7th

Transplant July 12th

Can be grown as fall crop, protect plants from summer heat with shade cloth.

 

Carrots:

Direct seed March 25th to first week April.

Sow every 2 weeks direct seed. Seed August 1st for fall crops.

 

Cauliflower:

Indoors February 8th

Transplant March 15th

Indoors June 14th

Transplant July 19th

Can be grown as fall crop, protect plants from summer heat with shade cloth.

 

Celery:

Indoors end of January/early February

Transplant April 22nd

 

Chard:

Indoors February 18th

Transplant April 1st

Direct seed Aril 5th

Sow every 2 weeks direct seed. In most summers grow it continuously, when it’s too hot for lettuce.

 

Collards:

Indoors February 11th

Transplant March 18th

 

Corn:

Direct seed April 22nd to 26th

Pick varieties with a shorter growing season. Hybrids grow best in the PNW.

 

Cucumbers:

Direct Seed April 15th

Sow every 2 weeks direct seed.

 

Eggplant: 

Indoors March 1st

Direct seed/Transplant May 1st

 

Garlic & Shallots:

Direct plant October to November, before hard freezing.

 

Gourds:

Direct Seed May 1st

 

Herbs:

Indoors mid February to early March.

Transplant late April to mid May.

Plants should be hardened off before setting out in the outdoors, especially Basil.

 

Kale:

Indoors February 7th

Direct Seed March 15th

Sow every 2 weeks direct seed. Plant by August 1st for fall crops.

 

Kohlrabi:

Indoors February 7th

Direct Seed March 15th

Sow every 2 weeks direct seed. Plant by August 1st for fall crops.

 

Leeks:

Indoors end of January/early February

Transplant April 1st

 

Lettuce:

Indoors February 1st

Direct seed March 30th

Sow indoors 2 weeks, till summer heat comes. Resume seeding end of July to plant fall crops through mid August.

 

Melons:

Indoors April 1st to 12th

Transplant May 1st to 5th

Melons have a long season, pick varieties that are good in the PNW/shorter seasons and grow smaller.

 

 

Onions, from seed:

Indoor January 7th to early February

Transplant middle to end of March

Green onions can be seeded every few weeks for a continuous crop.

 

Onion Sets:

Transplant March 1st

 

Peas:

Direct seed February 18th to March 8th.

Direct seed August 1st for fall crops.

Sow every 2 weeks direct seed, till summer heat comes. Bush takes less time than tall climbing varieties.

 

Peppers:

Indoor February 18th to March 22nd

Transplant May 1st to May 10th

Do not direct seed, both hot and bell peppers have a long growing season. For longer growing varieties, start earlier.

 

Potatoes:

Transplant March 22nd

Transplant July 5th for fall crops

Seed potatoes need about a week of time before planting to be prepped.

 

Pumpkins (and winter squash):

Indoors April 26th

Transplant May 17th

Direct seed May 1st

 

Radishes:

Direct seed March 15th

Direct seed August 1st and 15th

Sow every 2 weeks direct seed, till summer heat comes. Resume in August for fall crops.

 

Spinach:

Indoor February 1st

Transplant March 8th

Direct seed March 7th

Direct seed August 1st

Sow every 2 weeks direct seed, till summer heat comes. Resume seeding in August for fall crops.

 

Squash (Zucchini):

Indoor April 1st to 12th

Direct seed or transplant May 1st to 5th

For a more continuous crop, transplant one crop, then direct seed a later crop. Can be seeded through late July.

 

Tomatoes:

February 25th

Transplant May 1st

Read how long your variety takes, it can vary from 60 to 80+ days to harvest. Some will need to be started a bit earlier if an 80 day type.

Plants need to be hardened off to the outdoors (out during the day, in at night) for a few days before transplanting.

 

Turnips:

Direct seed March 15th

Sow every 2 weeks direct seed, through mid-August.

 

Watermelons:

Indoors April 1st

Transplant May 1st

Watermelons have a long season, pick varieties that are good in the PNW/shorter seasons and grow smaller.

For a full-size printable: Seeds

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