When Can I Plant?

When Can I Plant?

It’s a common question at this time of year. When is the best time to plant? The answer depends on what you are planting. If you’re wanting to put in new shrubs and trees you can plant these as soon as they arrive in the nursery as long as the plants you’re buying look similar to what is currently in the landscape. It might be problematic, for example, if you see roses for sale that are in full flower while the ones in local landscapes are just breaking dormancy. In this case you could buy the plants you want but delay planting for two to three weeks so that if the temperatures are predicted to go near freezing you can pull those plants into a shed or garage for protection. If the plants in the garden center look similar to those in area yards and gardens, however, you can place these in the ground.

If the annuals and vegetable at your garden center are in a greenhouse instead of being outdoors, there is a reason that they are protected. In most cases you’ll want to wait until temperatures warm before planting these outside.  At Hyannis Country Garden we advise people to wait for planting most summer annuals and veggies until the night temperatures are reliably above 50 degrees. As you walk around the garden center you’ll see which plants we have outside and which selections are still being protected: use this as a guide.

Wait until later in May to plant seeds for summer veggies such as summer squash and beans. Plant annual seeds such as nasturtiums and zinnias at the end of May as well. You can plant peas and lettuce seeds in April, however, and Swiss chard as well.

See this handout about planting times on Cape Cod.


  1. Tamara Lickfield on April 8, 2017 at 9:49 am

    Is it time to plant peas, lettuce,kale and chard? Usually have seeds in by now but it’s been so cold? Thanks. Tami from Cummiquid

    • CLFornari on April 10, 2017 at 3:10 pm

      You can plant these now – our sunny warm days this past weekend have raised soil temperatures a bit. You’re right – March was a COLD month – worse than February!

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