Planting in zone 7

Vegetables For Zone 7 – Learn About Vegetable Gardening In Zone 7

Zone 7 is a fantastic climate for growing vegetables. With a relatively cool spring and fall and a hot, long summer, it’s ideal for virtually all vegetables, as long as you know when to plant them. Keep reading to learn more about planting a zone 7 vegetable garden and some of the best vegetables for zone 7.

Cool Season Vegetables for Zone 7

Zone 7 is a great climate for cool season gardening. The spring comes much earlier than in colder zones, but it also lasts, which can’t be said for warmer zones. Similarly, temperatures in autumn get nice and low for quite a while without dipping below freezing. There are plenty of vegetables for zone 7 that thrive in cool temperatures and will really only grow in the colder months of spring and autumn. They’ll also tolerate some frost, which means they can be grown outside even when other plants can’t.

When vegetable gardening in zone 7, these plants can be sown directly outside for the spring around February 15. They can be sown again for a fall crop around August 1.

  • Broccoli
  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Arugula
  • Peas
  • Parsnips
  • Radishes
  • Turnips

Warm Season Vegetable Gardening in Zone 7

The frost free season is long in zone 7 vegetable gardening and virtually any annual vegetable will have time to reach maturity. That being said, many of them really benefit from being started as seeds indoors and transplanted out. The average last frost date in zone 7 is around April 15, and no frost-intolerant vegetables should be planted outdoors before then.

Start these seeds inside several weeks before April 15. (The exact number of weeks will vary but will be written on the seed packet):

  • Tomatoes
  • Eggplants
  • Melons
  • Peppers

These plants can be sown directly in the ground after April 15:

  • Beans
  • Cucumbers
  • Squash

Zone 7 Vegetable Planting: When To Plant Vegetables In Zone 7

USDA plant hardiness zone 7 isn’t a punishing climate and the growing season is relatively long compared to more northern climates. However, planting a vegetable garden in zone 7 should be carefully timed to prevent potential frost damage that may occur if veggies are in the ground too early in spring or too late in fall. Read on for helpful tips on vegetable gardening in zone 7.

Zone 7 Vegetable Planting

The last frost date for zone 7 is usually between late March and mid-April, with the first frost date in autumn occurring in mid-November.

Keep in mind that while it’s useful to know weather patterns, first and last frost dates can vary considerably due to topography, humidity, local weather patterns, soil type and other factors. Your local cooperative extension office can provide average frost dates specific to your area. With that in mind, here are a few approximate dates for vegetable planting in zone 7.

When to Plant Vegetables in Zone 7

Below are some general guidelines for vegetable gardening in Zone 7.

Spring Vegetables

  • Beans – Plant seeds outdoors in mid- to late April.
  • Broccoli – Plant seeds indoors in mid- to late February; transplant in early April.
  • Cabbage – Plant seeds indoors in early February; transplant in mid- to late March.
  • Carrots – Plant seeds outdoors in late March.
  • Celery – Plant seeds indoors in early February; transplant in late April.
  • Collards – Start collard seeds indoors in late February; transplant in mid- to late March.
  • Corn – Plant seeds outdoors in late April.
  • Cucumbers – Plant seeds outdoors in mid- to late March.
  • Kale – Plant seeds indoors in early February; transplant in mid- to late March.
  • Onions – Plant seeds indoors in mid-January; transplant in mid- to late March.
  • Peppers – Plant seeds indoors in mid- to late February, transplant in mid- to late April.
  • Pumpkins – Plant seeds outdoors in early May.
  • Spinach – Plant seeds indoors in early February; transplant in early March.
  • Tomatoes – Plant seeds indoors in early March; transplant in late April or early May.

Fall Vegetables

  • Cabbage – Plant seeds indoors in late July; transplant in mid-August.
  • Carrots – Plant seeds outdoors in mid- to late-August.
  • Celery – Plant seeds indoors in late June; transplant in late July.
  • Fennel – Plant seeds outdoors in late July.
  • Kale – Plant outdoors in mid- to late August
  • Lettuce – Plant seeds outdoors in early September.
  • Peas – Plant seeds outdoors in early August.
  • Radishes – Plant seeds outdoors in early August.
  • Spinach – Plant seeds outdoors in mid-September.

Mary’s Heirloom Seeds

Zones 7 has a medium/moderate growing window for gardening. With a last frost date as early as March 30th and first frost date as late as October 30th. First and last frost days may vary by 2 weeks (or more depending on the weather).

If you’d like to get a jump-start on Spring and Fall planting, it is possible to extend your season by starting seeds indoors. A simple setup might be a shop light over a table or as elaborate as a heated greenhouse or multiple racks with lights.
We hope that our USDA Zone Specific SEED planting guide with be a helpful tool in your garden planning and planting!


Start seeds indoors: Asparagus, Cabbage, Celery, Lettuce, Mustard, Onion, Peas, Radish, Spinach and Turnips

Start seeds indoors or outside: Arugula, Asparagus, Beets, Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Carrots, Celery, Collards, Kale, Lettuce, Mustard, Onion, Peas, Radish, Spinach and Turnips

A greenhouse can extend your season
Start seeds indoors or outside: Arugula, Beets, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Collards, Corn, Eggplant, Kale, Kohlrabi, Lettuce, Okra, Onions, Peas, Peppers, Radish, Spinach, Swiss Chard, Tomatoes and Turnips.


Start Seeds outside: Arugula, Basil, Beans, Beets, Chinese Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Cilantro, Collards, Corn, Cucumber, Dill, Eggplant, Endive, Horseradish, Kale, Kohlrabi, Lettuce, Mustard, Okra, Onion, Oregano, Parsley, Peas, Radish, Rhubarb, Spinach, Squash (Summer & Winter), Swiss Chard, Tomatoes, Turnips and Watermelon.
Plant all HERB and FLOWER seeds inside or outside depending on weather
Start Seeds outside: Arugula, Beans: bush, pole, snap and lima, Beets, Cantalope, Chard, Collards, Corn: dent, field, popcorn & sweet, Cucumber, Eggplant, Endive, Melons, Muskmelon, Okra, Parsley, Southern Peas, Peppers, Pumpkin, Radish, Summer Squash & Winter Squash, Tomato and Watermelon
Plant all HERB and FLOWER seeds outside
Transplant: all remaining indoor seedlings

Start Seeds outside in early June: Lima Beans, Chard, Corn: Dent field, popcorn & sweet, Melons, Okra, Southern Peas, Peppers, Pumpkin, Summer Spinach (malabar), Summer Squash, Winter Squash, Tomatoes and Watermelon

There’s still time to plant HERBS and WILDFLOWER seeds!
Start Seeds outside: Beans: bush, Chard, Corn, Pumpkin and Cherry Tomatoes

Plant Seeds outside or indoors for Fall: Arugula, Bush Beans, Beets, Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Chives, Collards, Cucumber, Kohlrabi, Kale, Lettuce, Mustard, Radish, Peas, Spinach, Summer Squash, Winter Squash, Cherry Tomatoes and Turnips



Plant seeds outside: Arugula, Cabbage, Collards, Lettuce, Radish and Spinach

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Planting Fall gardens: Fall Gardening Guide For Zone 7 Gardens

Summer days are waning but for gardeners in USDA zone 7 that doesn’t have to mean the last of the fresh garden produce. Okay, you may have seen the last of the garden tomatoes, but there are still plenty of veggies suited for zone 7 fall planting. Planting fall gardens extends the gardening season so you can continue to use your own fresh produce. The following fall garden guide for zone 7 discusses fall planting times and crop options in zone 7.

About Planting Fall Gardens

As mentioned, planting a fall garden extends the harvesting season beyond summer produce. Fall harvest can even be extended further by providing frost protection by planting in cold frames or hotbeds.

Many vegetables adapt well to fall planting. Among these, of course, are the cool season veggies such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflowerand carrots. In zone 7, spring temperatures often heat up rapidly, causing crops like lettuceand spinachto bolt and become bitter. Fall is a great time to plant these tender greens.

A little planning will go a long way prior to zone 7 fall planting. Below is a fall gardening guide for zone 7 but it is intended as a guideline only. Planting times may be

off by as much as 7-10 days depending upon your exact location within this zone. To get a better idea of when to plant, determine the average date of the first killing frost in the fall and then count backwards from that date, using the number of days to maturity for the crop.

Fall Planting Times in Zone 7

Brussels sprouts take between 90-100 days to mature, so they can be planted between July 1 and July 15. Carrotsthat take between 85-95 days to mature and can also be planted at this time.

Rutabagasthat take between 70-80 days to mature can be planted anytime from July 1 to August 1.

Beetstake between 55-60 days to mature and can be planted from July 15-August 15. Broccolivarieties that mature within 70-80 days can also be planted from July 15 to August 15. Varieties of collard greens that mature within 60-100 days can be planted at this time too.

Most cabbagevarieties can be planted from August 1 to August 15, as can cucumbers– both pickling and slicing. Kohlrabi, turnips, most lettuces, mustard, and spinachcan all be planted around this time too.

Kaleand radishescan be sown from August 15 to September 1.

Onionsthat mature between 60-80 days can be planted from September 1 to September 15 and those that reach maturity within 130-150 days can be planted from up to the end of this month.

In some parts of zone 7, October is essentially frost free, so some crops can be started even later for a really late fall harvest. Crops such as beets, Swiss chard, kaleand kohlrabican all be sown at the beginning of September. Collardsand cabbagescan be transplanted at this time.

Chinese cabbage, parsley, peasand turnipscan all be sown in the second week of September. Leaf lettuce can be planted until October 1 and mustard greens and radisheswill still have time to grow if in the ground by October 15.

If you plan on trying to capture these later dates, be prepared to cover the beds with burlap or floating row covers. You can also protect individual plants using milk jugs, paper caps or water walls. Also, if a hard freeze is imminent, mulch heavily around root crops such as carrots and radishes.

Regional Gardening Guide – Zone 7-8

January 1 to January 31 – Discover what you should be doing right now. Our experts share gardening advice, techniques, news, and ideas to make your garden the best ever.

Here’s what’s happening in your gardening region:

January is the time to be an optimist – you can build on the knowledge that you gained last year and improve on the garden this year. Planning a new year in the garden is the time to reflect on what worked and what didn’t as well as a time to try something new. Each year, the Burpee catalogue gets new selections of flowers and vegetables for you to try.

  • 1.) Try Something New This Year
  • 2.) New Fun Vegetable Varieties
  • 3.) Put Some Flowers in the Garden for the Pollinators
  • 4.) Wildflowers for Pollinators
  • 5.) Basic Tools for the Garden

Your Regional reporter

Kate is an avid veggie gardener and writer.
She is a board member of the Garden Writer’s Association. She authored 2 books: The Downsized Veggie Garden (Feb 2016) and New York & New Jersey Month by Month Gardening (Aug 2016).

To see What’s in Kate’s Garden

1.) Try Something New This Year

1. Try Something New This Year: When you have a garden it is natural to want to try new things. If you have always grown vegetables, then try a flower garden too. Likewise, if you have always grown perennials, maybe this year you want to try some vegetables or some fruit. Browse some of the articles and try something new this year.

  • Flower Gardens

    Ask a child to draw a garden, and he’ll draw some flowers. Give a gardener no more space than a front stoop, and what will appear there is a flowerpot. For many, flowers are the definition of a garden.

  • Sustainable Vegetable Gardening Feeling good is part of the harvest. Read more
  • How to grow Apples and Pears From year two you can enjoy your own fresh apples and pear. Read more

2.) New Fun Vegetable Varieties

2. Some Fun New Vegetables to Try: Each year there are new varieties introduced to the market and Burpee finds the best new varieties that are easy to grow in your garden.

3.) Put some Flowers in for Pollinators

3. Put some Flowers in for Pollinators: Pollinators are important for your vegetable garden but also important for the health of our environment overall. Learn about pollinators and how you can help them.

4.) Wildflowers for Pollinators

4. Wildflowers for Pollinators: A good pollinator garden has flowers of different shapes and colors. Plant a good variety of flowers that provide food for pollinators all year long. Burpee has several wildflower pollinator mixes for you to try.

5.) Basic Tools for the Garden

5. Basic Tools for the Garden: Having the right tools for your garden is important but that doesn’t mean you have to have a garage full of tools. Find the right tools for your garden to cut, prune or dig this year.

Zone 7 Plants: Learn About Planting A Garden In Zone 7

The U.S. Department of Agriculture divides the country up into 11 growing zones. These are determined by weather patterns, like the coldest winter temperatures. This zone system helps gardeners identify plants that grow well in their region. If you are planting a garden in zone 7, you’ll be able to choose among a wide variety of veggies and flowers. Read on for garden tips for zone 7.

Gardening in Zone 7

When you are gardening in zone 7, you live in an area with a moderately long growing season. The typical growing season generally lasts about eight months in zone 7 and the annual low temperature is about 5 degrees Fahrenheit (-15 C.).

With the first frost around November 15 and the last one about April 15, planting a garden in zone 7 is a snap. Many crops and ornamentals will grow well in this zone.

Zone 7 Plants

Here are some tips and plants for zone 7 gardening.


When you are planting a garden in zone 7, remember that you can begin seedlings indoors before the first frost. This extends the growing season a little and permits you to plant vegetables, like broccoli and carrots, once in spring and again in late summer.

Using this “start seeds indoors” technique, zone 7 plants for the vegetable garden include most vegetables. Specifically, those gardening in zone 7 can plant:

  • Beans
  • Broccoli
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Tomatoes
  • Carrots
  • Onions
  • Kale
  • Cauliflower
  • Peas
  • Peppers
  • Spinach
  • Squash

Begin broccoli, cauliflower and peas indoors in February. Many of the other vegetables should be started indoors in March.


Both annuals and perennials can be zone 7 plants if you keep your eye on the last frost date, April 15. Once you don’t have to worry about frost, it’s time to dive into flower planting.

April is the time to sow annual seeds in prepared garden beds. You can also set out any flower seedlings you started indoors. Sequential planting prolongs the blooming season. If you need additional garden tips for zone 7, here are a few that pertain to flowers.

Wait until after April 15 to plant new roses. That’s the best time to plant caladiums and snapdragons as well. Start planting summer flowering bulbs in April, like gladioli and dahlias in groups every few weeks. This translates into a longer blooming season.

Lawn & Garden

Successful home gardening comes with careful planning and constant attention. Select the site carefully, plant at the correct time, use the right amount of fertilizer, use adapted varieties, and control pests.

Site. Select a site exposed to full sun. Too many gardeners try to grow vegetables in competition with trees, shade from buildings, or fences. The soil should be well drained and free of harmful chemicals, oil, ashes, mortar, etc.

Soil Management. You can improve your garden soil by adding organic matter—compost, leaf mold, or well-rotted sawdust. Work it into the soil in the late fall.

Lime and Fertilizer. A soil test is the best way to determine lime and fertilizer needs. Your county Extension office has information about soil tests. Testing at least every 3 years is a good idea. For most vegetables, the soil pH should be around 6.0 to 6.5. To be effective, the lime must be mixed into the soil before planting. Long-season crops such as tomatoes, cabbage, pepper, okra, and potatoes need more fertilizer than short-season crops. Experience and close observation are the best guides for additional side-dressing.

Seed and Plants. Seeds are cheap, so get the best available. Don’t seed too thickly. Plant small seed, such as turnips and carrots, about 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 inch deep. Plant larger seed, such as beans, cucumbers, and peas, about 1 inch deep. Use only stocky, healthy, fresh plants. Always water transplants to settle the soil around roots. Set tall plants deeper in the ground than they grew originally.

Weed Control. To control weeds, use a mulch. Deep cultivation after plants are older will do more damage than good. Chemical weed killers are not usually recommended for home gardens. Before using a weed control product, get full information on how to use it and what crop it should be used on.

Irrigation. Water is essential for a top-notch garden. During long dry periods, soak the garden thoroughly once a week; don’t just sprinkle daily. Light, frequent irrigation helps only during the period of seed germination. Overhead irrigation, especially late in the afternoon, is likely to spread certain foliage diseases. If you use overhead irrigation, do so earlier in the day so plants can dry before night.

Disease Control. The best practices in disease control are rotation, clean seed, resistant varieties (when available), early planting, plowing under old crop debris, mulching, and seed treatment. Chemical fungicides may be used to control some common leaf diseases of tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, and cantaloupes. If the garden is heavily infested with nematodes, either move the garden or heat the soil through a process called soil solarization.

Insect Control. For a successful garden, you must control insects. Early planting will miss some insects, but usually, you’ll have to use insecticides. Use biosensitive insecticides as your first choice to treat for insect problems in the garden. Safer insecticidal soaps will help control aphids and other soft-bodied insects early on. Malathion is a good all-around material for aphids and red spider mites and gives some worm control. Carbaryl (Sevin) is another effective material, especially for bean beetles, tomato and corn earworms, cucumber beetles, and pickleworms. Bacillus thuringiensis or Bt (Dipel, Thuricide) is an excellent biological control for cabbage worm or cabbage looper.

Use all chemicals—for insects, weeds, or nematodes—according to directions on the label. The label will tell you the amount to be used, the crops to use it on, and the number of days between application and harvest. The label is one of the most important pieces of garden literature available. Read and heed it for effective use and safety.

Harvesting. The main reason for a home garden is to produce high-quality vegetables. Harvest often to get vegetables at the proper stage of maturity. If beans, okra, cucumbers, etc., are left to mature fully, the plant will stop producing. Early morning harvest, before vegetables absorb heat from the sun, is best for most vegetables. Freeze or can the surplus if you want to enjoy your garden all year.

Alabama Vegetable Garden Planting

These planting dates are for Central Alabama. For South Alabama, make spring plantings approximately 10 days earlier and fall plantings 10 days later. In North Alabama, make spring plantings approximately 10 days later and fall plantings 10 days earlier.

The planting chart is two pages. Use the button at the bottom of the chart to advance it to page 2. You can also type the vegetable you are interested in the chart’s search box. There is a “Print Table” button at the bottom to print a copy of the contents of the table.

Alabama Vegetable Garden Planting Chart

*Days to maturity are from planting seed or setting transplants in the garden. The number of days will vary depending on cultivar (some mature earlier than others), temperature, and general growing conditions. Check catalogs for individual maturity time.
**Cultivars listed in this chart represent a few of those recommended for Alabama. There are many other good cultivars that are worthy of trial in the home garden.

Tips for How to Grow Broccoli

Easy steps for how to grow broccoli in home vegetable gardens.

How to plant and care for broccoli plants in your garden.

Design Your Own Vegetable Garden Layout Using our Free “Vegetable Garden Planner” Software!

Many gardeners seem to be a bit intimidated about growing broccoli in their gardens.

There is no need to fear, as raising broccoli plants is quite simple with just a few basics to keep in mind.

Broccoli is a very recognizable vegetable with its thick stalk and broad leaves.

This nutritious and delicious veggie often gets a bad review from kids and even former President Bush!

Admittedly, it may be an acquired taste for some people but it is one of many gardener’s favorites for growing in the vegetable garden and eating!

Let’s discover the incredibly easy steps of how to grow broccoli successfully for those finer connoisseurs of good taste.

Broccoli is a Cold Season Plant

This cold season plant requires a minimum soil temperature of 40 degrees F for planting. However, the ideal ground temperature is 85 degrees F. Broccoli grows in bunches of tiny bud clusters called heads.

The head size depends on the type such as small, large, or single. The cool season vegetable is a member of the cole family. Although, it may be difficult to get finicky eaters to try broccoli, it is the easiest member of its own botanical family to grow.

Broccoli Planting Times

  • For USDA climate zones 3-4, plant the vegetable in May.
  • Planting time in climate zone 5 is April -May.
  • Plant broccoli in climate zone 6 in months March-April.
  • In zones 7-8 planting time is February-April.
  • For zones 9-10 broccoli is planted in July-October.

Download our free zone chart and planting guide to determine your planting and growing zone.

Download zone chart here!

Preparation for Planting Broccoli

Choose a location that is not exposed to more than 2 hours a day of direct sunshine. Test the vegetable garden soil for for medium levels of nitrogen and high amounts of both potassium and phosphorous. A proper acid/alkaline balance is necessary as well as maintaining a 6.0-6.8 pH level.

Supplement soil with compost. Rotate site location annually to prevent depleting nitrogen in the soil.

Growing Broccoli Plants from Seed

Start indoors 6 weeks prior to last expected frost.

Transplant broccoli seedlings in 3 weeks after hardening for 5 days.

Plant broccoli seeds at a depth of ½ inch.

How to Space Plants when Growing Broccoli

Sow broccoli seeds 2 inches apart.

Separate broccoli rows 24-30 inches.

Thin plants to 14-18 inches apart.

Broccoli Plant Yield

Allow 2-4 plants for each family member. If you are planning to have extra for the freezer, plant 6-8 plants per family member. Give green a chance!

Broccoli Seed Germination

It takes an average 10 to 15 days for broccoli seed to germinate.

Garden Bedfellows with Benefits when Growing Broccoli

Herbs, beets, potatoes, celery, and onions make good companion plants.

Strawberries, pole beans, or tomatoes are not so nice neighbors of broccoli and should be avoided.

How to Grow Broccoli: Maintenance of Plants

Water to maintain constant soil moisture, not overly dry or too damp.

Watering plants from overhead is not recommended.

Mulch around plants to deter weeds from growing.

How to Grow Broccoli : Harvesting Broccoli Heads

  • Broccoli is generally ready for harvest in 85 days for transplants.
  • Harvesting from seed is typically 70-100 days.
  • When fully grown, the vegetable plants are 2 to 3 feet high.
  • It is subject to bolting in warm temperatures and as hours of sunlight lengthen.
  • Heads can be harvested when buds are still green and tight by cutting the main stem below the head.
  • Leave the secondary shoots for smaller broccoli heads to develop.

Vegetable Gardening Tip:

After harvesting, soak broccoli heads for several minutes in warm water, salt, and vinegar to remove pests. Dry completely before refrigerating.

Preservation of Garden-Grown Broccoli

Broccoli can be stored in refrigerator’s vegetable bin for a couple of weeks.

After blanching for a minute in boiling water, the vegetable may be preserved frozen for several months.

By following the simple guidelines of how to grow broccoli, your family is sure to give you rave reviews. Involve your children in your gardening endeavors, and instead of those previously turned up noses when you serve vegetables, the kids will want to try all the fresh veggies they helped produce. Add the tasty fresh vegetable to colorful stir fry and you will have your children eating out of the palm of your hand! Figuratively speaking of course!

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