Tennessee (TN) Vegetable Planting Calendar: Month-wise Chart, Dates Guide, Schedule for Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer Seasons

Why not grow your tasty vegetables this year instead of purchasing them at the farmer’s market? Grow your vegetables in Tennessee; it’s easy and soothing, and the best part is eating what you grow. Below, we learn the Tennessee vegetable planting calendar, a month-by-month vegetable planting chart, a seasonal gardening guide for planting Tennessee vegetables, what vegetables grow well in Tennessee, and the planting zones of Tennessee state.

Tennessee (TN) Vegetable Planting Calendar
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Tennessee (TN) vegetable planting calendar

What vegetables can I plant in March in Tennessee?

Seeds of cool-season vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower can be started now to give you a head start on the growing season. Tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, and other warm-season vegetables can be planted later in the month. Do not wait for the soil to warm up to plant trees and bushes in your yard. Mulch the perimeter 2 to 3 inches, staying clear of the trunk.

What can you plant in February in Tennessee?

For many cold-hardy plants, the ideal period to start sowing seeds indoors is between February 6th and February 20th. In February, you can start seeds indoors for various vegetables, including broccoli, collard greens, lettuce, mustard, eggplants, kale, kohlrabi, peppers, cauliflower, spinach, and tomatoes. You should apply common sense and carefully consider weather prediction before transferring seedlings into the garden.

According to the rule of thumb, the typical beginning of the East Tennessee frost-free growing season is April 16th. However, although this is often correct, it is not always the case. Planting later is preferable to planting sooner. Those who like gardening understandably can’t wait to get in the soil. Plants will flourish more quickly and fully if the soil is allowed to warm up a little beforehand.

When should you plant tomatoes in Tennessee?

The date on the calendar is less significant than the weather. Since tomatoes are so easily damaged by frost, you should wait until the final cold of the season has passed before planting them outside. Tomatoes can be planted in Tennessee as late as April, although you can wait until far into June if you want. Tomatoes can be started from seed in late winter by planting in pots; however, many gardeners prefer to purchase seedlings from a nursery. Tomato plants can be transplanted into the garden in the 6- to 8-inch range.

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Tomato Garden
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What tomatoes grow best in Tennessee?

Cherokee Purple, Black Krim, Brandywine Pink, Mortgage Lifter, and Old German are five traditional Heirloom varieties that consistently grow and yield. Champion, Mountain Fresh, Park’s Whopper, and Celebrity are new hybrid kinds that tend to be more resistant to diseases and pests. To lessen the impact of the change of environment on the plant’s roots, it’s essential to water it well and deeply right after planting. Plant so that the crown of the lowest leaves is barely below the soil surface.

To get the greatest results, keep up the routine of morning watering, which helps the leaves dry out rapidly and prevents fungal infections from taking hold. Pine Bark Soil Conditioner and traditional mulch are recommended. The soil will be in much better shape for next season once it is cut up after the season. You can also reduce soil drying by placing flat rocks near each plant.

When should you plant a garden in Tennessee? / When to plant vegetables in Tennessee? 

It is safe to directly sow cold season crops (such as kale, cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, etc.) in late March, a few weeks before the last frost date. Additionally, they can be planted two to three weeks before the last frost date (April 15). Direct sowing of lettuce and peas is also possible at this time. Tomatoes, peppers, and other warm-season plants should be seeded inside as soon as possible. Remember that plants need light during the germination and sprouting stages, and the soil should be kept moist.

What planting zone is Tennessee?

The proximity of much of Tennessee to the Gulf of Mexico makes most of the state’s planting zones subtropical. Most of the state’s abundant precipitation, which occurs mostly in the winter and spring, is brought to the state by winds from the south. Fifty inches of precipitation each year is typical. Tennessee has mild winters and hot, humid summers. At higher altitudes in the Appalachians, the climate is humid continental, with cooler temperatures.

But in the eastern state’s high mountains, it’s not uncommon to see snowfall totals of over 16 inches. Because of this, the overall quantity of snowfall varies widely. Precipitation totals of approximately 5 inches are expected in the west. As a result of its location, Tennessee is mostly spared from hurricanes and other forms of extreme weather.

Tennessee has various possible growth situations, from hardiness zone 5b up to hardiness zone 8a. American gardeners use hardiness zones to predict which plant, flower, and vegetable species will survive the winter in their region. In Tennessee and worldwide, typical frost dates are the basis for planting zones. Choose hardy plants in a zone lower than yours for the greatest results in Tennessee. So, if you’re in zone 5b, you can safely grow everything that would thrive in zones 1-5.

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Onion Harvest
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What vegetables grow best in Tennessee winter?

For early winter crops, August is the time to sow cabbage, collards, beets, broccoli, radishes, beans, snap peas, turnips, kale, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower. In September, plant seeds for leafy greens, root vegetables, and onions. Suppose the weather stays warm; plant leafy greens like lettuce and spinach in an excellent, shady spot until the weather cools. If rain quantities are not enough, water the fall garden. 

Since winter soils are often dry, you should water your garden frequently. Don’t wait until the last minute to pick your veggies; do it while they’re optimum. Even if not all veggies have fully ripened, an intense frost is predicted, and a swift preventive step will preserve most of them from harm and allow them to continue to ripen. When this happens, cover your plants with a thin plastic drop cloth and wait for the frost to melt. The reverse effect can occur if the plastic is left on the plants in direct sunlight, which can burn them.

Can you grow potatoes in Tennessee?

Potatoes have a growth season comparable to other cool-season crops planted in the spring, except they must be planted at a different period to prevent harsh frost after emergence. The optimal times for planting in East and West Tennessee are March 20th through April 30th and February 15th through March 31st.

What can I plant now in Tennessee?

Spring vegetable planting in Tennessee

Test your growing skills with a bit of planting this year and build on your successes with more of the same next season. Packets of seeds are frequently the most cost-effective method to start your garden, but they can also be the most challenging to grow. If you want to know that your plants will thrive, buying seedlings is a good idea. If you decide to go the seed route, remember that wide varieties must be planted inside in the chilly months leading up to spring.

Tennessee has a decent amount of sun and rain, making it an ideal state for gardeners. Plants have more time to mature as they travel southward within the state. Excluding the mountains, most of Tennessee has a humid subtropical climate characterized by warm and muggy summers and relatively moderate and dry winters.

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Green Peas
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Although certain plants, such as citrus, avocado, and romaine lettuce, cannot be grown in this area, it is still essential to learn which plants are hardy. Since there are four distinct climate zones in Tennessee, the state’s planting seasons are not uniform. The ideal days to sow spring crops in Tennessee are shown here, beginning with the earliest potential planting date (dates will shift later as you travel east across the state). 

Broccoli, cabbage, kale, parsnip, peas, and spinach are available in late March and early April. During April, you can grow beets, celery, carrots, cauliflower, leeks, lettuce, onions, potatoes, radishes, and Swiss chard. Tomatoes, basil, chives, mint, rosemary, thyme, sage, and corn grow in late April/early May. Beans, Eggplant, Okra, and Squash can be grown in May.

Fall vegetable planting in Tennessee

We now learn Tennessee’s fall planting schedule. The top vegetables in the spring aren’t always the greatest in the autumn. Plant seeds for spring crops in damp, chilly soil, then watch them develop into mature plants as the days dry out, warm up and lengthen. The days are long and dry in the spring but short, chilly, and moist, perfect for maturing fall types. Letting tomatoes, peppers, and green beans ripen before the first frost of the season is essential.

Vegetables like kale and collard greens can take quite a bit of cold before they wilt, so you may be able to keep harvesting them for a while after the first frost. Seed packaging and catalog descriptions predict planting-to-harvest days. Due to the chilly weather and fewer days in the autumn, we recommend adding roughly ten days to this estimate.

To get the earliest possible planting date, count backward from the day you want the vegetable to start to mature to obtain its total number of growing days. More work is needed in the fall for gardening than in the spring. The issues with insects, diseases, weeds, and dryness are at their worst in the autumn. Fall is a challenging time to plant anything. Take regular strolls around gardens and learn about their plants.

Gather up weeds as soon as you see them. Bugs and diseases need to be contained before they spread too far. Plants harvested in the autumn may miss out on the benefits of fertilizer applied in the spring. Nitrogen leaches easily from garden soils—vegetables grown in the autumn benefit greatly from nitrogen applications similar to spring ones.

Summer vegetable planting in Tennessee 

Beans can be planted (or directly sown) in Tennessee until August. When you direct sow, you put seeds in the garden without germinating them or utilizing starter plants. For continuous yield, pick snap, wax, or French beans often after they first emerge in the pod. Because of its resilience, broccoli is an excellent crop for amateur gardeners. Starting seeds inside will result in a first harvest that is sooner.

A harvest, if not sooner, is expected in late October, with more harvests occurring every two to three months. Parsley and dill may not produce a crop if they “bolt” or prematurely sprout blossoms and “go to seed” in the summer heat. However, when temperatures rise in late July or early August, you may have more success planting these herbs.

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Pepper Garden
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After July, you can plant a second or third crop of leafy greens, including arugula, kale, spinach, and lettuce. By the end of August and the beginning of September, most will be suitable for use in salads. Although peas are more often associated with spring planting, due to Tennessee’s mild winters and warm summers, they can also be sown in late summer and early fall for a harvest in the fall. 

Winter vegetable planting in Tennessee 

Clean up your summer veggies in late or early autumn by removing dead leaves or twigs. Instead of leaving dead summer plants in the garden, pull them out to create room for new harvests. For early winter crops, August is the time to sow cabbage, collards, turnips, broccoli, radishes, beets, beans, snap peas, kale, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower. 

To get the soil ready for new crops, add some compost. Soil additions, such as compost and fertilizer, should be applied while the soil is still warm since their efficiency decreases with cooling. If rain quantities are not enough, water the autumn garden. Since winter soils are often dry, you should water your garden frequently.

You can grow lettuce and spinach year-round in a cold frame. The cold frame protects the plants from the worst winter weather, allowing them to survive until the following spring. Some crops, like Brussels sprouts, can survive the winter outdoors without protection and produce fruit the following spring. These are the winter vegetables to grow in Tennessee. 

Tennessee vegetable planting calendar/chart/schedule/guide

Vegetables Zone 5Zone 6Zone 7Zone 8
Snap Beans Mid-May to Sep                         May to Mid-OctApr to Mid-OctMid-Mar
Lima beans Mid-May to Sep                         May to Mid-OctApr to Mid-OctMid-Mar to Mid-Oct
BeetsApr to June,
Mid-July to Mid-Oct
Mid-Mar to June, Mid-July to Mid-OctMar to May,
Aug to Oct
Mid-Feb to Mid-May,
Mid-Aug to Mid-Nov
BroccoliMid-Mar to June,
July to Oct
Mar to Mid-June, Mid-July to OctMid-Feb to May,
Aug to Mid-Nov
Feb to Mid-May, Aug to Nov
Brussel SproutsApr to OctMay to OctMid-Apr to Mid-SepApr to Aug
CabbageMid-Apr to OctMay to OctMar to Mid-June,
Mid-July to Oct
Mid-Feb to May,
Aug to Mid-Nov
CarrotsApr to Jun,
Aug to Mid-Oct
Apr to June, Aug to OctMar to Mid-June,
Aug to Oct
Mid-Feb to May,
Mid-Aug to Mid-Nov
CauliflowersMid-Apr to
Mar to Mid-JuneMid-Feb to May,
Aug to Mid-Nov
Feb to Mid-May,
Mid-Aug to Nov
CornMid-May to
May to SepMay to AugMid-Apr to Aug
CucumberMid-May to
May to SepMay to AugMid-Apr to Aug
KaleApr to June,
Mid-July to Oct
Mid-Mar to Mid-June, Aug to Mid-NovMar to May,
Aug to Mid-Nov
Mid-Feb to Mid-May,
Mid-Aug to Mid-Nov
LettuceMid-Apr to June,
Mid-July to Mid-Oct
Mid-Mar to Mid-June, Aug to OctMar to May,
Aug to Oct
Mid-Feb to May,
Mid-Aug to Mid-Nov
OnionsApr to SepMid- Mar to AugMar to AugMid-Feb to Aug
PeasApr to June,
Mid-July to Mid-Oct
Mid-Mar to May,
Aug to Oct
Mid-Feb to Mid-May,
Mid-Aug to Mid-Nov
Mid-Feb to Mid-May,
Sep to Mid-Nov
PeppersApr to SepMid-Mar to SepMar to SepMid-Feb to Mid-Sep
SpinachApr to June,
Mid-July to Oct
Mar to June,
Mid-July to Oct
Mar to June,
Aug to Mid-Nov
Mid-Feb to May,
Sep to Nov
Summer SquashMid-May to SepMay to SepMay to Mid-OctMid-Apr to Mid-Oct
TomatoApr to SepMid-Mar to SepMar to SepMid-Feb to Mid-Sep
Asparagus Apr Apr Apr Mid-Jan to Mid-Mar,
Nov and Dec
Eggplants May May Apr to Mid-May, Mid-July Apr to Mid-May, 
Kohlrabi Early Apr and
Late Sep 
Early Apr and late Sep 
Okra Mid-May to
Mid-May to late May Apr to June,
Mid-June to July 
Apr to June,
Mid-June to July 
Potatoes Early April to
Early April to Mid-April Mid-Jan to MarMid-Jan to Mar
Radish Late Mar to
early May 
Late Mar to early May, Aug Mid-Jan to Apr,
Sep to Mid-Oct 
Mid-Jan to Apr,
Sep to Mid-Oct 
Winter squash May Mid-May Apr to Aug Apr to Aug 

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Spinach Farming
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Growing your vegetables is a satisfying pastime since it requires nothing in the way of technical skill. Discover what kind of garden will fit your needs in terms of area and time, then go out and get some seeds or plants.


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