Yogas
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Zone 5 planting schedule for Kale, broccoli, etc.

We've had a mild winter in Chicago making me eager to get some dirt under my fingernails.

Anyone know when to plant spring/cold weather crops like kale, broccoli or spinach in Zone 5? Should I start indoors or out?

Thanks in advance.

orgoveg
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This strange winter season has alot of us anxious to start our gardening season early. It's very tempting, but I'm planning to follow the same schedule that I always have.

In my experience, all of the plants that you mentioned should be started indoors yesterday. We tend to get such a short spring before the summer heat sends all of the cool crops to bolt. I might plant them in the garden 1-2 weeks before the average last frost date for zone 5, but that is a gamble.

Yogas
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Thanks for your comment - did you literally mean "yesterday" and is there a good place where I can look up this kind of information?

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jal_ut
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See if you can find the average date of last frost.

You can plant those crops (seed directly in the garden) along with peas and lettuce six weeks before that date.

We are very close to the same North latitude and my zone is 4/5. My date for planting those things is early April, whenever the soil is dry enough.

You can start them indoors 5 to 6 weeks before wanting them outside if you wish. I never do that simply because I don't want the extra job. They do just fine planted from seed directly in the garden. You just have to protect them from insects.

The key is really when your last frost is, not so much the zone. The zone has to do with how cold it gets in winter and plant hardiness.

Have a great garden!
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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rainbowgardener
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Here's a zone 5 seed planting schedule:

https://www.thevegetablegarden.info/resources/planting-schedules/zones-5-6-planting-schedule

Don't take it as gospel, but it gives you some starting points. It's for when to start seeds outdoors.


I start more of the cool weather plants directly in the ground: lettuce, spinach, chard and other green leafies, carrots, potatoes, and other root crops, all get started directly in the ground, as well as peas. The exception for cool weather crops for me is brassicas - broccoli, cabbage, etc. They are a little slower, and benefit from the head start indoors, since they won't head up (very well, sometimes not at all) once it gets too warm. I have broccoli sprouted already under my lights indoors. I'm in zone 6.

I'm being tempted to start early too. A lot of the above mentioned stuff is recommended to be planted "as soon as the ground can be worked." My ground can be worked, even though it is a month earlier than I usually plant. ....
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jal_ut
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rainbowgardener, that planting chart is a good one I believe. It is maybe 4 to 5 days earlier than my own chart, but that is to be expected for my altitude. I think it should work very well for Yogas area.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

Artemesia
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Cole crops

I never plant my cole crops in the spring. They get too bug bit by harvest time and do not taste good in even warm weather. I always plant them in the fall and direct seed.

GardenGnome
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Idk what's up with the weather but I've had the urge to plant outside for the last month.
Has been nothing but sun and alittle rain. No frozen fish pond. I hope we have water for summer.
Gilson (Giles) Zone 7b

GardenGnome
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Idk what's up with the weather but I've had the urge to plant outside for the last month.
Has been nothing but sun and alittle rain. No frozen fish pond. I hope we have water for summer.
Gilson (Giles) Zone 7b

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gixxerific
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I do like Rainbow and plant most of my stuff out in the garden. I don't mess with broccoli anymore too many worms everey year.

I refer t te gudi she posted as well.

Take note to the bottom of that guide. It is for North Mo. So for me I would go about a week before those you may be week or so after those. Still it is all adjustable to your micro climate.

Good luck

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jal_ut
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I'm being tempted to start early too. A lot of the above mentioned stuff is recommended to be planted "as soon as the ground can be worked." My ground can be worked, even though it is a month earlier than I usually plant. ....
At least go plant some spinach.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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rainbowgardener
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Yeah, well since then we got a couple inches of snow... the most winter we've had is here in Feb, but very up and down... Right now with the wind chill it feels like 9 degrees out there! But it will be getting warmer over the next few days and by Thurs predicted to be back up to 47 and sunny. Nice all next weekend, so I may really plant some stuff next weekend.
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littlelizzy123
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Re: Zone 5 planting schedule for Kale, broccoli, etc.

I have a quick question about the chart. I'm in Colorado Springs, zone 5a. It says to plant fall broccoli SEPTEMBER 25. That is my first frost date. Am I missing something, or does broccoli like it that cold? Does planting date mean sowing seeds that date or setting in transplants?

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applestar
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Re: Zone 5 planting schedule for Kale, broccoli, etc.

In that chart the broccoli planting date is for "plants". That means it's assuming you would have grown the seedlings separately, sowing the seeds 6-8 weeks earlier (around 7/25-8/10).

But if you get first frost by 9/25, then I think you would want to have them growing and almost ready to harvest by then -- that means you should count back according to maturity date of the variety and add two weeks for slower fall growth to determine when to sow seeds (if 75 days, then 89 or basically 90 days... so end of June?)

-- heh that seems awfully early to me.... I want to take the middle ground and say start the seeds or sow directly in the ground around mid July --

This is an older thread, but like jal_ut said in an earlier post, it's more about first and last frost than usda zones which only indicate coldest winter temp. in the area.

But truth be told, so far, I have not been successful fall planting broccoli for fall/first frost harvest. The white cabbage butterfly and cabbage moths pressure and harlequin bug pressure are too high in the late summer. And it's hottest when you are supposed to start the seeds. But if I wait any longer, then around here, errant plunging freeze as in low 20's for 3 days follows shortly after first frost (even though "Indian summer" may follow after that).

-- so maybe I have it wrong? But basically broccoli grows best where there is a long cool spring-summer or long cool fall-winter weather.
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rainbowgardener
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Re: Zone 5 planting schedule for Kale, broccoli, etc.

Broccoli does like it cold. My spring broccoli I start indoors under lights and then move the plants out into the garden at least a month ahead of my average last frost date. It goes through snow and freezes quite well once hardened. I have little broccoli plants potted up, going in and out starting to harden off right now. They are sitting on the floor next to me as I type, keeping me company :). They will go back out in a couple hours when it warms up a little. They will go in the ground pretty much as soon as the ground can be worked.

But like applestar, I have never been able to work out how to do fall broccoli; it seems to need to be started pretty early while all the summer stuff is still going strong. HOWEVER, I have direct seeded broccoli in the ground early Oct to overwinter. The little plants sprout and get started and then go dormant, then start growing again late winter. The Sept 25 date may refer to that. I did that with no protection for them at all. One year when we had a milder winter, it worked beautifully and I had a wonderful early spring broccoli crop. The next year the winter was a lot harsher and the broccoli died (though spinach that was planted the same time made it through and did well- spinach is amazing that way). [Fortunately I did not plant anything this past Oct, I can't imagine it would have made it through the winter we have had.] But that was without protection. If you were willing to give it just a bit of protection like a polytunnel, I bet it would make it through a lot of winters.
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