Is late April a good time to plant vegetable seedlings?


The warm weather can be deceiving. Is this a good time to plant vegetable seedlings in Maine or should I continue to wait?


Jonathan Foster, Home Horticulture Outreach Professional

I feel and share your sense of urgency with the sudden influx of nice days. For planting out, I recommend MOFGA’s planting calendar–as you can see, head lettuce, fennel, chicory, onions, shallots, and scallions are ready to go. Other seedlings should probably wait a bit longer.

That said, these are estimates based on historical and typical weather and climate data. If you want to try cheating ahead a bit, make sure the seedlings are mulched well and perhaps covered with floating row cover or a cold frame on chilly nights. You can find other tips for extending your gardening season (earlier in the spring, later in the fall) in our UMaine Cooperative Extension Bulletin #2752, Extending the Garden Season. Also remember that seedlings grown indoors need to be hardened off before planting out in the garden, so build that time into your planting out schedule.

Happy gardening.