When is it Safe to Plant Nursery Plants in My NJ Garden?

When is it safe to plant vegetables in my NJ Zone 6 garden?

A friend in NJ asked me when it would be warm enough to plant the veggies and herb plants that they’re selling at Home Depot and Walmart right now.

My answer is, that depends on what type of garden situation you have going on at home.

Currently, I’m seeing a variety of vegetables and herb plants ready for purchase at the local nurseries here in Northwest and Central NJ.

Today is April 22. You can safely plant broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, lettucekale, kohlrabi, onions, radishes, rosemary, sage, spinach, thyme, turnips. Early spring is prime time for these plants to go into the ground and start growing.

Peas should have been planted already, during the second week of March. If you plant them now, they probably won’t have enough time to mature before the July heat kicks in, which will stop the plants from producing.

It may be too late to plant white potatoes. Check the instructions on different cultivars, and consult with someone who has more experience with this, for confirmation!

I have seen some tomatoes, parsley, basil and peppers on display at the our local growers. Unless you have a hothouse or greenhouse, I would wait until May to plant these. Even if it’s been unseasonably warm, there is a danger of frost until the second week of May. Same goes for beans, squash, eggplant and many herbs, particularly the water-loving ones like basilcilantro and parsley.

A cold night or blustery day in early spring could damage these delicate young, heat-loving plants. They may perish, or become damaged which will negatively impact production later. Hold off on these until “offical NJ garden planting day” which is May 15!

For a complete list of garden vegetables and herbs that includes planting instructions, spacing, depth, watering, organic pest control, harvesting and storage, check out our Complete Organic Gardening E-Guide for NJ Zone 6, now available for instant download via E-Junkie and PayPal!