When to Start Tomatoes & Peppers and 5 Crops to Start Outside B4 the Last Frost (3/12 – Zone 5)

When to Start Tomatoes & Peppers and 5 Crops to Start Outside B4 the Last Frost (3/12 – Zone 5)

Today I share when to start tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, and basil indoors relative to your last frost date. I also talk about 5 cool weather crops you can start outdoors before the last frost.

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50 Comments

  1. LARK'S GARDENS on August 10, 2021 at 9:25 pm

    Thank you Patrick for sharing your gardening journey. I enjoy watching your methods of planting. Your experiments are always fun.

  2. abhishek mishra on August 10, 2021 at 9:25 pm

    hi Patrick. I m back another tomato problem. leaves on my tomato plants are are drying out despite proper watering. is this some type of disease. what to do

  3. nery colon's garden on August 10, 2021 at 9:26 pm

    Planting before the summer is awesome. I’m glad that I can plant all year round since I live in the Caribbeans. When you start gardening, you don’t want to stop. Can’t wait to see them grown. Great video

  4. Frank Burns on August 10, 2021 at 9:27 pm

    Did the cat approve of your planting technique?

  5. abhishek mishra on August 10, 2021 at 9:29 pm

    wanted to attach the photo for reference but YouTube comments doesn’t allow

  6. Dale Calder on August 10, 2021 at 9:30 pm

    Doing some work in the hoop house yesterday and noticed that the broccoli has started to germinate.

  7. Teresa McCoy on August 10, 2021 at 9:31 pm

    Funny, after my first basil planting, they’ve always reseeded. One of the advantages of living in Louisiana 🙂

  8. paolo tandiama on August 10, 2021 at 9:34 pm

    Great presentation. I’m new to gardening and I am a bit confused about south florida 10a "reverse" season. I have started seedlings of chili peppers, eggplants and tomatoes indoor that have sprouted in late May. Does that mean I will not be able to transplant outside? How about containers with 30 percent shade? Am I suppose to kill my new seedlings and wait till summer is over? Any help will be much appreciated.

  9. Eros on August 10, 2021 at 9:36 pm

    I’ve enjoyed watching and learning from each of your videos over the past several months. I use pretty much the same seed starting compost mix as you’re using. Works well. I do find that once the plants have several sets of true leaves, I need to repot into a soil mix that contains more nutrients however even though I do water with vermicompost tea. Btw, is that you playing guitar on the intro?

  10. Alberta Urban Garden Simple Organic and Sustainable on August 10, 2021 at 9:37 pm

    I have started my slow trickle of planting that will last me until June here. After getting some colder weather I hope to plant out my cold frame this week. It should be warm enough here !

  11. Rob Bob's Aquaponics & Backyard Farm on August 10, 2021 at 9:38 pm

    Nice work Patrick 👍
    Will be planting Sweet potatoes, cauliflower, onions & sowing tomato seeds here today 😉 ?
    Cheers,

  12. superslyfoxx1 on August 10, 2021 at 9:39 pm

    Oscar has put on a little winter weight. Lol!I bet he can’t wait to start chasing squirrels. How do you use your Jimmy Nardelo peppers? I am trying to grow them as well. Everything looking good Patrick,

  13. Seedaholic Gardens on August 10, 2021 at 9:39 pm

    I’m @a week behind because we are dding a new bed so , I’m catching up!

  14. Matthew Writt on August 10, 2021 at 9:41 pm

    Nice update. I went from freaky cold snaps killing off my seedlings in my cold frames to 80+ degree heat forcing me to get the cold frames out of the garden to avoid making a furnace. Fortunately I’ve been able to get everything going in the garage (albeit that was closing in on 90 degrees under the lights with no heat mat! Good ole’ climate change.

    I also am trying your method with cut open plastic Gatorade bottles. I planted corn as a test and its sprouted and is 4-5 inches tall as of today. My spinach test failed to germinate (it also had < 10% germination in my normal start as well, so looks like a bad seed packet… brand new for 2016 too).

  15. Elizabeth Darville on August 10, 2021 at 9:43 pm

    Am starting my garden

  16. Scott Peacor on August 10, 2021 at 9:44 pm

    HI Patrick. Thanks for this video, as always so very helpful! Is the schedule you are referring to above (at 4:43) for peppers the same you recommend in your "Spring Planting Schedule". The plant dates looks a little earlier above then in the excel scheduling worksheet (using same frost date). But I imagine there is a lot of wiggle room and variance. I’m having trouble figuring out when is a good time to plant seeds if you plan to move outdoors both uncovered and covered. Thanks for any help!

  17. Ted Palmer on August 10, 2021 at 9:44 pm

    thanx for sharing your work!

  18. AG on August 10, 2021 at 9:47 pm

    Thank you for making videos with so much information in a digestible way!
    Looking forward to seeing how the ‘experiment’ plants do compared to the other ones.
    How do you label your plants? I’m always looking for better ways to label.

  19. Grae Lewis on August 10, 2021 at 9:48 pm

    This video autoplayed after your April 9, 2017 one. I was wondering how the re-purposed jugs worked? I also wanted to pass along a little tip. If you want to re-use those jugs without blacking out the sharpie to write something new on them, alcohol removes permanent marker.

  20. 1975Jdonov on August 10, 2021 at 9:49 pm

    The temps here have been between 50F-70F for the last 2 weeks and I almost started my outside planting fairly early for our 6a zone. Your last couple of videos may of saved me money and time as we could be getting a fairly big winter storm this weekend here on the New England coast. While some of the plants may of survived I am sure a lot would not. Thanks again for the videos.

  21. charlie zicolillo on August 10, 2021 at 9:50 pm

    Hi Patrick in Brooklyn,NY we can not plant in the garden peppers,eggplants any herbs until late May early June.I plant my tomatoplants on May 15 that is the official plantingate for tomato’s in Brooklyn,NY.It is funny that is my birthday and FarmerFred Hoffman  his birthday witch is April 28 is the official planting date for tomato’s toin Sacramento,CA.Iam going to try and made little greenhouses for each tomatoplant were I plant them in the raisedbeds.

  22. DS111 Dodger on August 10, 2021 at 9:53 pm

    My chilli’s just won’t germinate. Any advice?

  23. Bearworf1 on August 10, 2021 at 9:57 pm

    Hi Patrick! Started my peppers in December and have pruned three times already and also pinching off the flowers and fruit. I bottom water twice a week and the plants look like dwarf trees already. Cannot plant outside until 3rd week of May so another pruning may be needed. These planting zones are a bit confusing sometimes. I’ve followed them before and had frosts kill the plants after the claimed last frost date. Do you experience mold inside the cold frames with all the snow and rain we have been seeing? We are water-logged and would need a canoe to get to my garden out back. lol You have a great delivery in explaining planting techniques. I’ll keep watching! Thanks! Steve

  24. HMH on August 10, 2021 at 9:57 pm

    I’ll be looking forward to seeing how your experiment with sowing tomatoes, peppers and eggplants inside the hoop house works out. I have some tomatoes that germinate by themselves from seeds left over from tomatoes I didn’t get round to clearing away. Usually they get ripped out as I don’t think they will be able to grow enough before the frosts, maybe I should leave one to see how it would get on. Cheers Helle

  25. Scott Bell on August 10, 2021 at 9:59 pm

    Hi Patrick, thanks for all your videos! Do you have a video on how you make potting mix for outdoor containers? I’m guessing you make your own rather than buy it.

  26. Edward Bailey on August 10, 2021 at 10:00 pm

    Thanks for the video, great! I am just starting to do similar projects on my channel –maybe you could pop over and give me some advice?
    Keep up the good work 🙂

  27. Theresa Herfindahl on August 10, 2021 at 10:01 pm

    This is off topic but Im wondering about Hubbard squash. Can they be grown vertically? If not, how much space on the ground is needed for them? Thanks,

  28. Healthy Life Farm on August 10, 2021 at 10:03 pm

    Very nice video Patrick. I love how organized your planting schedule is. Nice variety of seeds you are starting. I wanted to thank you for that tip on growing my red sorrel. It is now doing great and I’ll have to do an update video soon when it gets a little bigger. 🙂 Peaches

  29. jameson stalanthas yu on August 10, 2021 at 10:03 pm

    Are your cold frames level with the walkway? I wonder if the soil inside the box is below grade, and the thickness of the frames help with the heat retention. Or if it doesn’t matter?

  30. Linda Johnson on August 10, 2021 at 10:06 pm

    At what temperature should the soil be at in your cold frames when you plant your seeds?

  31. David Robinson on August 10, 2021 at 10:06 pm

    Another great video! My wife and I are trying seed starting indoors for the first time. As you know, gardening experts offer a lot of good information but sometimes it’s unclear or even conflicting. Maybe in a future video you could explore what it takes to get the best results when starting seeds indoors. This is just a thought, but I’m curious to know how you determined your ratios for your seed-starting mix. Other questions that have come up as we have worked on our own seed starting include: are peat pots a good way to go, and what size pot is best? How frequently do you water? Do you put holes in the bottom of your plastic pots so excess water can drain? Are young seedlings more susceptible to disease? Would it be risky to mix quality garden soil with a store-bought seed-starting medium? If using a soil-less mix, when do you start fertilizing? When the first true leaves appear? (My wife got the idea in something she read that we had to wait for the cotyledons to fall off). How often do you fertilize? Is fish emulsion a good fertilizer in a soil-free plant mix, or do seedlings need more phosphorous? In your own mix, do you use additional fertilizer (I’m guessing you don’t because you use worm castings)? There’s no end to the gardening videos you could do to answer home gardeners’ many burning questions! Thanks for the service you’re providing.

  32. BobMel simple living on August 10, 2021 at 10:06 pm

    Wow 2 months in the grow room. TFS. Best wishes Bob.

  33. florie Brown on August 10, 2021 at 10:07 pm

    Thanks for sharing, I have started my pepper in mid February but very few grew, I think my seeds are old do you know if pepper seeds age quicker than tomatoes. Tomatoes have been very successful.

  34. David Whanger on August 10, 2021 at 10:08 pm

    Have you ever experimented with starting pepper seeds outdoors under cover and seeing if you can still get a harvest late in season?

  35. Elyse Joseph on August 10, 2021 at 10:08 pm

    Can’t wait to see the difference between the tomatoes and peppers inside and in the hoophouse!

  36. Closing the Loop on August 10, 2021 at 10:11 pm

    Dude! I love you! And Oscar

  37. PharmSilver on August 10, 2021 at 10:12 pm

    I had a cat named Oscar. Very similar personality to yours! Do you shoot for 1st/2nd wk of may to plant out your peppers and tomatoes there in 5b? Obviously dependent on weather forecast too.

  38. David Grier on August 10, 2021 at 10:12 pm

    Well said sir! Not a wasted word. A joy to listen to!

  39. Troy B on August 10, 2021 at 10:12 pm

    So with a last average last frost date of Feb 22.
    Dec 27~ would be the perfect time to start tomato’s and peppers in doors?

  40. ARMEL BOURASSA on August 10, 2021 at 10:12 pm

    thanck you

  41. Gapeys Grub on August 10, 2021 at 10:13 pm

    Will be interesting to see how your seed starts do in the cold frame compared to inside.

  42. Rafs Kitchen Garden on August 10, 2021 at 10:13 pm

    Hi Patrick, Great tip about the earlier sowing with covers, I just moved my poly-tunnel tomatoes earlier and will sow this weekend to go in poly-tunnel in May and the rest of tomatoes that goes outside will be planted in June. I like your potting mix all make sense.

  43. paintingtracey on August 10, 2021 at 10:14 pm

    awe Oscar!

  44. Potato Strong on August 10, 2021 at 10:14 pm

    I planted pepper seeds in promix seed trays last week and cilantro indoors here in Canada. Cilantro is coming up, feels like spring lol.

  45. Paul D on August 10, 2021 at 10:15 pm

    your day of planting looked back breaking! 🙂 I love that first crop of arugula, and the fall crop even more. I wish it didn’t bolt so quick with this fast jump to summer – I don’t even thin it. My goal is to finally have success shading a bed of greens (video request?). I really miss them come summer.

  46. VagabondAnne on August 10, 2021 at 10:16 pm

    Awesome. Looks like I am behind schedule, as I live in California! Time to get on it! Thanks!

  47. Lolita's Garden on August 10, 2021 at 10:16 pm

    Would love to know how you prefer to prepare your beets. Those are a new one for me.

  48. MTManCH on August 10, 2021 at 10:17 pm

    Do you do anything to protect your beds from your cat? I have multiple barn cats and am constantly working to keep freshly exposed soil from being used as a litter box. I am planning wire cages for every bed, this spring, unless I find a simpler, less labor and material intensive solution. Thank you for any tips. And thanks for all the great information you put into your channel.

  49. David Fagerlind on August 10, 2021 at 10:17 pm

    Slightly envious of your warm spring weather. Here in Sweden the ground is still frozen and it looks like there will be night frost for at least two more weeks. =(

  50. Suzanne Ramoundos on August 10, 2021 at 10:21 pm

    About 3 cents worth of info on Bok Choy from this zone 5.  Its a very temperamental plant and can bolt quickly if it exposed to excess warmth or sun.   Would recommend starting now.  Started our  inside Feb 2 and have had it outside for about 2 weeks doing great.  Keep low clear totes over it for moisture and keep a shade clothe nearby for too much sun.   Not really exposed to air though looks at times like it would fair better if it were…plants look vibrate but tender.  Have read ones started indoors tend to bolt sooner.  The ones under short glass cloches doing great Glass seems to do something different than plasti even on hot days but they are in a shady microclimate.  Regarding tomatoes.   Saw a video about a fellow starting his tomatoes in Feb under double cover and they did fine.  Have not tried it here but worthy to note.   We have found start dates on plant packages in general to be pretty unreliable…but that said, its really all about which sun exposure you have and the microclimate you can manipulate.

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