Nebraska Vegetable Planting Calendar (NE): Month-wise Chart, Schedule, and Guide for Zone 4 and Zone 5

Growing one’s food is one of the greatest accomplishments. It requires nothing more than some seeds, some transplanting, and a container or a patch of land to get started. Knowing the difference between cold-season vegetables, which thrive when temperatures are cool, and frost is still a typical occurrence. 

Nebraska Vegetable Planting Calendar (NE)
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Warm-season veggies, which thrive after frost has passed, Temperatures are warm, are a prerequisite for successful vegetable planting. In this case, a vegetable planting schedule would be quite helpful. Below we learn about the Nebraska vegetable planting calendar, a month-by-month planting chart for growing vegetables in Nebraska, a seasonal planting guide for Nebraska, and the Nebraska planting zones.

Nebraska vegetable planting calendar (NE)

Planting zones of Nebraska 

Nebraska is known for its scorching summers and dry, chilly winters. Changes in precipitation and temperature throughout the state’s planting zones are dramatic. East Nebraska has a humid continental climate, whereas the west has a semi-arid climate. Evening thunderstorms are common in Nebraska throughout the late spring and summer months. Tornadoes are a regular occurrence in the spring and summer due to the state’s location in Tornado Alley. Low 70s are typical throughout the summer.

The average annual snowfall is between 25 and 35 inches, while the average annual temperature is in the mid-20s throughout the winter. Most of the state of Nebraska is under growth zones 4b and 5. The 4a zone only includes a little sliver of the northwest. Every year, the dates of the earliest and final frosts are used to assign specific zones for planting. By learning about the typical annual temperature and precipitation patterns in each zone, you can better predict which plants and flowers will thrive in your area. 

To secure the survival of your plants during the winter, you should carefully choose them, giving preference to those designated as hardy in your zone or lower. Plants with a hardiness zone rating greater than yours may not make it through the winter. Any planting zone can be quickly identified with the help of an online planting zone map.

Growing season of Nebraska 

Nebraska goes 130 days between frosts. Make your planting plans for tomatoes, peppers, and other vegetables with the help of the planting schedules that are provided below.

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Asparagus Farming
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What can I plant in April in Nebraska?

Vegetables like broccoli, kale, carrots, peas, and spinach can all be planted around the end of April. These plants are cold-hardy, meaning they can withstand mild frost without damage. Therefore, midway through March to early April is the optimum time to begin most outdoor Spring gardening in Nebraska, regardless of whether you are starting seeds inside or purchasing plants from a local nursery.

Nonetheless, you may be surprised by this, given the snow we received only the day before. Since low temperatures can dip below 40 degrees on numerous days and nights in March and April, watch the forecast. A few plants, such as those that thrive in warmer climates, will need to be shielded from the cold. However, no further frost should be expected until late September, so you can relax after May 12th.

How late can you plant tomatoes in Nebraska?

Once the frost risk has passed, you can plant your tomatoes outside. The 10th of May is the recommended planting date in eastern Nebraska. It’s a good time to sow your garden in southern Nebraska, but you should hold off in the north for another week. Plant tomatoes by June 20. Choose robust, dark-green plants with large, healthy leaves when shopping for tomato seeds or seedlings at the garden center.

Never pick fruit from a plant. The plants’ development will be stunted, and the harvest will be less because of the fruits. Before putting them in the garden, you should let the plants become used to the outside, often known as “hardening them off.” Put the plants somewhere dark first, then gradually increase their time in the sun. The tomatoes just need a few days of hardening off before being planted in the garden.

When should I plant potatoes in Nebraska?

About 120 days are required for the potato plant to reach maturity. Gardeners often plant them at the end of April or the beginning of May, harvested in September and October. Potatoes need both irrigation and sandy soils, found in some regions of Nebraska. Sandier soils are preferable for growing potatoes. It is essential to have sandy soil for growing potatoes since, during harvest, the soil and sand are washed away. Otherwise, the potatoes would be a pain to clean up after.

When can I plant onions in Nebraska?

And now that spring is here, it’s time to prepare for planting early-season vegetables like onions. Slips or sets of onion seeds should be sown as soon as the soil can be worked in the spring since onions are very resilient and thrive in chilly temperatures. There is considerable variation across onion types regarding the sunlight needed to grow an onion bulb.

If the onion is labeled as “long day” in a seed catalog, it will set bulbs in Northern summers with 15 or 16 hours of daylight. In the extreme south, “short day” cultivars are employed for winter production since they can establish bulbs with only 12 hours of sunshine. Indoor-started seeds of short-day types should mature in June. Planting long-day varieties in April will provide a crop by August.

What can you plant in the fall in Nebraska?

The following vegetables do particularly well in an autumn garden: Beets, Chinese cabbage, collard greens, potatoes, lettuce, radishes, spinach, Swiss chard, and green onions are considered semi-hardy because they can withstand mild frost (between 30 and 32 degrees Fahrenheit).

Hardy vegetables – cabbage, broccoli, carrot, turnip, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, rutabaga, and kale. It is time to start new cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower transplants. These are some of the best vegetables to grow in Nebraska in the fall. For an autumn harvest, you can also try directly sowing those above. 

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Carrot Farming
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When to plant green beans in Nebraska?

Direct sowing outdoors is the optimal method for growing beans. Plant seeds in soil that is at least 48 degrees Fahrenheit (9 degrees Celsius) after the last expected date of spring frost. Too early planting might result in the seeds rotting due to the cold, wet soil.

What can I plant right now in Nebraska?

Spring gardening in Nebraska 

It is preferable to begin most outdoor Spring gardening in Nebraska during the middle of March and April, regardless of whether you are starting seeds inside or purchasing plants from a local nursery. Nonetheless, you can be surprised by this, given the snow we received only the day before. Since low temperatures may dip below 40 degrees on numerous days and nights in March and April, watch the weather. A few plants, such as those that thrive in warmer climates, will need to be shielded from the cold.

No further frost should be expected until late September, so you can relax after May 12th. By the middle of the month in March, you can begin planting potatoes outdoors. Planting potatoes several weeks before the last frost helps them thrive since they like chilly temperatures. Vegetables like broccoli, kale, carrots, peas, and spinach can all be planted around the end of April. These plants are cold-hardy, meaning they can withstand mild frost without damage. Beets, onions, and tomatoes can be planted in early May. 

Beets and onions are two more cold-hardy veggies that will survive a little frost without suffering damage. However, tomatoes are warm-season produce, so if you grow them, you’ll need to protect them from frost. Beans, squash, maize, and cucumbers can all be planted starting in early June. Since they are all warm-season veggies, you risk harming your plants if you plant them too early.

Fall gardening in Nebraska 

Planting cool-season crops in the fall is more effective than planting them in the spring. Some of the best veggies for a fall garden are listed below. Semi-hardy vegetables can tolerate light frost and include beets, radishes, spinach, Swiss chard, Chinese cabbage, collard greens, potatoes, lettuce, and green onions. Hardy vegetables include cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, carrot, turnip, Brussels sprouts, rutabaga, and kale. These can withstand numerous touches of frost but die when temperatures drop below 20 degrees Fahrenheit. 

The moment has come to grow fresh seedlings of cruciferous vegetables, including cabbage, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and cauliflower. Try straight seeding any of the above for harvest in the fall. Remember, however, that if you don’t take precautions, pests like cabbage worms and loopers can quickly decimate your seedlings. Tomatoes and peppers, which do well when the temperature is high, can be grown successfully if one gets an early start.

You could search for cultivars with the phrase “early season” printed on the label, or you should check the number of days till harvest and pick the one with the fewest. You can germinate seedlings inside or spread seeds in the garden. Suppose you reside in our location and want to know when to sow autumn crops, count backward from the typical date of the first frost, October 10–15.

To estimate the number of days till harvest, just add the days indicated on the seed packet to the number of days until harvest. If your plants are vulnerable to frost, add 10-14 days to the planning period. A further 10-14 days should be added to account for the “fall effect,” which considers the slower plant development caused by shorter days.

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Kohlrabi Farming
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If you count backward from the first frost date, you can have a good sense of when to sow your fall crops. Hard or semi-hardy plants do well on cool autumn days and can withstand light frosts, so you don’t have to worry about timing with them. This contrasts crops like tomatoes, lettuce, and snap beans, severely damaged by even light frost.

Summer gardening in Nebraska 

Keep up with shallow, regular cultivation of planting areas in June to get ahead of weeds. Plant your melons, maize, New Zealand spinach, cucumbers, peas, and summer lettuce early in the month. Plant pepper, eggplant, and main-crop tomato seeds outside. Plant lettuce, radishes, carrots, and spinach in succession. Before planting seeds, lightly dampen the soil and press them firmly into the ground. Around the middle of the month, you should sow maize, peas, turnips, summer lettuce, radishes, late cabbage, and late tomato plants.

Celery and late cabbage should be planted at the end of the month. Apply compost that has matured as a top dressing to plants. Tomatoes should be pruned by removing any dead or diseased branches and leaves. If you neglected to set up pole cages when you planted tomatoes, you should do it immediately before the plants begin to send down strong roots.

In July, plant late-season crucifers, such as broccoli, cauliflower, leeks, and celery. Plants can be sown early in the month, including winter cabbage, Brussels sprouts, celery, and celery leaves. In the middle of the month, plant late-fall crops like lettuce and radishes, as well as beans, early maize, and early peas. Water as necessary.

Remove any lingering weeds from the garden in August, paying specific attention to the purslane that thrives in the heat. Plant your last autumn crop now, which should include spinach, rutabaga, turnips, bush beans, and peas. You may still be able to get late-season celery on the market during the first week of the month. Start your autumn harvest early by planting leafy greens, peas, and radishes inside or in a greenhouse or tunnel.

Winter gardening in Nebraska 

Straw or seedless hay should be used to cover garden crops in December. When covering a plant for the winter, start with a thin layer and add more as the temperature drops. Cover spinach, kale, salsify, and parsnips with mulch. Cool-season crops may be planted in regions with moderate winters for early and late spring harvests. Make a plan for the seeds you want to germinate in the house during the coldest months of the year if you reside in a cold-winter climate. Before winter arrives, add to and stir the compost pile.

Including weeds that have not produced seeds and disease-free garden debris in the compost is OK. Start planning your garden or planting scheme for the year in January by listing everything you intend to cultivate. Place your seed order now. It’s best to place your order before the spring rush while the seed grower’s stock is still full.

When the weather permits, apply an inch or two of compost or manure throughout the planting beds in your garden or use an enclosed space to store manure and compost for the future season. It is often cheaper to purchase soil amendments in the winter. Using compost and rock phosphate at this time will allow for numerous turnings, or the weather and rain will take them deep into the soil.

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Lettuce Garden
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Feb is a good time to start onions in a greenhouse or kitchen counter for spring planting outdoors. Plant your lettuce seeds inside or in a cold frame or plastic tunnel for a spring harvest. The initial cauliflower, cabbage, and lettuce plantings should be done in the first half of February, either inside or in a greenhouse or hot frame. 

The major crop cabbage family members should be planted two to four weeks later. Beets, early celery, and Brussels sprouts can all be seeded in greenhouses or inside in this time range. Prepare your planting poles and wire trellis for the next season, or replace them entirely.

Nebraska vegetable planting calendar/schedule/guide/chart

Vegetables Zone 4Zone 5
Snap Beans June to Mid-SepMid-May to Sep                         
Lima beans May Mid-May to Sep                         
BeetsMid Apr to Jun
Mid-July to Sep
Apr to June
Mid-July to Mid-Oct
BroccoliApr to June
July to Mid-Aug
Mid Mar to June
July to Oct
Brussel SproutsMid Apr to Mid-OctApr to Oct
CabbageMay to Mid-OctMid Apr to Oct
CarrotsMid Apr to June
Mid-July to Sep
Apr to Jun
Aug to Mid-Oct
CauliflowersMay to SepMid Apr to Mid-Oct
CornJune to Mid-SepMid-May to Mid-Sep
CucumberJune to Mid-SepMid-May to Mid-Sep
KaleMid Apr to June
Mid-July to Mid-Oct
Apr to June
Mid-July to Oct
LettuceMay to June
Mid-July to Sep
Mid Apr to June
Mid-July to Mid-Oct
OnionsMid Apr to Mid-SepApr to Sep
PeasMid Apr to JuneApr to June
Mid-July to Mid-Oct
PeppersMid Apr to Mid-SepApr to Sep
SpinachMid Apr to June
Mid-July to Mid-Oct
Apr to June
Mid-July to oct
June to Mid-SepMid-May to Sep
TomatoMid Apr to Mid-SepApr to Sep
Asparagus Mid Apr to MayApr 
Celery Mid May
Chard Early May 
Eggplants Early June May 
Kohlrabi Mid Apr to Mid Aug Early Apr and
Okra Early June Mid-May to
Potatoes Mid Apr to June Early April to
Radish Apr to JuneLate Mar to
Winter squash May to June May 

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Potato Harvest
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Planting cool-season veggies in late August gives gardeners the bonus of a second harvest in Nebraska. Late August can still be rather warm. Therefore, a temporary shade structure is recommended for seedlings of cool-season crops. If you live in the following counties, cities, or towns in the state of Nebraska (NE), this article may help with the basics of the vegetable planting calendar in Nebraska, Month wise Chart, Schedule, and Guide for Zone 4 and Zone 5.

LincolnLa Vista
Nebraska CityPlattsmouth
Grand IslandCrete
North PlatteGering
BeatriceSouth Sioux City
SidneyFalls City
PapillionCentral Nebraska
McCookEastern Nebraska
BlairWestern Nebraska
LexingtonSouthern Nebraska
ChadronNorthern Nebraska


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