Grow Your Own with an Easy Kitchen Garden

When to plant

“A good rule of thumb is knowing when your last frost date is,” says Algiere. Of course, that varies across the country, so search for growing guides specific to your location. “In New York and across New England, our last frost date is usually the middle of May,” he says. “That said, there are a lot of things that you can plant in April: onions, carrots, radishes, and peas are all fine with frost and can even handle snow, especially when they’re young. If you start mid-April, turn the ground, set up the beds, and lay mulch at least two weeks before you plant. Things like tomatoes and basil can go in later in May. For winter squashes and all the real summery crops, plant in late May to early June.”

“If you plant things in April, the garden should be pretty packed by June, so that’s when you start harvesting and moving things out,” says Algiere. “At Stone Barns, we have a big planting date in the middle of July. That date generally sets us up for all of our fall planting. So even though the tomatoes are still growing, you can make some space and plant broccoli, cauliflower, beets, carrots, mustard greens. There’s even stuff you can plant later in September, October—spinaches and other greens. Kale is bulletproof: We still have kale outside right now.”