Cool Season vs. Warm Season Crops
Cool-season Crops by Family
Cool-season crops are plants that are either frost tolerant or cool temperature tolerant, allowing them to flourish in temperatures lower than 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Cool-season crops are generally planted in the early spring when temperatures are cooler, long before the danger of frost has passed. Many of these crops can also be planted late in the season for a fall harvest.
Cool Temperature Tolerant
Cool-season crops that may be injured by a light frost yet grow best in temperatures lower than 70 degrees include members of the Apiaceae family: carrots, celery, and parsnip. Endive and lettuce of the Asteraceae family and beet and Swiss chard of Chenopodiaceae also grow best in cool temperatures, as do cauliflower and potato.
Warm-season Crops by Family
Warm-season crops are those plants that may be injured by frost and should be planted well after the danger of frost has passed. Many members of the Cucurbitaceae family are not frost tolerant. These include cantaloupe, cucumber, pumpkin, squash, and watermelon. Members of the Solanaceae family that are warm-season crops include eggplant, pepper and tomato. Beans, sweet corn, and sweet potato all grow similarly as those listed above.
Please review our planting guide for recommended planting dates.