How Long Does It Take?

When planning what to plant in your vegetable garden, take into consideration how long it takes the plants to mature and be harvested.  Vegetables that mature quickly will do well grown from seed. Others that take a long time may be best bought as seedlings at the garden center where they have been grown in the greenhouse and have a good head start.

Plants that need to mature before the very hot days of summer (cold crops) would also be candidates for buying as seedlings. Warm weather crops like tomatoes and peppers can go either way. If you plant seeds in mid-March, your plants will be ready to go into the garden by June.  If you wait too late to start seeds, you may be better off buying seedlings when the weather is best.  The maturity times below for a few most popular vegetables refer to the time that the seeds sprout to when they can be harvested.

Cool Season Plants

Swiss Chard – 50 days

Cabbage – 60-70 days

Kale – 50-55 days

Leaf Lettuce 40-45 days

Head Lettuce – 70-80 days

Peas 50-65 days

Broccoli – 70 days

Brussels Sprouts – 90-100 days

Cauliflower – 50-55 days

Radishes – 20-30 days

Carrots – 65-70 days


Warm Season Plants


Tomatoes – 60-85 days

Peppers – 70-80 days

Zucchini and Yellow Squash – 55-65 days

Watermelon – 100-130 days

Bush Beans – 45-50 days

Sweet Corn – 65-80 days

Cucumber – 50-60 days

Bush Beans – 45-50 days

Pole Beans – 60-65 days

Pumpkin – 100 days

For a comprehensive list of plants and maturity times, see the Montana Master Gardener article on Planting a Successful Home Vegetable Garden.