Year One on the Farm

This past year was my first farm year at Replenishing Farm in Mannford OK! Acquiring the land and house was a bit of a last minute shock. I had been working on purchasing the property for about a year, but it just seemed like it wasn’t going to happen. I was able to finally sign the papers in November, but the house needed to be cleaned out. In addition, I wanted to get parts of the house livable so I could move some of the stuff in without having to work around it. I was also waiting on a friend or two to come look at the property and help decide the best part to put the garden and make recommendations for soil amendments. The season was well under way and that never happened, so in April my family helped me pick a small spot and we got to work.

I found a great deal at Sutherlands that had a sale for 4 heirloom plants for a $1. Can’t beat a deal like that! I was able to get the plants in the ground in time and actually had a pretty successful haul considering the late start and minimal prep. There are a few things that I planted such as pumpkins that I knew would do a lot better with proper nutrients, but overall it was a pretty good year.

In the fall, I started prepping a larger area with cardboard, horse manure and leaves. Throughout the fall and winter, it’s been breaking down into what I hope will be nutrient rich soil.

Putting Together a Zone 7 Planting Schedule

My next step for a more prolific garden season is to get ahead with a planting schedule. I knew basically when most plants needed to get in the ground, but not having a plan made me feel like I was always reacting instead of being proactive. Most vegetables require a certain temperature or conditions to grow successfully. Some plants are prone to freezing, while some will burn easily as the season progresses. Knowing when to plant your crops is one of the most important tasks to figure out as a gardener. Mannford needs a zone 7 planting schedule, so I thought it would be helpful for other Oklahomans planning their gardens. I’ve explained below the planting zones, so you can find the right one for you.

Feature picture with radish that says zone 7 planting guide for beginners

What planting zone is Oklahoma

The state is divided into zones according to 10-degree increments. Oklahoma includes zones 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b and a small pocket of 8a in the southeastern part of the state. Knowing which zone you reside in is useful information for both novice and experienced gardeners.

Zone 7 Planting Guide

The dates I’ve listed below are simply to guide, so you can adapt it to make your own zone 7 planting schedule. You can plant up to two weeks before or two weeks later because I’ve listed the middle dates here. As a beginner, I wanted to have the best success rate possible, so I started with mostly already established plants from the store. I only had a small space, so financially it made sense.

I wanted to expand this year, but since I’m still a beginner, I wanted to research plants that were easy to start from seed vs buying seedlings. Also, some crops such as squash, root crops, don’t like to be transplanted, so that needed to considered too.

As I list the start dates below, I’ve also included whether you should start these plants from seeds or buy established plants.

Early Spring Vegetables Zone 7

In Zone 7, you can plant onions, potatoes, carrots, radishes and lettuce as soon as the ground can be worked because our summers are so hot and come early you need to get these crops in as soon as you can.

You can plant up to two weeks before or two weeks later because I’ve listed the middle dates here.

February 15

Onions

Onions come in seeds or sets that are already partially grown and dormant. Sets are easier for a beginner. In the fall, I bought sets from Stringer Nursery in Tulsa, OK.

Potatoes

Seed potatoes that you buy and cut into chunks based on the position of the eyes, the growing points on potato tubers, also known as chitting. Each chunk should have at least two eyes. Then you’ll dry the potatoes for a week or two before planting.

March 1

The following Early Spring Crops can be planted directly in the ground as seeds.

  • Carrots

    I’ve not had success germinating carrots yet, but after a bit of research on how to germinate carrots I’ve learned it’s important to keep their soil moist. Some people even cover that ground with a board until the carrots germinate.

  • Lettuce

    I’ve found most types of leaf lettuce to be easy to germinate. I do plan to continue to try with head lettuce varieties.

  • Radishes

    Radishes are super fun for a beginner. They grow fast, and they’re so easy to grow that often farmers will use them as a cover crop to break up hard ground.

  • Peas

    I’ve heard that peas are another super easy crop to grow and great for beginners and they’re a great early spring crop with a great fresh taste after a long winter.

  • Turnips

Potatoes

By now, your chitted potatoes will have plenty of time to dry, so it’s time to get them in the ground!

March 15

Anything in the Brassicaceae family, also the next three listed items, tend to be more difficult to get started. I recommend buying already started plants until you’ve gained more experience and confidence to start your own plants. The following crops are also easier to start as plants

  • Broccoli

  • Cauliflower

  • Cabbage

    As I mentioned, Brassicaceae family can be a bit difficult to get started. However, the starts I got last spring have been growing successfully. The crazy thing is I got them in too late, but they held on all summer and started growing again this fall and winter! Hopefully, by spring I’ll have some nice cabbages.

  • Kale

  • Kohlrabi

The next items listed can be started easily as seeds.

  • Spinach

  • Swiss Chard

  • Cilantro

    Cilantro is a great pest deterrent for most fall crops, so I will be adding a bit of cilantro throughout my fall and spring crops.

  • Nasturtiums

    Nasturtiums are also a great pest repellent for most fall crops, so I’ll be adding a bit throughout my rows.

May 1

These items listed can be started easily as seeds.

  • Cantaloupe

  • Corn

  • Cucumber

  • Green Beans

  • Okra

  • Summer Squash

    As far as seed starting goes, my highest success rate was squash. Growing squash is extremely difficult because of the squash bugs, however I can’t give up because squash is my favorite thing to eat. I did buy starts in the spring, but later in the year I started quite a few more for my fall crop. I had too many seedlings, so I was even able to sell a few this year.

  • Winter Squash

  • Watermelon

May 15

The following items I have found difficult to start as seeds, so I recommend buying seedlings.

  • Eggplant

  • Herbs

  • Marigolds

  • Pepper

  • Tomato

Fall Planting Zone 7

Basically, most of the things that grew in the early spring can also grow in the fall once it starts to cool back down.

September 1

These items listed can be started easily as seeds.

  • Carrots

  • Lettuce

  • Nasturtiums

  • Peas

  • Radishes

  • Spinach

  • Swish Chard

  • Turnips

October 1

Garlic

Use seed garlic instead of grocery store and plant the individuals cloves. The cool thing about garlic is its extremely easy to save your own seed every year to plant the next year.

When to Plant Fruit Trees in Zone 7

According to the OSU Fact sheets, the best time to plant the majority of your fruit trees is Spring or Fall. You can find the Home Fruit Planting Guide here.

Zone 7 Planting Calendar

The crops I’ve included are mostly from the list I planned to grow here. Download this Seasonal produce chart for a more complete list of crops to add to your zone 7 planting schedule.

In Conclusion

Knowing when to plant your crops is probably one of the top conditions that will make or break your garden. I hope you found this zone 7 planting schedule helpful in planning your most successful garden season yet!

Don’t forget to pin this information for later!

Feature picture with cabbage that says zone 7 planting guide for beginners

2 thoughts on “Zone 7 Planting Schedule for Beginners

  1. What a great article. I’m growing in Oklahoma zone 7 and found so much useful information here. Do all seedling take the same time to grow to transplant size? I would be interested in an article on when to start seedlings to be ready to plant at the right time.

    1. Thanks for commenting and what a great question. Each type has it’s own germination and growth rate which is also influenced by other factors such as sunlight, watering and nutrients, but in general the rule of thumb is that when a seedling has three to four true leaves, it’s large enough to plant out in the garden (after it has been hardened off) when the conditions are right for that type of plant. I’ll be sure to do more specific research and put together an article to address that question in detail. Thanks for reading!

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