Use a planting calendar
If you start vegetable plants indoors, it is often helpful to list seeding dates on a calendar so that plants are ready for transplanting at the proper time. To do this, choose your transplant date and count back the number of weeks necessary to grow your own transplants. For example, cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower are usually transplanted in late March to early April. It takes eight weeks from seeding to transplant size. Therefore, plants should be seeded in early February.
Below are examples of some common vegetables grown for transplants and a recommended date for seeding. Dates are Saturdays, as this is when many homeowners have the most free time. The dates are not set in stone, and a week earlier or later will not ruin the plants.
Also, you may want to seed a week or two earlier if you are in southern Kansas and possibly a week later if you are in northern Kansas. Calendars can be reused year after year by a slight reset of the dates. Also keep notes on how well the transplants did so you can tweak the planting schedule. Your conditions may result in plants that need a bit more or a bit less time.
Crop seeding date – transplant date:
• Cabbage, Broccoli and Cauliflower — Plant: Feb. 6 – Transplant: April 3;
• Lettuce (if you grow transplants) — Plant: Feb. 6 – Transplant: April 3;
• Peppers — Plant: March 20 – Transplant: May 15;
• Tomatoes — Plant: March 27 – Transplant: May 8.