The vast majority of the state of Montana falls into Montana USDA growing zones 3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5a and 5b. There is a small section in the northwest region of the state that falls into a 6a- growing zone .
Zone 5 Hardiness Temperatures Zone 4 is 10° colder than Zone 5 and so on.
On average, your frost-free growing season starts May 4 and ends Oct 1, totalling 150 days. You will find both Spring and Fall planting guides on this page.
Numerous vegetables prefer our cool nights and soil: spinach, carrots, peas, lettuces, beets , and green beans to name a few. Just don’t waste your time on tomatoes unless you are stubborn or wish to prove you can defy all odds.
We’ve compiled a list of the most productive vegetable crops to grow in a cold weather climate. Carrots. the hardest thing about carrots to me, is the seeds are tiny, tiny, tiny, so spreading them out is difficult. Beets. Potatoes. Green beans. Sweet peas. Broccoli. Radishes. Lettuce.
When to Plant Vegetables in Zone 9 The growing season in zone 9 typically lasts from late February to early December. Planting season extends all the way to the end of the year if the days are mostly sunny.
Plants that tolerate and even prefer the cool weather can be planted outdoors in zone 4 as early as mid-April. These types of vegetables include: Asparagus . Quick maturing plants that are excellent for succession planting are: Beets . Radishes. Carrots. Lettuce. Cabbage. Spinach. Kale.
When to Plant Zone 5 Vegetable Gardens Asparagus. Beets. Broccoli. Brussels sprouts. Cabbage. Carrots. Cauliflower. Chicory.
Growing fruit trees can also be a rewarding hobby. Hardy varieties of apple, apricot , cherry , pear , plum , and plum – cherry trees do well in Southwest Montana. We carry select varieties for our high altitude and short growing season.
The good news is even in Montana’s short season, practically anyone can grow this prolific and scrumptious fruit. Although we typically enjoy over 100 frost free days, cool nights on either end of the growing season slow down tomato development so, unless you have a penchant for fried green tomatoes , choose wisely.
Those who live in Iowa might say we don’t have the climate for either corn or tomatoes, but most of us Montana gardeners know we can grow these warm season crops here. There are a few tricks to successfully grow sweet corn and tomatoes in our climate. First, plant early varieties. Plant 60 to 70 day sweet corn .
Most melons prefer a climate like Arizona’s; they have no chance in Montana . When you are checking “days to maturity” on the seed packet, remember that it refers to melons growing in ideal conditions. Here, where growing conditions are never ideal, add more days before you can expect to see the first melon.
Broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts , cabbage, lettuce, onions and eggplant can be transplanted two to three weeks before you expect the last frost, says Gough. Cucumbers, melons, peppers, summer squash and tomatoes fare better if you wait until the last frost, or a week or so later.
Pumpkins are very sensitive to cold and in northern Montana that’s always a concern. If you plant too early, before the soil warms, there is a good chance of the seeds rotting before they germinate and if they spring up too early there is always a chance that a late frost may cut your pumpkin adventure short.