Having a productive garden in New Jersey is easy to accomplish so long as you have the right plan. Below we’ll walk you through which plants thrive in New Jersey, when to plant in New Jersey, and how to adapt your garden as the seasons change.
Hardiness zones, sometimes referred to as “growing zones” or “planting zones”, were created by the USDA to help gardeners determine which plants are best suited for a particular location.
New Jersey encompasses 2 hardiness zones. They are zones 6 and 7. Before we get started, determine which zone you live in by visiting this interactive USDA hardiness zone map.
At their core, hardiness zones only represent how cold a particular area gets in winter. This information, combined with the average frost dates for your area, is the key to planting the right herbs and vegetables in New Jersey.
Below, we’ll guide you through the best crops to grow in your zone in New Jersey and when to plant them.
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During the spring in New Jersey zones 6 and 7, try planting short season produce in March that prefer cold weather, such as kale, beets, and romaine lettuce.
These crops will feel much more comfortable in the moderate temperatures of spring, as opposed to the intensity of a New Jersey summer. And their short growing period means once temperatures begin to rise, they’ll be ready to harvest and replaced with plants more adapt to the New Jersey heat.
Classic home garden produce, such as okra, yellow squash, green beans, and jalapenos are great options for mid-to-late spring planting.
For warm weather crops such as these, start seedlings indoors in March. In April and May, once temperatures at night are consistently above 50 degrees, transplant established plants to the garden.
Want to keep gardening in New Jersey zones 6 and 7 even as the weather cools? You might be surprised by your options!
Fall crops for New Jersey zones 6 and 7 are typically planted around July and August. This should give the plant enough time to establish itself before cold weather begins to set in. Think cold-loving crops such as kale, broccoli, and beets. Hardy root vegetables and durable leafy greens are great options, especially if you’re looking for something to plant in September or early October.
See our full list of growing guides for cold weather vegetables and warm weather vegetables for more inspiration.