Vegetables vary in their tolerance to cold, so gardeners generally use the frost-free date as the benchmark for scheduling outdoor plantings. Some cold-tolerant veggies can be planted weeks before the frost-free date; others should be planted a few weeks after the danger of frost is past and warm weather has settled. Here is a general guideline for when to plant outdoors, either by direct seeding or transplanting the plants you started inside. It's good to have some row cover handy in case a hard freeze threatens after you set out plants. Or as shown in the photo above, grow early crops in lightweight pots that you can easily move inside if necessary.
6 weeks before your frost-free date:
4 weeks before your frost-free date:
Brussels Sprouts and Cabbage
2 weeks before your frost-free date:
On your frost-free date:
1-3 weeks after your frost-free date: