When can I plant Bell Peppers in Zone 5a

One of the best tools that we have as gardeners to help us figure out our gardening schedule is the USDA zone info. The most important data that the zone info tells us is average last frost and the lowest expected temperature for our area.

You can estimate when it's the best time to plant bell peppers in Zone 5a by using the USDA zone info.


Planting Calendar for Bell Peppers

Frost tolerance for bell peppers: Not tolerant of frost.
When you should plant them: After the last frost.

It's probably a bad idea to plant bell peppers until after the last frost when the weather gets warmer because they are not cold tolerant.

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Legend 
A good time to plant bell peppers
Possibly ok, but a risky time to plant bell peppers
Probably not a good time to plant bell peppers

The earliest that you can plant bell peppers in Zone 5a is April. However, you really should wait until May if you don't want to take any chances.

The last month that you can plant bell peppers and expect a good harvest is probably August. Any later than that and your bell peppers may not have a chance to fully mature. Starting your bell peppers indoors is a great way to get them started a few weeks earlier.

Last Frost Date

The average date of last frost is April 15 in Zone 5a. We should expect an average low temperature of -20°F in the coldest months of winter.

It's important to remember that our actual date of last frost may not be accurate from year to year because it is based on the USDA zone info for Zone 5a and it can change quite a bit from year to year. Since half of the time in Zone 5a last frost occurs after April 15 be ready to cover your bell peppers if we have one of those late frosts.

USDA Zone Info for Zone 5a

Here is the info for USDA Zone 5a.

Average Date of Last Frost (spring)April 15
Average Date of First Frost (fall)October 15
Lowest Expected Low-20°F
Highest Expected Low-15°F

This means that on a really cold year, the coldest it will get is -20°F. On most years you should be prepared to experience lows near -15°F.

Plants to Grow in Zone 5a

You may be interested in our other planting guides for Zone 5a.