Although most herbs and vegetables prefer the longer days of summer, there are many that do better in the cooler weather of early spring. If you’re excited to get things going in the garden or if you just want to grow some of these vegetables, we’ve got some great tips for what you can get started planting now.
Lettuce is one of the easiest vegetables to grow. It thrives in the bright sun of spring combined with the cooler temperatures. The leaves of lettuce are very thin and delicate so it doesn’t handle heat well. Lettuce also needs an abundance of water to grow well. It does well in the ground and also does great when grown in container gardens. You can purchase starter plants but it’s so easy and cheaper to grow lettuce from seed. Many varieties of lettuce even regrow after harvesting and will continue to do so until the summer heat comes.
Peas are sweet, delicious, and make a great snack. Peas are usually pretty hardy and can handle the cold and some summer heat. Peas like their space so be sure to plant them at least 2 inches apart. If growing in a garden, make sure they have a fairly large trellis to climb. If you are growing them in a container, you can use a trellis or plant them in a tall pot and let them cascade down the sides.
Kale is a versatile vegetable that comes in many different varieties. You can find many different colors of kale, there’s frilly and flat leaved kale, and even multi-color varieties. It can be used in soups, salads, cooked in a skillet, roasted, or even baked into tasty kale chips. Kale has become known as a superfood due to its high nutrient count. Plant the seeds close together if you want to just harvest the baby greens. If you’d like to grow larger kale, plant seeds 4-6 inches apart to allow it to grow without too much crowding.
Cabbage is another cool season vegetable great for growing in the early spring. Cabbage does best with quite a bit of space, depending on the variety, the plants will need to be 1-2 feet apart. A bonus to growing cabbage is that they tend to be very pretty plants and add some interest to your garden. Cabbage does best with consistent moisture, so consider mulching your plants.
When you get radishes in the store they are usually bland and very watery. When you grow them in your own garden, they’ll be full of flavor with a little sweetness and a little spice. You can not only eat the root portion but you can also grow radishes for the greens. Pick the baby greens to use in salads for extra flavor. Or big the older greens for steaming.
Cilantro grows prolifically and if you let it seed out, it doesn’t even need planted every year. Sprinkle some seeds in an area, keep them watered, and watch it grow. Cilantro is a very hardy, low maintenance plant. It’s great for use in Mexican cooking, salsas, and guacamole. Home grown cilantro is known to have better flavor and less of that soap taste people sometimes complain about. And if you let it seed out, it produces seeds which are the spice we know as coriander.
We hope these tips for gardening in the early spring and planting cool season vegetables are helpful! If you need compost, organic fertilizer, mulch or anything else for your garden, let us help you with the right products. Contact us if you have any questions!