The success of any garden often hinges on getting the plants in the ground at the right time. For many vegetables, that time is at the first sign of spring. Even though there is still a risk for frost in late March through April, hardy vegetables can withstand colder climates during the early stages of growth. Here are five vegetables that are great for planting, and even better for eating, in the spring.
Broccoli doesn’t mind cold soil, so it’s good for early spring planting. As a hardy vegetable, seeds and transplants can be planted 2-3 weeks before the last frost. According to The Farmer’s Almanac, broccoli requires full sun and regularly watered soil. The vegetable is ready to harvest when the heads are firm and before the appearance of yellow petals.
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Carrots are one of the easiest vegetables to grow. They are very hardy and can tolerate cold. They are safe to plant 3-5 weeks before the final frost. Full sun is necessary and The Farmer’s Almanac recommends weeding frequently. Carrots are ready to harvest when they are a half-inch in diameter, which takes over 2 months.
Onions are another very hardy vegetable that can prosper in cold weather. The best time to plant this crop is late March or early April, as long as the temperature doesn’t drop below 20 degrees. Onions also require full sun, but frequent watering is not as important, unless you want a sweeter flavor. Onions are fully ripe when the tops turn brown.
Snap peas, snow peas, and sweet peas are all easy to grow in the spring. Unlike the previous three vegetables, peas can withstand part sun. They also don’t require an abundance of water, unless the plant begins wilting. Depending on the variety, peas may need a trellis to grow upwards. Harvesting peas frequently promotes growth for new pods.
Many leafy vegetables are hardy and thrive in the spring, spinach being one of them. It’s actually adverse to warmer temperatures and doesn’t grow well in soil warmer than 70 degrees. However, it does do well in temperatures down to 15 degrees. Leaf size determines when spinach is ready to harvest. Pick at your desired leaf size, but larger leaves can turn bitter.