15 best vegetables for spring (2023)

A spring garden is a rewarding and welcome sight after winter. After several months of eating pumpkin and carrots or canned foods, the thought of enjoying food fresh from the garden is exciting. Last year,many people started gardeningfor the first time. This will be your first spring garden. So where do you start?

Step 1: Order your seeds and plants

The first thing to do isorder your vegetable seedsand plants Seed catalogs for this year are online or you can get a paper version. Vegetable plants won't ship until it's safe to plant them in your growing area, so don't bother storing your order in a safe place until it's time to plant. Remember, it's important to order your seeds from a reputable site that guarantees high-quality organic seeds, which brings us to the next step.

Buy all vegetable seeds

Step 2: Find your growth zone

Find out what your growth zone is. Your growing zone will tell you the average date of the first frost in the fall and thelast frost in spring. It's an average, but it gives you a date to shoot. There are many resources online that include growing zone charts and some that allow you to find your growing zone by zip code. Another great resource for growing gardens is your local County Extension Office. There may be a Master Gardener program in your area, and some offer a one-call service to answer any gardening-related questions. Also, check to see if there are garden clubs in your area.

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There are plants that like cool spring temperatures. These are plants that will germinate in cool soil, can tolerate and even thrive in cooler temperatures, and will grow well on shorter days with less sunlight. Not all plants can handle these conditions. Summer garden plants, such as tomatoes and peppers, will not survive spring weather conditions.

Step 3: Start Planting

Once you've decided what you want to grow in your spring garden and have the seeds, you're ready to plant. Check your garden soil for signs of ice still on the ground. It should be free of frost when you plant the seeds. In addition, spring usually comes with a lot of rain. Do not attempt to plant in wet, muddy conditions. You will want to be prepared to protect your plants if there is a surprise late frost. All you have to do is cover them overnight with an old sheet, newspaper, orfrost cloth.

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If you live in the north, your growing season is much shorter, and it's not uncommon for your spring garden to overlap with your summer garden. You can buy yourself some time by starting your cool-weather plants indoors andtransplant them to the gardenwhen the ground is ready.

Vegetables to grow in spring

Here are some great vegetables to consider in your spring garden.

  1. Peas.This is one of the best cool weather crops. The seeds will germinate in soil temperatures as low as 40 degrees and the pea plants can tolerate even snow. There ismany varieties of peas--from peas to peas are shelled and eaten to peas. Depending on the variety you choose, you may need a trellis for them to grow. Some varieties grow up to six meters tall. There are also many varieties of shrubs and even peas for patio container gardening.

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  1. Spinach.Spinach is so cold tolerant that you can spread the seeds on frozen ground and they will germinate once the ground thaws. Just be careful that the birds don't get the seeds first. Like peas, spinach can tolerate fairly cold temperatures and even a bit of snow.

sale of spinach seeds

(Video) 10 perennial vegetables to grow for a spring harvest

  1. Lettuce.Lettuce likes cool temperatures, but is more sensitive to cold. Be prepared to cover the lettuce if you have a late-onset cold snap. You can plant directly in the garden as soon as the soil is workable, but in the north you may want to start seeds indoors to be safe.

Buy all lettuce seeds

  1. radishes. Radishes are one of the first vegetablesit can be harvested after sowing. Plant two to four weeks before the last frost, when the soil can be worked. Most people think that radish is a vegetable to be eaten raw, but give it a try.roasted with a little oil and salt. You may want to plant a lot more.

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  1. Broccoli.Broccoli is a cool-weather crop that doesn't really grow well in the heat of summer. Sow the seeds directly or start indoors and transplant outdoors about two weeks before the last frost date. Broccoli is a delicious addition to any dish or can be used as a side dish with a main dish.

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  1. Cauliflower.Cauliflower is a lot like broccoli. Both are from the same family and must be grown in the same way. Also, when the cauliflower head begins to form, you will need to protect it from the sun so that it stays completely white. Most cauliflowers have longer leaves that wrap around the head for this purpose, but they may need shelter to keep out light. Now there are also cauliflower heads of various colors.

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  1. Beet.Beetroot can be sown in early spring as soon as the land can be worked. They are a root crop; however, you can also pick some of the leaves to add to a fresh salad. Just make sure there are four to five leaves left to give the plant energy to form the beetroot.

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  1. Chard.This is a cold tolerant plant, but it does not like frost, so be prepared to cover it if necessary. Swiss chard is so beautiful it's worth growing just to look at it. The cool weather makes it taste even better.

Buy Swiss chard seeds

  1. I will followKohlrabi forms an edible bulb above the ground. This is another plant that prefers cool climates and, in fact, the sweetness of the bulb is enhanced by low temperatures. But keep protective sheeting available because rutabaga does not tolerate frost or freezing.

sale of kohlrabi seeds

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  1. cucumbersTrust us, you want to get them into the ground about two weeks after the last frost so you can enjoy them as soon as possible. Be sure to treat the soil with fertilizer and choose a sunny spot in the garden. Although you can start early, they love a good sunbath whenever possible. Tip for new gardeners: space them in rows about six feet apart because they will spread out.

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  1. Carrots.We're cheating a bit here. The truth is that you want to plant before the first frost, but if you can't, you can plant your carrots earlier! Give them some space or pull them out when they start to grow to allow room for the carrots to grow big and healthy.

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  1. Papas.There's nothing better than potatoes, one of the most versatile vegetables in your garden. Potatoes can survive a frost or two, so plant them as soon as it's easy. When the stems are about eight inches long, top them off or your potatoes will be bitter and slightly green. Nobody wants a sour potato chip!

grow potatoes

  1. raspberries.Granted, not a vegetable, but a great plant to plant in the spring. But it's true: you can plant raspberries in early spring. If you don't want them to run wild in your garden, they also do very well in pots or raised beds. Prefer to put them on the ground? Make sure you have well-draining soil to prevent root rot.

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  1. Rhubarb.Rhubarb stalks are the perfect addition to your spring garden, but there's just one problem: You shouldn't harvest rhubarb the first year. With that being said, though, if you're willing to be patient, you'll be able to eat delicious rhubarb year after year. It handles the cold perfectly and is normally free of insects and diseases. Just keep it in well-draining soil and you'll be able to enjoy this plant for years to come.

Buy the popular 'Victoria' rhubarb plant

  1. Herbs.Again, not technically a vegetable, but herbs like parsley, mint, and even oregano often come back year after year, making them a great addition to a spring garden.

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Keep in mind that these cold-tolerant spring crops also make excellent cold-tolerant fall plants. Many gardeners plant them at both times of the year.

spring garden chores

In addition to planting your garden for spring, be sure to offer your new (and existing!) plants a balanced fertilizer to ensure they have a healthy start to the year. Then take a look at your yard to start a spring clean.

  • Check the fences.If you have a perimeter fence or stone fence, look at it to make sure no damage has been done by the weather. You may also considerput any fenceto keep out the critters you've eliminated before winter. They'll hatch soon, too, and the last thing you want is for them to eat any of your newly awakened plants.
  • Check your trees.Sometimes the weather can affect the branches of your favorite trees, and it's best to take them down before the tree begins to come out of dormancy, especially if they're on top of a structure or your house.
  • Cut back existing plants.Some of your perennials love to be trimmed back before or just after winter, and best of all, it helps them grow and get stronger as soon as they wake up for the season.
  • Prepare your tools.Get your tools out of the shed and take a look. Does your shovel need a new team this season? Do you need to sharpen your pruning shears to make cutting easier? Does your shower head need a patch on the bottom because of some rust? Also,consider what garden toolsyou wish you had last year and enjoy these tools this year.

6 Essential Gardening Tools Every Gardener Needs

  • Start preparing your compost pile.Doing some spring raking? Throw those leaves and plant debris in the pile! Trimming back your perennials? In the pile! Be sure to remove the compost you'll be using for the garden beds, and add more to the pile with any spring cleaning you do.

Planting your plants in the ground during the spring is just one step in getting your garden ready for the season. Plant your favorite vegetables to make them work, then consider other flowers and shrubs you want to add to fill in the gaps in case something dies back in the winter. You might also consider trying something new that you have never tried before. New varieties of plants and vegetables appear every year, and you just might find a new favorite for your garden.

Remember, you don't have to do it all at once. Take your time to prepare your garden and enjoy your time away from home. Talk to other gardeners to see how their gardens fared over the winter and see if they have any recommendations for your garden. And then start thinking about what plants you want to add to the pots and containers outside your front door for a touch of color and fun. Pansies are a great choice in the cooler months if you're really looking for a bright color to see you through until the summer-friendly plants are ready to go.

Get the From Seed to Spoon app to find out when it's time to start moving seedlings outdoors and sow seeds directly in your area. Easily track your garden seeds and plants, the weather, and more. Join our gardening and farming community at From Seed to Spoon.

Have fun and happy gardening!

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