It’s time for me to start planting early Spring vegetables. Some vegetables need to grow in the cooler weather of Spring and can be planted as soon as the ground thaws here in the Northeast.
What are some of the early vegetables you can plant? All lettuces, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, green onions, snow peas, and sugar snaps to just name a few.
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What I Do To Prepare For Planting
The ground or raised beds need to be thawed before you can plant anything in the early Spring days. I live on the Zone 5b/6a line in New England. Some years the ground is thawed in March sometimes it’s in April…you never know what the winter will end when you live up here.
The most important thing you need to determine when you are planning a garden is what planting zone you live in. Check this USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map to find yours.
One other benefit of using raised beds in your vegetable garden is that the soil thaws and warms up quicker than the ground.
I am using existing raised beds for my early vegetables this year. To prepare the raised beds for another growing season I add some fresh compost to the soil and my favorite organic fertilizer before I started planting. If you don’t have access to fresh compost you can buy bagged compost from your local nursery or at the garden center of one of the big stores.
early Spring Vegetables to add to your garden
A FEW GOOD CHOICES
- All Lettuces
- Brussels Sprouts
- Green Onions
- Snow Peas
- Sugar Snaps
How I Plant Peas
Snow Peas and Sugar Snap Peas are my two favorite things to grow in the Spring. I also replant them in the late Summer for a Fall harvest. They do not like hot weather so it’s important to get an early start on peas to get a good harvest.
Peas grow the best when they have some sort of support structure. You can use a trellis or netting.
I built a new trellis for my snow peas and sugar snaps to trail up on. You can see how I built one here; it was pretty easy too!
Both snow peas and sugar snap peas are easily grown from direct sowing the seeds. Direct sowing is when you start a plant from seed directly in the garden, there’s no need to start from seed indoors or buy them already in flats at the nursery.
I planted snow peas on one side and sugar snaps on the other side of the folding trellis. This still produces plenty of pods. You don’t need a ton of room to grow these…and they are so yummy to snap off and eat right in the garden.
The weather has been exceptionally cold around here this Spring so they are taking longer than usual to really get growing. Usually, it’s about 6-8 weeks until you have peas to harvest.
This is a wonderful vegetable to grow with your kids! They will love planting the seeds and watching them grow…plus they will love to be able to pick the pods off the stems and eat them!
Planting Broccoli and Cauliflower
Both of these early Spring vegetables are very easy to grow in the cooler weather. I buy my plants in flats from the nursery. Broccoli and Cauliflower plants are readily available at places like Lowe’s, Home Depot, & Walmart as well if you don’t have a local nursery or garden center.
To plant the broccoli and cauliflower you will first need to dig a hole deeper and twice as wide as the plants.
Sometimes the stems are growing a little wonky from being in the starter trays. I make sure to put the plant in deep enough that only the straight stronger part of the stem will be above the dirt. Remove any of the small bottom leaves pop the plant in the hole and backfill until it’s covered.
I left space between the plants to give them adequate space to grow. Another thing I will do is cover this bed with garden netting that is propped up on hoops to keep the yucky bugs away.
Once the hot weather of Summer arrives the broccoli and cauliflower plants will start to bolt. Bolting is when a plant starts trying to go to seed and will produce a flower stalk…it happens to lettuces, herbs, and cabbages too. The broccoli and cauliflower will start to flower. Once these plants start to bolt I will pull them all out and plant something else in this bed for the rest of the growing season.
After you plant anything you should give it a nice drink of water! Now what we do most of the time as gardeners…we wait for our plants to grow!
Other Easy Spring Vegetables To Grow
Other super easy Spring vegetables to grow are spinach, lettuce, carrots, and radishes. I buy flats of a variety of lettuces and spinach at my nursery.
Another fun idea is to plant your lettuce in a big planter outside of your kitchen so you can just clip off what you need for your dinner.
Radishes take under a month to go from seed to edible. I will plant a couple of rows of radish seeds in a raised bed planting the seeds about an inch apart. Once they sprout I will thin out the rows so the stronger plants have room to thrive.
Another tip is to keep planting a few radish seeds every week so you will always have a fresh supply on hand.
Carrots take longer to grow. I plant them in straight rows in a raised bed. They are no-fuss plants and you don’t need to do much except keep them watered to grow a healthy crop.
Have you ever wanted to learn about starting seeds? Read my Seed Starting Basics guide.
Happy Gardening, Friends!!
cottage on bunker hill
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