Early Spring Vegetables

This time of year as the weather begins to show signs of improving, I start itching to get my hands dirty in the garden.  There are actually quite a few early spring crops that you can start right now!  Start seedlings indoors, and then transplant them for the best results.  Also, check out your local Bob’s Market in the next few weeks for seedlings of spring crops that can be transplanted. 

Beginning in late March to early April I start setting out transplants of the following cold tolerant vegetables:

Lettuce - timing is critical for a successful harvest but you can’t beat the quality of fresh homegrown lettuce.

Broccoli - plant in early spring and again in late summer for a fall harvest of tasty, sweet, florets.

Collards - these greens tolerate the heat as well as the cold so you can keep it growing from spring right into the winter months.

Kale - fast growth provides large quantities of delicious and nutritious leafy greens from a wide selection of diverse varieties.

Kohlrabi – an uncommon but easy to grow vegetable that deserves to be cultivated in more backyard gardens (pictured above).  It tastes awesome!

Cabbage - try planting the smaller, compact varieties like Early Jersey Wakefield to produce nice heads before summer sets in.

Globe Artichokes - a good choice for gardeners interested in growing something different that’s a bit of a challenge.

Mustard - intensely flavored greens that come in a variety of colors, shapes, and degrees of spiciness.

Oriental Greens – so many options to select from here including; Tatsoi, Pak-Choi, Chinese Cabbage, Mizuna, Bok Choy, and more.

All these veggies can withstand a brief cold spell and even a late snowfall shouldn’t pose much of a problem for them. I also direct seed parsnips, salsify, and Swiss Chard in early spring. Some gardeners rush their potatoes, carrots, and beets into the ground, which is okay, but I usually hold off a bit and plant them later with the intent of harvesting large roots for fall storage.