Early spring is the perfect time to grow a delicious cool-season vegetable garden. When you plant your peas, beets, radishes, spinach, lettuce and other salad greens, you’ll get delicious edibles early in the growing season.
These vegetables can thrive in cool temperatures and withstand light frosts that are common this time of year.
Follow these 7 tips on planting and growing a cool-season vegetable garden
- Growing: Start your vegetable garden seeds in peat pots or seed trays (takes 4-6 weeks to be transplant-ready). Use this frost chart for your area to know when to transplant. If not starting from seed, get seedlings you can plant right in the ground at the proper transplant time according to the frost chart. Use this information on do’s and don’ts for seed starting to help guide you.
- Hardening: For those who start seeds, you’ll need to harden off your new seedlings by placing them outside for a few hours each day, or use a cold frame. New seedlings need to get used to temperatures outdoors. Learn the steps with these transplanting tips. No cold frame? Try this DIY version.
- Prepping: Add organic compost to soil in your containers, raised beds or other gardens to prep for vegetables. Use a garden fork to lift, fluff and aerate the soil. Get more tips on prepping your garden for edibles.
- Transplanting: Check seed packets or plant tags for proper spacing and depth and transplant your seedlings.
- Watering: Keep seedlings and soil moist. Water every two to three days before soil dries out.
- Feeding: Using an organic fertilizer, give your seedlings a boost. Check out how to boost seedlings with plant food.
- Protecting: Covering new seedlings at night is important to help stave off frost and insect damage. Use plant covers, a cold frame or a greenhouse.