I’ve been talking to folks lately who are antsy to get into their gardens but are waiting till the last frost (usually sometime in mid may).
Don’t wait! There are hardy vegetables you can sow now for early season bounty. Get fresh produce from your own yard weeks before your neighbors by planting these crops now:
1) Peas: plant as soon as the soil can be worked, 1-1 1/2” between seeds in rows 12” apart. Plan and install your trellis early, as growth can come on quick once they’re up. Keep in mind that as they grow they will cast shade onto whatever crop is north of them. Because of this I like to save the northern edge of my bed for peas.
2) Radish: another crop that prefers cool soil to warmer soil. Plant seeds 1/2-1” apart in rows that are 2-4” apart. These grow fast! So I like to make extra use of space and plant in between my carrot rows. You will have eaten them all by the time the carrots are starting to fill in!
3) Carrots: plant now for a summer harvest! Plant about 1/2-1” apart in rows about 12” apart. Thin to 1” apart once seedlings germinate. Be patient - germination often takes 1-3 weeks and may be closer to 3 in cooler temps.
4) Spinach: a SUPER cold hardy crop and grows best in the spring or fall when temperatures are low. Leaves can freeze and then thaw when the sun warms them. Sow as soon as the soil can be worked. For baby salad leaves plant 60 seeds per foot in rows 2-4 inches apart. Harvest outer leaves when they reach the size you most prefer for salad.
5) Kale: baby kale can be planted for continuous cutting as soon as the soil can be worked. Plant 60 seeds per foot, 2-4 inches between each row. Once you have salad sized leaf, you can cut baby leaves for salad. Cut outer leaves, so the inside ones can continue to grow for continuous production.
Yay! Now you’ll be harvesting a full salad in no time!
Be forewarned: germination time may take longer in cooler temperatures. Be patient and keep beds moist but not drenched.
Comment below and tell me what your favorite early season veggie is!