It’s Spring…or so the calendar says. I was late getting the garden prepped this year because apparently Old Man Winter didn’t get the memo that his season had ended. I swear I saw him being dragged by Mother Nature kicking and screaming down the street just last week, hurling snowballs in fits of anger like a petulant child.
But now that Spring seems to have arrived, it is time to get the garden churned up and open for business. I know it is still way too early to set my lovingly reared little toms and peppers outside that have been basking in the sunshine in my living room window, but there are other vegetables that simply adore the cool Spring weather and those need to be planted NOW, don’t wait another day or before you know it, Summer will be over.
Here are my Top 5 Vegetables to Plant… Right here, Right Now
(Van Halen anyone?)
Lettuce: Pretty much any kind of lettuce, Bibb, Butter, Leaf, Romaine, Mesclun, all love to germinate and grow in the cool, damp soil that Spring provides. They actually grow amazingly fast in the cooler weather so be mindful of how many seeds you plant, lest you require a herd of bunnies to help you mow them down.
Carrots: Yup, Carrots are another cool weather loving crop to start now. Just remember to mix the seed with a little sand and spread thinly in a row. Best to follow directions on the back of the seed packet, why would they print all that info if no one followed it?
Beets: Red beets, golden beets, whatever kind of beets you like, now is the time to sow them so that come early summer, you have a nice, tender batch of young beets, perfect for pickling or for summer salads.
Radishes: Another great cool weather crop to sow. I have 2 kinds of radishes planted, and the best thing about them? They are ready in less than 30 days from the time they germinate – amazing! You can also use the greens in salads too, as well as beet greens. I love veggies that do double duty.
Peas: Who doesn’t love the fresh, crisp pods of bright green peas? Peas simply adore the cool Spring weather and will tolerate even a light frost. Sow seeds in successive crops every 2 weeks as long as it is cool, if you are lucky in where you live that you have a longer growing season, you can grow a final crop planted in mid-August for fall harvest.
My kids used to love going to Grandma’s to sleep over and helping to shell the ‘Poppin Peas’ for dinner. So named because when they tried to open the pods, the peas would ‘pop out’ all over…not sure if Grandma really liked finding stray peas under the stove and fridge.
One final note, be sure to keep the soil moist while the seeds are germinating and soon you will be harvesting your very first batch of lettuce for the many tasty, Spring salads to come.