Growing a Spring Vegetable Garden Growing a Spring Vegetable Garden
Planting a spring vegetable garden requires slightly different planting strategies then planting your summer vegetable garden. Most vegetable plants are not going to germinate if the soil is cooler than 70 degrees F and if they don’t get consistent days of warm weather. However, a few very tasty vegetables can be planted for a spring harvest that will thrive in the chilly, wet weather common during early spring. The four best plants to add to your spring vegetable garden are asparagus, rhubarb, peas and lettuce.
Asparagus is a perennial crop, which means that once they are planted that they will regenerate year after year without having to replant them. Asparagus is one of the best spring vegetables to add to your spring vegetable garden because they thrive in cool weather, they are low in calories and they are very nutritious. Asparagus can be grown in hardiness zones 4 through 9 and prefer full sun. To plant asparagus you will need to either plant the crown of a 1-year old asparagus plant or you can start your asparagus from seed. If you plant asparagus seeds, it will take a couple of years before you can harvest a crop.
Rhubarb is another vegetable that is considered to be a perennial crop. Like the asparagus it can be grown from either a crown from an adult plant or seeds. You can also propagate this plant by dividing up the root ball. This plant requires full sun to ripen and to ensure that the toxins in the leaves don’t migrate to the edible part of the plant. When planting rhubarb you need to give them plenty of space. You will need to give them a radius of 3 feet between plants.
A hardy annual vegetable that works well for spring vegetable gardens is the pea plant. Peas come in several varieties including snow peas and sugar peas. You can plant vegetable seeds to grow your peas from scratch or you can buy garden plants that were started in a greenhouse. The traditional planting date for peas is St. Patrick’s Day. However, if your spring vegetable garden is still under snow in March you can wait until April to plant your peas. Pea plants prefer the cold and need to be planted early if you want to have them produce peas. Since peas are fast growing vegetables you can easily plant two crops of peas each season.
If you are interested in growing vegetables for salads in your spring vegetable garden then make sure you plant several varieties of lettuce and greens in your garden. Lettuce does well in cool temperatures, however, most varieties require a soil temperature of at least 70 degrees F to germinate. To overcome this obstacle you can start your lettuce sprouts inside and then transfer them to your vegetable garden when they first sprout roots. Lettuce is another fast-growing spring vegetable so you will want to make plans to plant several crops in succession.