What to Plant in a Spring Garden

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Spring is a great time to start an herb, vegetable, or flower garden. Here are some tips for starting a garden and what to plant in early spring.

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This post is about starting a spring garden and what to plant in spring.

Although the month of April is often characterized by cooler weather, many plants thrive in the cooler temperatures of fall and spring. This includes plants like chard, lettuce, kale, strawberries, and many types of herbs.

Some plants are very cold hardy, while other plants require protection against spring frost. Things like frost blankets and hoop houses may help to provide some protection against early spring wind, rain, and frost.

Where to Grow a Spring Garden

Spring gardens can be grown in pots or containers on the patio or in raised beds in the yard. They can also be grown in-ground or at the community garden, depending on when your community garden opens for the year.

Containers that can be moved or raised garden beds that can be covered with frost blankets, in case of cold snaps or frost, are two places to consider growing a spring garden. Both can make it easier to help protect plants against bad weather.

Hoop houses can be used to provide protection for in-ground gardens, while greenhouses may offer a protective environment for plants growing under cool, moist conditions.

Here are some things that you can grow in a spring garden.

Herbs

Herbs make great plants to grow in spring vegetable and herb garden. Many types of herbs are low maintenance and thrive in the cooler temperatures of early spring.

Chives. Chives are often one of the first plants to appear in a spring garden. Once established, the plants send up beautiful purple flowers that are a favorite of bees and butterflies.

Cilantro. Cilantro is a cool weather plant that grows quickly and has many uses in the kitchen, from flavoring salsa and tacos, to making fresh salads.

Garlic. Garlic is usually planted the fall before late spring or early summer harvest takes place.

Mint. Fresh mint can be used to make Moroccan-style mint tea using fresh herbs and green tea.

Parsley. Many types of curly parsley are cold hardy. Once established, these plants may be able to withstand some frost.

Rosemary. Rosemary is wonderful for roasting and baking. Consider making savory lemon rosemary chicken, lemon rosemary focaccia, or lemon rosemary biscotti for a delicious and unusual treat.

Related Post: How to Grow Garlic

Fruits and Vegetables

Strawberries. Some varieties of strawberry plants can be planted in the spring garden to harvest strawberries in June or July. Here are some tips on how to grow strawberries.

Leafy greens. Leafy greens, like arugula, chard, kale, lettuce, collards, mustard, and spinach are some of the best vegetables to grow in a spring garden. These plants grow best during cooler weather. Baby greens can be harvested and used to make salads, wraps, and sandwiches. Sauté mature greens with garlic and olive oil to make a healthy side dish for dinner.

Asian vegetables. Asian vegetables, like bok choy, Chinese broccoli, Chinese cabbage, mizuna, mustard, and tatsoi make hearty, healthy, and delicious vegetables for the spring garden. Use these vegetables to make sautés, soups, stir fry, and many other dishes.

Brassicas. Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kohlrabi, and kale thrive during the cooler months of spring and fall.

Peas. Peas, including garden peas and snow peas, prefer to grow in cool weather. Provide a trellis or other support for peas to climb.

Root vegetables. Root vegetables, like beets, carrots, onion, parsnips, radishes, and turnips, are great to grow in the garden in spring. Young beet greens can be harvested and added to sauté, stir fry, or salad recipes.

Fennel. Anise-flavored fennel makes another great addition to the spring garden. Fennel can stunt the growth of other plants, so it may be best to grow it on its own.

Other greens. Chicory, endive, and radicchio can be grown to add as baby leaves to salads. Grow these vegetables during fall for a better chance of having them head up. Arugula is a fast-growing plant that is great for salad mix. If you let it go to seed, it will often naturalize in an area.

Perennial vegetables. Perennial vegetables, like artichokes, asparagus, and rhubarb, may be some of the first to grow in a spring garden. These vegetables sometimes need 1 to 3 years to grow before you can gather a nice harvest.

The fastest growing vegetables during this time may include bok choy, baby greens, and radishes. These vegetables can be ready to harvest within six weeks of sowing seeds.

Flowers

Great flowers to grow include fall-planted bulbs like daffodils and tulips, and annuals like nasturtium, pansies, and violas.

What Not to Grow

There are some vegetable and herb plants that it is best not to growing during the cold snaps and last frosts of early spring.

These include warm weather-loving plants like tomatoes, peppers, squash, and basil, unless you live in warm climates like those found in southern Texas, Florida, and California, or in zone 9 or above. Cold snaps and sudden freezes can stunt plant growth or even kill the plant.

Instead, early spring is a good time to sow seeds for these warm season vegetables indoors. Use a heat mat to provide warmth for seeds to germinate. A grow light can provide plants with adequate light for growing healthy and strong enough to transplant into the garden once summer arrives.

This post was all about fruits, vegetables, herbs, and flowers that you can grow in a spring garden.

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Credits
  • Photo by Marina Helena Muller / Unsplash
  • Photos are for illustrative purposes only.

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