While planting warm weather vegetables like tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers is still months away now is a great time to get out of the house and into the garden. There are plenty of tasty cool weather vegetables just waiting to be planted and even the least skilled gardener can successfully grow these plants. They are easy to grow from seed and can be planted directly in the soil or cultivated in containers. Regardless of where you decide to plant them these are 5 of the easiest spring vegetables to grow:
• Spinach-This vegetable is quick to sprout and very tolerant of frost. You may want to try to plant a few varieties just to see what works best in your garden. If you opt to start harvesting the leaves when they are small you can have fresh spinach in as little as 3 to 4 weeks.
• Lettuce-Many gardeners are more familiar with the large heads of lettuce that are seen in the supermarket but there are a variety of leafy lettuce varieties that are easy to grow and if you plant rows of lettuce every two weeks starting in the early spring you can have a constant supply of greens for salads into the early summer. Similar to spinach if you harvest the leaves when they are small you’ll have lettuce on your dinner table in a month.
• Radishes-Outside of lettuce and spinach no other vegetable will grow as quickly as a radish. It is possible to harvest radishes only 3 weeks after they sprout. Radishes come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors and can be spicy or sweet tasting. This is a good vegetable to grow with your kids as the size of the seed is easy for small hands to handle and it is fun to yank them out of the ground when they are ready for harvesting.
• Kale-This vegetable continues to get a lot of attention due to its versatility. It is used in smoothies, eaten raw in salads and steamed/stir-fried as part of main dishes. The smaller leaves can be harvested in 3 to 4 weeks and the leaves reach full maturity in just 45 to 60 days. You definitely don’t want to overlook this superfood!
• Peas-At least for me when I think of spring vegetables I always think of peas first. This is another great vegetable to grow with your kids and most varieties can be eaten raw as well as cooked. They take a little bit more time to mature, usually 50 to 65 days, but they are worth the wait! Here’s a secret tip…If you soak the pea seeds overnight before planting them you’ll improve the germination rates!
There is really no reason to wait! The gardening season is here and growing these vegetables will get it started off right!