Are you searching the internet for “Spring Vegetable Gardening Guide Made Easy“? If so we have a great guide for you to get the most of our your garden this year. If you want to be enjoying your freshly grown produce earlier this year than ever, follow the guidance in this article.
Although various standard variety of garden vegetables are not able to be planted outdoors or from seed unless the soil has warmed up fully, and any threats of frost gone, there are still many crops you can plant in the cool season If you are looking to get a head start on your garden, and getting food to your kitchen earlier than the summer vegetables, then this list is for you.
Each area’s weather climate and patterns are different, so it will all be based on your local weather. These cool season vegetables are able to be planted directly in soil either uncovered or covered or under a low tunnel. Alternatively, they can be started in trays or pots and placed in a sunny window.
By planting your vegetables under a low tunnel or roe covers does not just assist with warming the soil faster, but it also helps to protect seedlings from any frosts. Of course, a long period of cold weather or a hard freeze could still kill the plants that use row covers.
Indoor Gardening Head Start
One method is to start plants in trays or pots that are able to be moved outdoors into the sun on warm days, but brought back in at nighttime. This helps avoid any frost that may occur, if you don’t forget to bring them in. It can allow you to start an early spring garden prior to the soil being ready. Container style gardening also allows you to begin growing your food on balconies, windowsills, or decks, which is great for those without a garden plot outside.
The winter here in east Phoenix has been mild, allowing gardeners to begin planting using row covers in February, but have been able to start spring vegetables directly in soil without cover. Although, this is still a risk as the normal frost date remains a month away. Due to starting rather early baby lettuce greens are ready for harvest sooner, as well the as the spinach, and kale, radishes and baby chad are sprouting up sooner. These are all things that gardeners should look forward to eating once winter is over, because they won’t have to travel hundreds to thousands of miles to my table.
Early Spring Gardening Plants
The following spring vegetable options can be easily planted from seed. They are all amazing options for starting an early garden, and usually considered foolproof, meaning even beginning gardeners should find them easy to start out with.
One of my favorite greens is spinach, and it is one option that is quick at sprouting and can be grown in a spring garden. Also, it can be rather frost-resistant, even more so when under cover. Spinach comes in various varieties, most are categorized by being semi-savoy or savoy, which often have a curly or crinkled crispy leaf. However, they can come in a smooth lea that has a softer texture and flatter leaves. I suggest growing several types of spinach to see which will work best for your type of soil and location. Of course, finding out which varieties you prefer the taste of is also important.
I enjoy growing these closely for my early spring greens, then harvesting the leaves while small. This can be as soon as three weeks from time of planting, weather and variety depending. If you have a fall garden, spinach is a great option too. You can cover it with mulch and it’s often ready for early spring harvest.
Chard is related to the beet, and another great option for an early spring vegetable. Chard is easily grown from a seed and can be cooked or ate fresh, or even toss it in a smoothie to drink! I usually plant them closer together than suggested on the seed packet, and harvest the crowded chard to use as baby greens when thinning beds. There is a variety of color, size and textures available, but most color is often in the thick stems, with leaves being mainly green. You can add color to your spring salads by growing white, yellow and red chard with the usual green chard, and it will make your garden more colorful too! Depending on the variety, some chard can be harvested for baby greens early as 25 days, and about twice as long to reach full size leaves.
Lettuce is commonly grown into a full size head that many of us are used to seeing in the grocery stores, but I have discovered that rowing lettuce just as a baby green is not just faster, but easier and offers an almost constant supply of salad greens between spring until well into summer. I prefer using a mixed lettuce seed, sometimes known as mesclun mix. Rather than sowing seeds farther apart, which is recommended for full size heads, I sow close together in each row, this yields me a solid row for lettuce leaves which are easy to harvest. I can repeatedly cut these through the season. Lettuce can come in various shapes and colors, not simply the standard green romaine, but green and red leaf lettuce, and butterhead varieties. By growing a mixture of baby greens offers you a larger selection of texture and colors for salads. You can usually harvest baby greens in just a couple weeks, with a rather constant supply when planting successions of seeds each week or so.
In addition to various types of greens, radishes are among the fastest growing vegetables. With many varieties available, they can be harvest ready in just three weeks. Also, radishes are a great option for interplanting with various spring greens, like lettuce. It can also assist in thinning crops naturally as radishes are harvested.
When it comes to radishes, many only think of the round red or white and pink variety, commonly found in stores. However, they have many colors, sizes and shapes. Radishes can be sweet or spicy, it all depends on the variety. Radishes are easy enough to let the kids help plant them too, the seeds are big enough that small children can easily manage. They are also fast to mature, simple to pull up, and make a great option for impatient gardeners.
This is a green that many love hating, but it is a great spring veggie for growing from seeds. Since it can also be harvested as baby greens or full size leaves, it has the option of providing many forms of food from less effort. Kale can be consumed raw in salads, or put in smoothies, even stir-fried or steamed. It makes a good added to greens for any diet.
Kale can be crinkly and dense, like ‘dinosaur’ kale, or it can be ruffle-y and flatter, like red Russian types, but often it is sweeter when used as baby greens in spring gardens. It often produces again in late fall after the first frost. Baby kale can be ready for harvest in just three weeks, and full size leaves coming to maturity between 40 and 60 days, variety depending.
Last in our list are peas of various variety, including pod peas and snow peas. These are good options for spring gardens that kids often enjoy. Seeds are large enough that children can easily help in planting, and many kids enjoy looking through the garden to find peas or harvesting and even eating then and there!
It often takes a little longer for snap peas and shelling peas, but kids also tend to love these as well. There are kids out there that won’t eat a cooked pea, but I have seen them eat them fresh from the pods. Peas usually take between 50 and 65 days to reach maturity, variety depending. They may grow as ‘bushes’ or vines, so they are good in a garden or trellising. To achieve the best germination rates, you should soak pea seeds in water overnight prior to planting.
Spring Gardening Nursery Supply
If you live in the Phoenix valley and want to get the best plants, expert advice, and quality fertilizers and tools A&P Nursery has 4 locations in the East Valley of Phoenix. With a wide variety of vegetables we will be able to help you get your garden started for the year. Call or stop by our of the 4 locations below to ask a question or get started.
A & P Nursery
40370 N. Gantzel Rd.
Queen Creek, AZ 85240
A & P Nursery
2645 W. Baseline Rd.
Mesa, Arizona 85202
A & P Nursery
6129 E. Brown Rd.
Mesa, Arizona 85205
A & P Nursery &
2601 E. Baseline Rd.
Gilbert, Arizona 85234