April showers bring May flowers and the sunshine to plant vegetables. There's nothing like the first few weeks of consistent sunlight and warm weather to bring back that gardening itch. Of all the vegetables to plant in spring, these are some of the most culinarily versatile and fun to grow.
You can never have too many leafy greens at your dinner table, and spinach is a great early and mid-spring vegetable to plant in your garden. These nutrient-rich dark greens can be used in salads, pastas, breakfast dishes, and so much more. It's a truly versatile ingredient that's best planted in between late February and May.
And, you don't have to plot an entire garden just to have a few spinach plants because they can thrive in containers and planters as well as in garden beds. Novice gardeners will do well with planting sprouted spinach instead of straight from the seeds.
Keep your eyes sharp and your stews delicious by planting a few carrots in the spring. They do need protection from the cold if you're planting them in early spring, so you can wait until April or May to put them in the ground if you don't want to worry about unexpected cold snaps.
Just make sure you have the right loose, non-rocky soil to support healthy carrot growth. Carrots also do best when they're being thoroughly moistened. Avoid letting your carrot seeds get too dry, or else they may not make it to the harvest.
If you love to cook, then on top of having an easily accessible herb garden, having a few tomato plants nearby is a spring vegetable planting must. Tomatoes can be used in just about any dish, whether it's a condiment, sauce, or sandwich. Yet, these little red delights don't handle the cold well, so make sure you wait to plant them until late-spring when the weather has turned consistently warm.
While you can grow tomatoes in planters and pots, they do need to be staked and supported at all times. As a vining plant, they need a little extra support and fertilizer to help them grow big and juicy.
Onions are a quick ingredient you can add to most dishes for a little extra bite or tang, and they're another vegetable that you can plant in the springtime. Shoot for planting your onion seeds or bulbs in the early spring.
To grow big onions, you want to have nutrient-rich soil and a lot of compost. Make sure they receive plenty of sunlight, and they'll be ready for you to harvest in the fall.
Whether it's steamed, creamed, or stir-fried, people will always find a way to make eating broccoli exciting. But, if you're paying too much for this nutrient-rich veggie at the supermarket, try a hand at planting your own.
You should plant broccoli in the mid-spring when there's going to be consistent sunlight and a lot of it. If you plant in the spring, your broccoli should be ready to be harvested in the early summer. Just in time for the grilling season to start!
Beets are a vegetable with a curious reputation. They've been used in comedy gags for decades because of their rich purple-red color that will stain anything and everything. They're also a cool-season crop that you should plant in the early spring.
If you live in colder climates, beets are one of the best spring vegetables you can plant because they're kind of the cockroach of the root world. They'll survive cold temperatures and frost. Just don't plant them too close to or sharing the soil with their cousin, Swiss chard. You might cross-contaminate bugs that go after both plants if you do.
One way to add color and flavor to your healthy dishes is putting Swiss chard in them. Also called rainbow chard because of its beautiful pink, orange, and yellow stalks, Swiss chard is a stalky and leafy green you can use in stews, stir-fries, and salads.
Unlike tomatoes, Swiss chard handles the cool-season pretty well. You can plant these in the early spring, a few weeks before the last frost date. Make sure you plant them in an area that'll get a lot of sunlight, because that's what makes them grow big and tall.
Brussels sprouts are a divisive vegetable; you either really love them or you really hate them. They'll clear a house when they're being cooked, after all. But, they're a cool-weather veggie that you can plant in the spring and harvest in the fall or winter.
If you're an impatient gardener, brussels sprouts might not be for you. They have a very long maturation season (about 4 months) before they're ready to be harvested, so don't plant your brussels with hopes of adding them to a dish in the next week or two.
Mashed, fried, smashed, boiled, and baked - we sure do love potatoes. If you've got a hankering for making some homemade potato chips or adding them to your family's beef stew recipe, you're in luck. Potatoes are a spring-planting vegetable.
Once the ground is not too hard to be tilled, you can plant them. So, you can add potatoes to your early spring roster. But beware of soil that's too wet as it might rot your seeds. Also, keep them in an area with half a day's worth of sunlight.
Parsnips are carrot cousins that aren't as popular in the United States as other vegetables. Yet, they're an interesting addition to many dishes and can be eaten on their own. Just like carrots, they're planted in the spring. But, just like brussels sprouts, they take a long time to grow.
Try to plant your parsnips as soon as you can work the land, but don't work it too hard just to get them in the ground, as they don't thrive in compacted, rocky soil. Also, if you live in a suburban area with sod, don't plant your parsnips there. The nitrogen will kill their roots and all the waiting will go to waste.
Spring Into Action and Plant These Veggies
Gardening can be the most fun during the summer and fall when plants are in full harvest and your garden is in bloom. But you don't have to wait half of the year to stretch those gardening muscles. There are a bunch of delicious cool-weather vegetables you can plant in the spring that you might be missing out on.