Vegetables are the gift that keeps on giving. They provide a lush and greenery to your garden, and feed your family with nutritious goodness. From gorgeous, home-grown salads to a healthy hobby – vegetables should be a staple in your garden. And this spring, we have 14 vegetables you should consider planting for an early to late summer harvest.
Each of the following vegetables should be planted in relation to your region’s last frost date, so be sure to check out websites like almanac.com to find what’s best for your location.
Who doesn’t love the peppery zest arugula adds to dishes? Don’t miss out this tasty garnish, so sow seeds as soon as the soil is workable. Arugula grows fast and is ready to harvest in 3-4 weeks and you’ll enjoy it for months to come. Resow every 2 weeks until it’s too hot.
Whether in a salad or a nutritious juice, consider planting beets as soon as your soil is workable in a well-drained, sandy area. Dare to venture outside of the regular red with yellow and white varieties for an early summer harvest. Be sure to use a light hand with nitrogen rich fertilizer for a robust root.
Despite your kids’ protests that there’s no way your garden will grow broccoli, you can plant transplants 4 weeks before the last frost date. Feed every 3 weeks and 50-100 days later, and much to your kids’ disappointment, you’ll have a bountiful harvest.
Cabbage is relatively easy to grow. Plant transplants 2 weeks prior to your frost date or sow them right after. All they need is soil rich in organic matter and moisture, and 50-100 or 90-140 days later, depending on your planting technique, you’ll have luscious heads of cabbage.
Weed your carrots well and you’ll have a delicious snack come summer. Sow 2 weeks prior to your last frost date in deep, loose soil and be sure to keep their shoulder covered in mulch for a tastier carrot. Harvest baby carrots 30-40 days after planting, or mature carrots 50-80 days later.
For tasty and tender collard greens, plant transplants 4-6 weeks before the last frost in fertile, well-drained soil. A slightly more acidic pH level, about 6.5-6.8, will optimize their tenderness.
English, snow, sugar, green or snap peas can be grown in bushes or vines. Plus, you can sow them 4-6 weeks before the last frost since the seeds can germinate at 40℃. Then, 55-70 days later you’ll have sweet peas that you’ll probably eat right from the vine.
Love it or hate it, kale is growing in popularity, almost as quickly as it grows. You can plant it 3-5 weeks before your last frost date, but be sure to cover it with frost blankets if you experience a severe cold spell. The many varieties add a fun texture to your garden and salads, and if you prefer kale a little sweeter, harvest it early as baby kale.
Lettuce can be grown nearly year-round. But, for a summer harvest, plant it anytime your soil becomes workable. It’s sensitive to the cold, so if the temperature drops, cover it with frost blankets along with your kale. Lettuce likes some partial shade, so it’s a great crop for the darker areas of your garden.
Whatever kinds of onions you plant in whatever state you buy them in, plant them as soon as the soil is workable with time-released fertilizer. Be sure to get the kinds of onion best for your garden zone: long-day onions are for northern gardens and short-day for southern.
Radishes are wonderful for interplanting because they don’t require much room. Sow the seeds 4 weeks before the last frost date in fertile and well-drained soil. No feeding necessary for this hearty root. They’ll quickly mature so check them regularly and pluck them up once they’re an edible size.
Grow more spinach than Popeye can eat. This veggie can be sown over frozen ground so it’s ready in about three weeks once the ground thaws. Like collards, there are many varieties you can grow and try, plus you can crowd spinach together to grow both baby and mature plants. Harvest the baby variety at three weeks and then let the rest grow to size, 40-50 days. Just like chard, both bolt quickly in warm weather and turn bitter, so plant sooner rather than later.
13. Swiss Chard
Chard is so much fun to grow because the varieties add color to your garden of greens. Plant or sow seeds 2 weeks before the last frost and water regularly. Explore your taste buds with the many varieties that chard comes in.
Turnips are similar to radishes but are planted 2 weeks before the last frost. They’re most successful in well-drained, consistently moisturized soil to keep their tenderness.
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