There is no better way to get a garden season underway early than by planting a few cool weather spring garden seed crops!
In most locations, seeds and transplants aren’t able to go into the garden or raised beds until either the soil temperatures rise, or the outdoor temperatures stay high enough to allow for germination. But the good news is there are a few crops that both sprout and thrive in the cooler weather of early spring.
And that is what today’s article and corresponding podcast are all about – early spring planting! With that in mind, here is a look at six seed crops that you can start when the soil is still cool. As always, you can listen to the podcast below, or read on for the full length article!
Listen In Below To Our Podcast On Best Spring Garden Seed Crops To Plant Early!
The Best Spring Garden Seed Crops To Plant Now – Get Growing Early!
Sugar Snap Peas – The Best Spring Garden Seed Crops To Plant Early
Sugar snap peas can be planted in early spring as soon as the soil is around 45-50º Fahrenheit (7-10º Celsius). As long as the temperatures stay below the mid 80º F mark (27º C), sugar snap peas will thrive.
Aim for getting this cool-weather plant in the ground about 2 to 3 weeks before your last spring frost date. Plant seeds about one inch deep and one inch apart from one another. Leave around 18 inches between rows. Cover seeds with soil and water well.
After peas emerge in 7 to 10 days, thin so you have one plant every 2 to 3 inches. Also, consider adding a few inches of mulch to help retain moisture and stop weeds. Affiliate Seed Link : Sugar Snap Pea Seeds
#2 Radishes – The Best Spring Garden Seed Crops To Plant Early
There are so many different varieties of radishes to plant in early spring! And the range of flavor can go from sweet and mild, to hot and spicy.
These small but tasty vegetables germinate quickly, and you can harvest in as little as 28 days after planting. Even better, they don’t take up a lot of space in your garden or raised beds.
About 4 to 6 weeks before your last spring frost date, plant radish seeds about 1/2 inch deep. Space seeds about one inch apart. Cover with soil and water well. Your can plant radishes fairly close, around 6 inches apart in rows. In raised beds, rows can be seeded closer at around four inches apart.
Some radish varieties will germinate in as little as 3 to 4 days. After seedlings are a few inches tall, thin to end up with one plant about every 2 to 3 inches. Affiliate Seed Link – Radish Varieties & Seeds
#3 Spinach – The Best Spring Garden Seed Crops To Plant Early
Spinach thrives in temperatures between 35 to 70º Fahrenheit
As soon as the soil can be worked, you can plant spinach. Aim for getting your spinach seeds planted about 4 to 6 weeks before your last frost date.
Create a long trench or small holes that are one-quarter to one-half inch deep. Keep rows twelve inches apart from one another. Place seeds into the trench or hole and cover with soil. Water well.
Spinach will germinate in around 5 to 10 days. Once seedlings have grown to be a few inches tall, thin so you have one plant every 4 to 6 inches. Adding mulch at this point will also help to retain moisture for plants and keep out competing weeds.
Spinach can be harvested about four to six weeks after planting seeds. Start by taking the outer leaves first, allowing the inner leaves to grow. Consider planting spinach seeds every couple of weeks so you can always ensure you have fresh spinach for harvesting.
If your spinach bolts in the middle of summer, plan on planting a late season crop for a great fall harvest. Affiliate Seed Link : Spinach Variety Seed Packs
#4 Spring Onions – The Best Spring Garden Seed Crops To Plant Early
Spring onions are a fantastic addition to a Spring garden plan, and are simple to grow in raised beds or containers. You can grow spring onions from small bulbs or seeds.
Spring onions grown from seed are a great multi-purpose garden crop. You can harvest them earlier in the year if you like the tender, small bulbs found on relish plates. Or, leave them in the ground till fall to harvest a mid-sized onion bulb perfect for soups and roasts.
Sow seeds a few weeks before your last frost date 1/4″ apart. Thin seedlings to about 3/4″ inch for harvesting green onions, and about 2″ apart for larger fall harvest bulbs.
Sow seeds 3 to 4 weeks before your last frost date, sowing them one per inch and about 1/2″ deep into the soil. See: How To Plant Spring Onions With Ease
#5 Lettuce – The Best Spring Garden Seed Crops To Plant Early
Spring is the perfect time to start growing great tasting lettuce in all shapes, colors and sizes. Lettuce germinates quickly, and you can harvest many varieties multiple times. It is a great way to keep fresh salads on the dinner table every night.
Lettuce grows best in rich, loose and fertile soil. Sow seeds directly into the soil about 1/4″ deep and an inch or so apart. We actually prefer the plants close to each other creating a full salad bed that not only produces heavily, but help cramp out weeds.
We use the Park Lettuce Seed Mix which has 8 different packets for a lot of variety. Other favorites are Parris island, Winter Density, Red Romaine, GreenStar, Red Salad Bowl and Black Seeded Simpson.
#6 Kale – The Best Spring Garden Seed Crops To Plant Early
Kale is one of the healthiest crops you can grow, and thrives in cooler temperatures. In fact, it actually grows and develops better flavor during the cooler seasons of Spring and Fall. You can sow kale about 4 weeks before your area’s last frost date.
A favorite for us to grow is White Russian! It is a fast grower with baby leaves that are ready for harvesting in as little as 20 to 25 days. The full grown leaves can be ready at just 50 days. Sow seeds directly into the soil about 1/4″ deep and an inch or so apart.
Here is to getting your garden growing early this year with spring seed crops!
Simple Garden Life is a website dedicated to keeping gardening fun, simple and enjoyable! We publish two new articles each week along with a new garden podcast episode every two weeks. This article may contain affiliate links.