Early Spring Vegetables
It may seem like winter outside, but spring is just around the corner. Even though temperatures are a little cooler, it's a good time to start thinking about planting vegetables, some actually prefer the chillier temperatures.
Now don't get me wrong, planting a spring vegetable garden this early isn't for everyone, and it's certainly isn't for every vegetable. For summer favorites like orkra, squash and tomatoes, they require much warmer temperatures. If I planted any of those in this cold soil, they would just sit there, they wouldn't grow, they would just pout.
Now that's not the case, for some of the early cool weather vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, kale, and collards. I like to buy them in six packs already started, it's much more convenient.
Now there are some things I plant from seed this early, spinach, various types of lettuce and English peas. Now, I don't want to mislead you. Even though many of these vegetable are regarded as cold tolerant, they can all be wiped out by a sudden, severe drop in temperature. A cold snap can get them. So to help them along, I garden in raised beds like this.
By raising the soil, the temperature warms up a little bit earlier in the spring and I also use these cold frames, just made with two by four frames, concrete reinforcing wire and some plastic. These allow me to raise the temperatures slightly and keep it more even. But more importantly, it allows me to extend my gardening season, and I can have some of my favorite vegetables a little earlier.
From the garden, I'm Allen Smith.
P. Allen Smith Gardens
© 1997 Hortus, Ltd.