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Early Spring Veggies

If you think the vegetable growing season starts with the tomato seedlings you plant outside in late spring, think again. Now is the perfect time to get acquainted with and grow the numerous early season crops we can cultivate in the Mid-Atlantic’s cool, wet spring months of March and April.

Many delectable edibles prefer these mild days and practically melt when our hot, humid summers arrive. Tradition says to plant peas on St. Patrick’s Day, but this week is still a perfectly fine time to set up a vegetable patch or planting boxes full of cool-season edibles.

Start the following plants from seeds and sow successive crops for fresh veggies on your table in just a few short weeks. Direct sow beets, carrots, celery, chard, dill, endive, fava beans, garlic mustard, Jerusalem artichokes, kale, kohlrabi, leeks, lettuce, green onions, summer-maturing varieties of bulb onion seed and sets, mustard greens, parsley, peas, peanuts, potatoes, radishes, rutabaga, shallots, spinach, strawberries, swiss chard, and turnips.

You can also purchase started seedlings of broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, and kohlrabi to get a head start on our too-short cool growing season so that they mature before the heat abruptly moves in.

Plant asparagus and rhubarb now and you’ll be rewarded with harvests of these perennial edibles for several springs to come.

This is also the time of year to gather fiddle head ferns, wild leeks, and dandelion greens. Make a wild green salad or just use them to garnish another prepared dish.

Indoors, you can sow eggplant, peppers, herbs, and tomatoes for transplanting into the garden in early to mid May. Pansies and violas can also be direct sown now to beautify your veggie patch. You can also pick a few of these edible flowers to decorate your salads as well.

Enjoy these days of mild weather and soft rain. Most of all get out there and get growing!


Posted: 3/30/2012 by Kathy Jentz | with 0 comment(s)
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