Who is ready to start gardening? I am so ready for spring. Now we can’t get our tomatoes and peppers out yet but there are some plants that can survive a light freeze that we can start planting. Now we still have frost risks and sometimes freezes up until around Mother’s Day here near Cincinnati, Ohio. Even around Mother’s Day, it’s a good idea to look ahead at the forecast to double check the weather is good for warm weather plants.
If you can’t wait to get your hands in the ground, early spring is a good time to amend you beds and get your planting areas ready. Some plants that are good to start from seed that can withstand a light freeze are things like peas, lettuce, carrots and other root crops. The good thing about planting by seed is that they will come up as soon as they are ready. It might take a longer time to germinate but they know when the soil is warm enough. Some plants that can be planted out as seed or started plants are things like larger greens. For example, things like kale, collards, Swiss chard and Bok choy. Some things that are advised to start as started plants are things like cabbage, Brussel sprouts, onions, celery and broccoli. These take more time to mature so its best if they are started earlier so they mature during the cool spring rather than the heat of summer.
There are even some flowers that are frost hardy once established. Things like calendula and alyssum can survive light frosts and give pollinators some early food. If you had an overwintered carrot or other root crop, they might start sending up a flower stalk when it starts getting warm out because root crops are biennial. (Yes, carrots produce seeds!) These biennials produce flowers because they think it’s the second year. The flowers are an early snack for pollinators because there is not much food available for them yet. An added bonus is when they flowers dry up, plants in the Brassica family (like cabbage, Broccoli, Radish and Brussel Sprouts) produce pods that hold the seeds and the pods are edible and taste the vegetable.
Remember anyone can grow some plants and hey, enjoy some fresh food while you are at it!
Leigh Ann Cartier- Producer for EmpowerU