Spring Planting You Can Do Now: Cool Weather Fruits & Vegetables
If you find yourself missing summer’s bounty of homegrown fruits and vegetables, you can use this window of early spring planting to get started on your summer garden. Here are the quick tips you need to know about when to plant and when to harvest many popular cool weather fruits and vegetables.
Sweet berries are a summer essential and you can get started now!
- Bushes should be planted as early in the spring as possible.
- Blueberries will be ready to pick in late July to mid-August.
- Don’t pick the berries as soon as they turn blue. Wait a couple days and they should fall off right into your hand.
- For June-bearing strawberries, plant your strawberry bush the year before you want to harvest and time your planting so your shrub is in the ground one month before frost arrives.
- Blooming will occur when the plant exits winter dormancy.
- Fruit is ready for harvesting four to six weeks after blossoming.
- Harvest will last up to three weeks.
- Like strawberries, raspberry bushes will produce fruit in their second season.
- Plant bare-root plants in the early spring, as soon as the soil can be worked. Plant potted plants in the spring after frost has ended.
- Berries will ripen over a period of two weeks in early summer.
Grow Your Greens
Greens are packed with healthy nutrients. Growing your own cool weather greens can be satisfying and good for you!
- Make sure to plant spinach early in the spring.
- Do a planting every few weeks. This will yield fresh spinach all summer long.
- Once you see five or six good leaves on a plant, you can pick them.
- Extremely robust and hardy, kale will even grow in the winter.
- However, kale grows best when you plant it after the soil reaches a temperature of 60 – 65° F.
- You may need to start the plants indoors if it’s early in the season. After all chance of frost has passed, you can transplant the seedlings outdoors into the ground.
- Broccoli grows best in the cooler season and prefers temperatures between 65 – 75° F.
- Plants are ready to pick 65 – 70 days after planting so work backward to figure out when to plant broccoli so it can grow during prime temperatures.
- Allow plenty of time to harvest your broccoli before the weather becomes too hot.
Cabbage, swiss chard, and brussels sprouts are also cold-hearty plants that are well-suited for spring planting, as soon as signs of frost are gone.
Back to Your Roots
Root vegetables grow best in cool weather, making them the perfect plants for early spring planting.
- Beets grow well in the cool temperatures of spring but grow very poorly in the summer heat.
- Beets can be harvested seven to eight weeks after planting.
- For a summer crop, you want to start planting in early spring.
- Turnips can be harvested 45 – 50 days after planting.
- Onion sets can be planted in early spring, as soon as the soil is workable. A frost after planting will not harm them.
- Green onions can be pulled when the tops are about 12 inches high.
- Dry cooking onions are ready to be harvested when the tops of the plants begin to fall over, usually in late summer (July or August).