Growing cool weather greens is a great way to maximize the short Minnesota growing season and enjoy fresh produce sooner. Many leafy greens prefer cooler weather, so late April to mid May is a great time to plant them.
Cool weather greens like lettuce and spinach can be interplanted with warm season crops. As the summer heats up, they thrive in the cool shade of taller plants like tomatoes. Crops like kale and cabbage should be planted where they will have room to mature and enjoy full sun.
Leafy greens do best in rich soil, so work slow release fertilizer into the planting beds to keep them producing happily.
Eat Your Greens
Lettuce, spinach, leafy greens – Direct sow in late April. Plant in an area with light shade to help prevent bolting when weather warms. Harvest as needed and cut from the outside for leafy types. Head types can be harvested entire.
Kale – Sow in late April in rich soil. Kale happily grows in cool weather and keeps producing all summer. Harvest as needed, cutting from the outside.
Cabbage, kohlrabi, broccoli – These cool weather crops take a bit longer to mature, but they love getting a start in cool weather. Direct sow in late April to early May in rich soil. Mulch plants as warm weather approaches to keep the roots cool and retain moisture. Plant seedlings out in cool weather too!
Hungry for more? Check out our blog on root crops for cool weather!