Root crops that like to grow in cool weather should be planted as soon as the soil is workable in spring. Planting in late April to early May is perfect. Growing cool weather crops helps gardeners maximize the short Minnesota growing season and enjoy fresh produce sooner. After quick turn crops like radishes are harvested, the same plot can be used for warm season vegetables like tomatoes and peppers.
Planting Cool Weather Crops
Cool weather crops grown for their edible roots perform best in loose, deeply cultivated soil and should be directly seeded. Thoroughly weeded, consistently moist, well-drained garden beds are ideal locations. Raised beds are excellent choices for root crops. Removing rocks and any large chunks of mulch or debris will help develop aesthetically pleasing, large, and unblemished roots.
Thinning cool weather root crops is essential. Things like carrots and radishes can’t develop properly if they are crowded. Follow spacing and planting depth instructions on each seed packet.
Carrots – Sow when soil can be worked. Germination can be irregular, so be patient.
Radishes – Sow when soil is workable. Radishes are quick to germinate and can usually be harvested in a month or so.
Beets – Sow when soil can be worked. Beet greens are delicious too, you can clip a few while the roots are forming and enjoy them cooked or raw.
Onions – While not exactly a root crop, onions can be direct seeded in late April. Plant them in full sun in a spot they can mature all summer.
Want some roughage with your roots? Take a look at our post on greens for cool weather!