Let’s Get Growing! Cold Hardy Crops

You’ve prepared your beds and you’re itching to get the garden planted, but it’s still a bit chilly outside. Fret not! You can plant cold hardy crops right now!

Cold weather crops like cabbage, broccoli, kohlrabi, and Brussels sprouts can be planted out in spring when the soil is workable, even if there is still a chance of frost. The cooler weather of spring helps develop a sweeter flavor and prevents bolting (early flowering) that can be an issue with soaring summer temperatures.

If you haven’t amended your beds yet, work fertilizer into the soil or use a liquid feed. Cole crops like broccoli and cabbage are heavy feeders, and lettuce will benefit from a nitrogen rich fertilizer. Don’t forget to water well at the time of planting and regularly throughout summer.

Direct seed onion sets, peas, lettuce, radishes, potatoes, and carrots. Refer to seed packets for planting depth and spacing and thin seedlings as they come up. Pro tip: Don’t just yank crowded seedlings; thin plants by cutting them off at the soil line to avoid disturbing nearby shallow roots and enjoy the tasty microgreens!

Watch for slugs, bunnies, and cabbage moths. Shiny slug trails and nibbling or holes on the edges and centers of leaves are common signs. Sluggo for slugs and Thuricide (BT) for cabbage moths are a few control options. Fencing is the most effective deterrent for rabbits and deer, and is best put up before planting time. Get ready for salad! You’ll be harvesting cabbage and Brussels sprouts in no time.