Spring Vegetable Gardening

Spring Vegetable Varieties for Kitchen Gardens

Did you miss our 'Spring Vegetable Gardening' seminar on Sat., April 7th? Horticulturalist, Lisa Hilgenberg, from the Chicago Botanic Garden, offered these tips for growing your own vegetables and herbs.

Asparagus: Harvest succulent spears in early spring. ‘Purple Knight’, ‘Jersey Knight’
Perennial vegetables like chives*, spring onions*, sorrel and rhubarb*
Radish: Direct sow spring radish as soon as the ground can be worked or 3-4 weeks before the last frost.  Best grown quickly in cool damp conditions. Easy to grow, requires only 28 days from planting to harvest. ‘Early Scarlet Globe’, ‘Rudolf’, ‘Crunchy Royale’, ‘Crimson Giant’*
Beets: Nothing says spring like tender, freshly harvested baby beets. Sow as soon as soil can be worked, fertilize with liquid seaweed, beets have great culinary versatility. ‘Detroit Dark Red’* ‘Bull’s Blood’, ‘Burpee’s Golden’
Swiss chard: ‘Rhubarb’*, ‘Five colored Silverbeet’, ‘Bright Lights’*
Carrots: The sweetest, juiciest and most flavorful carrots are the French heirlooms. Sow two weeks before last frost date. Varieties ‘Paris Market’, ‘Scarlet Nantes’* Spinach: one of the earliest germinating cool season vegetables, direct sow in bands or rows. Plant ‘Corvair’, ‘Tyee’, ‘Donkey’
Lettuce: ‘Tennis Ball’, ‘Black Seeded Simpson’*, ‘Rouge d’hiver’, ‘Winter Density’
Spring Greens: Mache, arugula*, mizuna, endive, radicchio
Cabbage: ‘Early Jersey Wakefield’
Strawberries: ‘Tri-Star’, ‘Mara des Bois’*
Cool Season Edible Flowers: Nasturtiums*, alyssum*, calendula*, pansies*
Also, Dutch Onion Sets*, Potato Fingerlings*
*In stock seasonally at Pasquesi. We have many other varieties, too.

General early spring vegetable tips for home growers
• Choose greens or root vegetables that will sprout in cool soils of spring
• Choose frost tolerant vegetables like spinach, radish for earliest direct seeding
• Root vegetables don’t like to be transplanted so should be direct seeded
• Plant spring greens at 2 week intervals for continuous harvest, hedging late frosts
• Pop a cloche over strawberry plant to protect early flowers from damaging frosts
• Lovely, heirloom lettuces with pansies for cool season combinations: pink pansies, parsley, blue lobelia, green oak leaf lettuce, romaine lettuce, onion, red leaf lettuce