Now that Spring is here, it’s time to start thinking about what to grow in this fine season. As warmer weather hits us, the quicker an aspiring gardener decides on what they will put in the ground, the sooner they can reap the harvest.
Here are a couple of well-known, easy to grow vegetables which grow well in the early days of spring. Planted early, you can enjoy a rich crop of home grown greens at minimal expense.
Delicious chipped, mashed or fried potatoes are surprisingly easy to grow. Given their great versatility, they make an excellent and useful vegetable to grow in any garden. Potatoes for home gardens are generally supplied in potato bags, which makes planting them even easier.
Potatoes can be planted in the last week of February, although you may want to start them off indoors to protect them if poor weather lingers. If planning to seed a crop, it’s a good idea to prepare the soil now, removing weeds and large stones that might interfere with growing.
While growing the potatoes, it's important to repeatedly cover the shoots as they appear with compost, especially if growing early. This will give a bigger yield and, most importantly, protect the shoots from frost and damage.
An ideal addition to any vegetable patch, radishes are surprisingly hardy and grow incredibly quickly, making them an ideal crop to grow between other plants in your growing area. Ready in as few as three weeks, a grower can be enjoying them on the dinner plate in minimum time. It helps that Radishes are also quite tolerant of different soil types.
As a result, you can continue to grow them in a steady cycle if planned for correctly. This ensures that you constantly have fresh radishes available for harvest from spring through to the onset of next winter.
Fresh peas are far sweeter and tastier than anything you can find in a supermarket and make an excellent addition to nearly any meal. However, they don’t do so well in cold weather, meaning that, while they can be grown as early as March, it’s important to take steps to warm up the soil as part of your preparation for planting. Not doing this puts the peas at risk of rotting in the ground.
Another thing to consider when growing peas is that thought needs to be put into support as the plant grows. Sticks, bamboo canes or netting may be useful depending on the variety of pea chosen to grow.
An essential core to a huge variety of salads, with a bit of thought it’s possible to have lettuce almost all year round. There are many varieties to appeal to different tastes, but all require growing in properly drained soil rich in nitrogen. The key to having more amounts of lettuce available through the year is to vary the variety grown as different ones grow best at different seasons.
Lettuce is almost 90% water, which means that, as the weather begins to warm up, care needs to be taken to make sure it is suitably hydrated. Avoid letting the soil get too wet as this can be damaging to the plant, especially during colder weather.
Popular even before a certain sailor began singing of its virtues, spinach grows well in colder weather, making it an ideal crop to grow early in spring. Its incredible vitamin content makes it an excellent addition for cookery or salads and well worth growing. Like lettuces, Spinach has a high water content and this means that care needs to be taken to shield the Spinach from the worst of the heat as the weather warms up towards summer. Consider planting in the shade of taller plants to protect them.
Looking for more advice and expert tuition to help your garden grow? Whatever you want to plant from fruit trees to crops to fully design your own garden, ADL offers a variety of online horticulture courses to suit.