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Spring Garden: What to Grow?

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Not sure what to plant in the spring vegetable garden? No problem! I have you covered. Let’s let your taste buds and your growing zone guide you in what to plant in your spring garden this year!

fresh spring radishes

The Spring Vegetable Garden

Tiny buds on the tips of tree branches, pink blossoms peeking through, daffodils dancing… all of these things call out that spring is two weeks away!

I can hardly believe it, and while our winter has been pretty mild, I have to say that I’m beyond excited for warmer weather to be on its way. I’m also thrilled to begin planting my garden, and one of my favorite things to do is to plan what I’ll be planting.

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While I’m not a type-A person who needs everything written down and planned, there is something about making garden plans that puts me in a good mood. And if you haven’t checked out my printed Kitchen Garden Planner, you definitely should! It’s a huge help for garden planning.

So, how do you decide what to grow in your spring garden? Well, there are some factors to consider before you start buying plants and seeds.

Grow what you will eat

 I know this may seem like an obvious question, but I’ve run into a few gardeners in my time who grow things even though they don’t really like to eat them. Don’t waste the space.

Think about what both you and your family enjoy, and grow those things! My family loves tomatoes, cucumber, squash, and okra, so these are always staples in my garden. They’re not such big fans of eggplant (unless it’s breaded and fried), so I only grow one or two plants. Always consider what you’ll actually eat.

Spring vegetable garden favorites

early spring garden

What grows well in your area

Season specific- Consider your zone and where you live. For example, while you may absolutely love Brussel sprouts, if you live in the south, you’ll probably want to wait for the late summer/fall garden to plant these.

Check the tag on any plants or seeds you’re considering purchasing and know your zone. This will keep you from being disappointed about that failing mid-summer collard green patch. Many large hardware stores will sell plants that aren’t necessarily a good fit for your zone, so be watchful.

Seed packages have great information on the back about when those seeds should be planted based on zone. Not sure what zone you’re growing in? Check out the Hardiness Map

sugar snap pea seedlings
Row of young pea sprouts with drops of morning dew on vegetable garden

Consider garden space

Think about how much space you have and plan accordingly. For a small, raised bed garden, think about what you can grow in square foot plots, and what you can trellis or grow vertically (to save space).

If you’re not encumbered by space, then plant plenty, and consider putting up any extra in your freezer to use through the fall and winter, or bless your neighbors with some of your garden bounty!

Also, don’t forget about using containers to add “space” to your garden. Container gardening can give you a bit more garden space without having to invest in another raised bed. 

Spring companion plants

Besides fruits and veggies, growing herbs and flowers in the spring garden can attract bees, which help the overall health of your garden (pollination, anyone?). These companion plants can also help cut back on pests without using harsh chemicals pest control methods. (Check out my post on Natural Pest Control Methods.)

  • Growing basil is a great addition to your spring salads (and pruning basil will make it large and full!)
  • Marigolds are beautiful to the eye and a lovely garden addition (they’re also edible if you’re willing to give them a try. Find out how to grow marigolds.)
  • Zinnas, which will grow taller than many garden veggies, add height and color and are perfect for cutting and decorating indoors.
  • Grow up what you can, like peas, cucumbers, and sugar snap peas. This leaves more room below for growing!

Whatever you decide to plant, have fun with it! Try new things and eat food that you’ve grown with your own two hands. And if you have kids, they’ll love being able to pick fruit and veggies fresh from the garden.

So, what are you planning to plant this year? Will you try anything new? Happy Gardening!

Seasonal Garden Guides

Wondering what to grow in your vegetable garden in each season of the year? Use these helpful planting guides to know what you can grow in your raised bed, container, or in-ground garden year round!

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I'd love to hear from you

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