Sat April 6, 2013
Garden Report

Grow An Early Spring Vegetable Garden

The beginning of spring is the beginning of the vegetable garden. 

Credit Stephanie Dillingham / Creative Commons/Flickr

Most vegetable seed germinates when the soil temperature is above 50 degrees.  Gardeners can warm up the cool spring soil with a simple cold frame or start the seeds inside.

Tom Throgmorton talk spring vegetable gardens.

Tom's Suggestions For A Tasty Vegetable Garden


  • Use a shallow tray filled with sterilized soil mix.
  • Follow the directions on the seed packet to sow the seed.
  • Keep the soil warm and moist.

Gardener’s Tip: Tom says seedlings should be placed in the brightest window or additional light should be used to keep the seedlings compact. 

Moving Seedlings Outdoors

  • Seedlings are ready to go outside when they have 4-6 leaves.
  • Set them outside in a protected spot for a little longer each day.
  • In 4 or 5 days they should be acclimated and ready for the garden.


  • Plant vegetables in a warm spot in the garden or in a portable container.
  • Early spring veggies can handle freezing temperatures once they germinate
  • But a containerized plant can be moved inside if there’s a real cold snap.

Tom’s Favorite Early Spring Veggies

Cabbage, Cauliflower and Broccoli

  • Best if started indoors as seedlings and then transplanted out into the garden.
  • Ready for the hardening off process 3-4 weeks after the seed is sown
  • Veggies ready to eat 6-8 weeks after the plants are moved to the garden.

Salad Greens (Leaf Lettuce, Endive, Mache and Mustard Greens)

  • Buy pre-mixed packets of greens or mix your own.
  • Use the seeds indoors for the best germination.
  • Harvest small, tasty greens in 3-4 weeks or wait 6 weeks for larger bunches. 


  • Peas grow best along a short, two foot trellis.
  • Planted now, peas will be ready before Memorial Day.


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