Here’s some plants you can grow in our unpredictable spring weather
BY ANN PARK
Spring in Utah is beautiful, and after a long winter most of us are excited to garden. Despite the unpredictable weather, there are many garden crops that are tolerant of cold spells. They can be planted early and harvested soon.
Lettuce – Here is North Ogden and Pleasant View, many varieties of lettuce can be started from seed as early as March. When the leaves are big enough, its time for fresh salad!
Spinach – Grows quickly and loves cool weather. Rain, cold, and even a little snow will not kill your spinach. Plant early, and enjoy! When the weather heats up and the sun intensifies, the spinach will go to seed. When that happens, the plant is past its prime.
Radishes – Crisp, spicy and delicious, radishes grow early and require cool weather. There are many varieties that do very well in our area.
Peas – They will take a while to grow and mature, but the plants are cold tolerant and do well in spring temperatures. March is a great time to plant them, but if you forgot, you can plant them now.
Broccoli – If you love broccoli, then get some plants started early. Broccoli doesn’t like the hot summer sun. Planting early also prevents insects from living on the plants.
Kale – Another great cool-weather plant. And it’s very good for you.
I know you’re all waiting for the tomatoes, beans, zucchini, peppers and melons, but please wait a little longer! May 15th is usually the average date to plant warm weather crops. Here in Utah, you don’t always know when the last cold snap will be. These warm weather plants will die a terrible death if the temperature drops below 32 degrees. If you plan early and the weather turns cold, you can cover delicate crops, or start them outside with some kind of protective cover such as Walls of Water, or even a recycled gallon milk jug with the bottom cut off.
Tomato and pepper plants can be started inside, (or purchased at the nursery). We keep ours indoors until the weather warms up, gradually get them used to outdoor temperatures, and then move them to the garden. Mmmmmmm… Can you almost taste the salsa?
There is nothing more satisfying than eating produce fresh from your own garden. Happy planting!