4 Delicious Vegetables You Can Plant This Weekend
April is here and it’s time to get down and dirty – with gardening, that is! Too early, you say? We beg to differ! Even with the threat of lingering frosts, there are a handful of veggies hardy enough to make it through the occasional early-spring cold snap. We’ve included four vegetables that you can plant right now along with some tips to help them thrive. Creating and caring for the perfect garden requires patience, love, and attention to detail. So, if you’re up for the challenge, try a few of the tips below and get growing!
Snow peas are a cool season vegetable that requires fairly minimal work. For the soil to be ready, it needs to be dry enough that it isn’t sticking to your shovel. In Utah, it’s helpful to add mulch around your growing snow peas to keep the soil cool during the summer months. This can also prevent the soil from getting overly saturated when it rains. It’s time to harvest your snow peas when they look ready to be picked, before the pea pod starts to swell. Add to a salad or stir fry or eat them straight off the vine!
One of the most frost-resistant plants, beets, can be planted one full month before the last spring frost. Unlike snow peas, beets grow best when planted in wet soil. Soaking the seeds in warm water for a few hours before sowing increases the chance of germination. Beet greens can be clipped and used for salad mixes when they are only an inch or two high, and the tasty roots can be harvested when they have reached at least an inch in diameter.
Unlike most vegetables, asparagus plants are perennial, which means they return year after year. The most important part of growing asparagus is understanding that it takes a couple seasons before you can harvest it and enjoy its homegrown flavor. But trust us, it’s definitely worth the wait! Choose a sunny, well-drained area of your garden where the plants will not be disturbed by much activity, and be sure to use mulch and use herbicides to prevent weeds. When they are ready for harvest, pick all of the spears each time, and discard spears that have grown too large and fibrous. A good rule of thumb is to continue harvesting until the diameter decreases to the size of a pencil. Then it’s time to stop and let them grow until next spring!
Growing lettuce is one of the most convenient options for a limited-space garden. It’s known as a “care free” crop that stays virtually free of pests and diseases. It’s best to plant seeds in a well-drained area that still retains some moisture. Most varieties grow best in a cool climate, making them the perfect choice for an early spring in Utah. If all conditions are right, lettuce can go from seed to salad in about a month. However, some types can take up to 60 days to reach maturity. When harvesting the leaves, early morning is when they contain the most natural sugar, so picking between 7 and 10 am will be your lettuces’ sweet spot.