Good morning, friends! It’s a sunny 70-something degrees here in my corner of the SF Bay Area, which means it’s time to get outside and plant something. (Those of you in areas where it’s still cold and snowy can bake bread and go through seed catalogs, deciding what you’ll plant once the weather warms up.)
Early spring is the time to plant greens, peas, and other cool-weather crops.
What to plant in early spring
- Peas Snap peas are my favorite — you can eat the whole pod. Remember to give them a trellis to climb, or else get dwarf peas that don’t need staking.
- Beans Bush beans don’t need a trellis, but if you’re making a bean teepee or want to cover a fence, get pole beans. Now’s the time for string beans, green beans, snap beans, or whatever you call the kind where you eat the whole pod. Shelling beans like things a little warmer, so wait till the end of the month for your runner beans and such.
- Greens Kale, collards, bok choi, mustard greens, chard, and the rest of the braising greens all do well in the cooler months. When summer’s heat arrives, they’ll get bitter and bolt, but you can plant another crop in late summer or early fall.
- Salad greens Lettuce, spinach, arugula, mâche, and other salad greens do fine with partial sun, so they’re good for the corner of your garden that’s shaded in the afternoon. Those six-packs of seedlings are nice for instant gratification, but I also like to get a pack of seeds that say “cut-and-come-again salad mix” or something along those lines.
- Radishes! Carrots! Beets! Carrots don’t always germinate, so plant lots — if they all come up, you can thin out the extras. If you’re using shallow raised beds, you can get “dwarf” or “half-long” carrots.
- Onions, Scallions, Garlic I like to tuck my alliums in between other plants, on the theory that they might repel cabbage moths and other pests. I have zero evidence that this actually works, but it does give me a steady supply of green onions and fresh garlic.
- Herbs If you grow nothing else, plant a couple of herbs. Many will keep producing as long as you keep harvesting them, and snipping a sprig of fresh rosemary or whatever is almost as fast as opening a jar of the dried stuff (and vastly tastier).