Yes! It’s finally that time to get your hands in the dirt and start your garden Patty Gentry of Early Girl Farm in East Moriches has some great ideas for those with just some space in the backyard for great vegetables and herbs to plant in early spring. If you’re feeling ambitious, check out Cristina Cosentino’s directions for building your own raised beds.
1. Lemon Mint
Lemon mint is a tasty herb. It can tolerate dry soil, requires direct sun light and little water. It’s easy to grow, but be careful it’s invasive. When crushed, the leaves emit an odor reminiscent of lemons.
2. Lacinato Kale
Lacinato kale is extremely hearty. Plant in early spring, keep it hydrated and it can go all year — even in the frost.
Lovage is like celery on steroids. Use it judiciously. The flavor is celery and floral in nature.
Parsley is best planted in the spring and produces until the frost. It loves full sun and lots of water.
5. Skyphos Lettuce
Skyphos lettuce is my favorite head lettuce. You can plant it early and keep planting into the fall. It is cold and heat tolerant. Never bitter. Never bolts.
6. Broccoli Calabrese
Broccoli Calabrese is a hearty, strong plant. If you care for it properly, you can harvest the side shoots into the fall, which is why it is one of my favorites.
7. Green Fennel 8. Bronze Fennel
Green Fennel is very hearty. This plant likes warm weather. Plant in spring into summer. Bronze Fennel is also very hearty perennial and easy to plant. Be careful because it grows like a weed. It’s gorgeous as an ornamental and very versatile in the kitchen.
9. Dandelion Greens
Dandelion greens are super cold tolerant. Plant early in the spring as when it gets hot, the plant becomes bitter. Eat early and eat often.
10. Spring Onions
Start seeding in January and transplant in March as its cold intolerant. May be eaten green in the springtime or if you allow it to grow to full maturity, it will keep through the next nine months.
top photo by Doug Young