‘Cool’ Vegetables for You to Grow This Spring

  • Start your gardening season earlier by planting cool-season vegetables, which prefer lower temperatures for seed germination and plant growth. Some crops can be seeded together.
  • Cool-season vegetables include onions, parsnips, kohlrabi, celery, radish, mustard greens, carrots, turnips, cabbage, spinach, beets, leaf lettuce, peas, Swiss chard, cauliflower, kale and collards. Measure the soil temperature using a soil probe or use a kitchen thermometer that measures hot and cold.
  • You can get started as early as the ground can be worked in late March to April, depending upon your Michigan location, to take full advantage and extend your gardening season.
  • Waterlogged soils will cause seeds to rot before they make their way into the world. Take care that your soil is not too moist before planting.
  • Be sure to plan ahead and reseed at mid-summer to late summer. You can harvest your “cool” vegetable crop in the fall as well. You can plant greens even into late August for fall harvest.
  • Thin seedlings of crops planted earlier to their proper spacing.
  • Mulch around plants and in rows to keep soil moist and reduce soil compaction.
  • Monitor crops for insect and disease problems regularly. If you discover a problem, identify its source and take control measures if needed. Contact your local Michigan State University Extension office for help.