Growing Cold

When winter seems to finally be through with us, gardeners get that urge to get outdoors and start digging in the garden. The only thing is, here in our region, we contend with frosts that can strike without warning for much of spring. Not to worry though, if you’re keen to get growing, there are a number of vegetables and herbs that you can plant that can survive or thrive in cool weather. For these plants, growing them early can give you better results, earlier harvests and help you avoid them fruiting in the heat of summer when they can sometimes be quick to bolt (or flower).

It is helpful to remember that many of these cold crops are great when planted in late April or early May but when planting seedlings that have been started indoors or at our nursery, you may want to ‘harden’ them off (grow outdoors and them bring in the garage or undercover) for a few days before planting into your garden.

Vegetables & Herbs Best for Cool Season Growing

Arugula Beets Broccoli Brussels Sprout
Cabbage Carrot Fennel Garlic (plant in fall for summer harvest)
Kale Leek Lettuce Parsley
Parsnip Peas (flowers and pods will be hurt by frost but young plants won’t) Radish Rhubarb
Spinach Swiss Chard (mature plants) Turnip

Vegetables & Herbs Best Planted After Risk of Frost

Asparagus (a perennial, but should be harvested before a frost) Basil Beans Napa seedlings (by fall the heads will be more hardy)
Cauliflower Celery seedlings Cilantro  Corn
Cucumber Eggplant Fennel seedlings (frost impedes formation of bulbs)  Lettuce heads (young leaves are usually okay)
Melons Okra Onion bulbs  Peppers
Pumpkin Squash Swiss Chard seedlings (young plants may bolt after frost exposure) Tomato