Believe it or not, spring is right around the corner! And you know what that means—time to start planning your garden. Below are five delicious, nutritious, and easy-to-grow vegetables.

1.       Beets.  

beetsLove ‘em or hate ‘em, beets are hearty, healthy, and easy-to-grow. Plant in spring after soil has warmed and dried out. Avoid soil with clay, rocks, or other impediments. Soak seeds overnight, sowing  2 to 3 inches apart at a depth of ½ to 1 inch. Greens can be harvested between 2 and 6 inches; roots are ready when they reach a diameter of 1.5 to 2 inches.


Fun fact: Mature beets are chock full of folates, which foster new cell growth. They also pack a ton of betanin, which aids in immunity. They can’t be beet!




2.       Carrots

baby orange carrotsRaw, cooked, pickled, sliced, diced—everyone loves a carrot! Begin planting as soon as soil can be worked, choosing fertile, sandy loam for greater root expression. Plant ¼ inch deep and about an inch apart, keeping soil moist until germination (about 15 days), and thinning any plants that are within ½ inch of each other. Give at least an inch of water per week, as well as plenty of mulch. Harvest about 50 to 75 days from seed, depending on variety.

Fun fact:  The body uses beta carotene—from which carrots derive their delightful orange color—to make Vitamin A, essential for vision, skin, and the immune system.



3.       Cucumbers   

cucumbers-groupNature’s answer to hot muggy days! Plant after soil temperatures reach 60 degrees, 2-3 weeks after final frost. Sow 18 to 36 inches apart and 1 inch deep; seedlings should emerge in just days. Provide steady moisture, at least an inch of water per week. Harvest slicing cucumbers at 6 to 8 inches; pickling cucumbers at 3 to 5 inches.

Fun Fact:  Cucumbers are 95% water, making them the most refreshing vegetable under the sun!




4.       Sugar snap Peas

sugar_snap_peasCrunchy, nutritious, and a snap to grow! Sugar snap peas can be planted as soon as the soil is thawed—usually around 4 to 6 weeks before final frost. Sow about a foot apart and an inch deep; seedlings will appear between 10 and 12 days. Water thoroughly once a week, and remember to keep pea patch weed free. Depending on variety, peas can be harvested 60 to 100 days after seeding!

Fun Fact: One cup of snap peas provides three grams of fiber and one third the daily value of Vitamin C!






5.       Radishes

radishesThese hearty and spicy gems are great sliced, pickled, sautéed, or even as a garnish. Plant in early spring, two weeks before final frost, in loose, well-drained soil. Sow an inch apart and ½ inch deep, thinning successful seedlings to about 2 inches. Keep moist but not soaked, and remember to add compost. When roots are around an inch in diameter, you are ready to harvest!

Fun Fact: A single radish contains only one calorie!