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    You don’t have to wait until the weather warms to start your spring garden and plant those fresh, home-grown veggies

    In fact, a lot of vegetables are actually considered “cool-season” veggies — meaning they thrive in the cooler months of early spring and later fall. 

    Want to plant some cool-season veggies and start your spring garden? Here’s what you need to know.

    When to start your spring garden.

    “Cool-season” is a pretty general term, and the right time for planting really depends on your climate and your physical location. 

    Technically, you want to plant after your region’s last frost. You can find average final frost dates through the Farmer’s Almanac (just enter your ZIP code in the search bar). For the most part, you’ll plant somewhere toward the end of March or the beginning of April if you’re in the U.S. 

    If you have specific veggies in mind, the Farmer’s Almanac site has a helpful planting calendar you can use to guide the way, too. Here in Houston, for example, I’d start sweet potatoes between March 23 and April 6. 

    What veggies you should grow first.

    You’d be surprised how many vegetables do well in the cooler spring weather when you start your spring garden. Hardier ones like radish, carrots, potatoes, and turnips are great options, as are salad greens like lettuce and spinach. 

    Collard greens, broccoli, and cabbage make good choices, too, though they take upwards of 80 to 100 days to be ready for harvesting.

    If you’re looking for a quick delivery, sugar snap peas are the way to go. These handy little veggies take just six to eight weeks, on average — often faster with a good trellis in place. 

    Pro tips for early spring planting

    Planting the right vegetables at the right time is critical to success, but it’s not the only thing that will help you grow ripe, delicious produce.

    You’ll also need to be extra careful about where and how you plant each item. For example, some plants do better with less water and light, while others need to be planted further down than others.

    Some plants are best started indoors in containers placed under warm lights. If you are starting a veggie directly in the ground outside, make sure you loosen the soil a bit first. You want to be sure it’s not super wet or, even worse, frozen before putting the seeds in the ground.

    Finally, write down where you plant each veggie. This will help guide future planting should you choose to continue gardening next season.

    Kick-start your spring garden planting

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