What To Plant In Spring For A Colorful Spring Vegetable Garden

what to plant in spring


More than any other time of year, deciding what to plant in spring is easy for me because I’m working in tandem with mother nature, getting my favorite spring vegetables in the ground at the most natural time for healthy, fast growth. I’m committed to growing my own food year-round in my garden, but there’s something special about growing vegetables in the spring.

what to plant in your garden in springOf course, the weather influences your gardening whenever you’re working outside. It’s important to keep in mind that the months of March, April, and May are typically the wettest months of the year, with some of the most unpredictable weather patterns. To prepare myself as much as possible, I have a garden plan for what spring vegetables to plant, which ones to start from seed, which ones to transplant, and how to care for all of them as we move into the warmer months. This keeps me focused and organized and simultaneously frees up time to deal with any severe weather that comes my way.

ryans tiny house

Hi, I’m Ryan

I’ve had fun over the years choosing what to plant in spring in my homestead garden, gradually learning what works best. Along the way, I developed a chart that includes the best spring vegetables to grow and a growing schedule, which I’m sharing to help bring ease, and confidence to your spring planting.

ryan mitchell simple living expert

How Does Planning What To Plant In Spring Create A Better Garden?

How Does Planning What To Plant In Spring Create A Better Garden

Writing up a simple plan for your spring garden will help you choose what to plant in spring and streamline the process of growing seeds and transplanting. I’ve found that it’s beneficial to have a growing plan in place to keep track of what spring crops I’ll be planting and when I’ll be planting them. At the end of the day, a garden plan keeps me organized, and although it takes some time upfront, it saves time overall, and it’s just smart gardening.

In the chart below, I’ve detailed the spring garden plants that thrive this time of year, a range of planting dates, and the best methods for planting each one.

choose what to plant in spring

Spring Vegetables To Plant

what vegetables to plant in winter

We all live in different places. While I live in a pretty mild climate, the fact is that the colder your climate, the later you’ll want to plant most of these spring vegetable plants, and the warmer your climate, the sooner you’ll be able to get them started.

last frost date before starting gardenThe key to choosing the right planting date for you will come down to determining your last frost date. I’ve included all the best vegetables to plant in spring on this chart, and many of them, like carrots, onions, peas, and veggies toward the top of this list, can be planted an average of three to eight weeks before your last frost date and still thrive.

Others, like peppers, sweet potatoes, cucumbers, and veggies toward the bottom of the chart, need to be planted after all threats of frost have passed.

what is homesteading

Direct Seeding Vs. Transplanting Your Spring Vegetables

Direct Seeding Vs Transplanting Your Spring Vegetables

Some of the best veggies to plant in spring need to be started indoors and then transplanted into your outdoor garden once they’re hardy enough to thrive outside. But keep an eye on how fast they grow and their size. You won’t want to allow the seedlings to grow too big before you transplant them, as you’ll run the risk of their roots becoming a little too happy in their confined space or the plants themselves becoming deprived of nutrients.

what to plant in february

Other vegetables will do just fine sown directly into your garden soil. In fact, that’s the best method for many. Take root crops — they don’t like their roots to be disturbed once they’ve started growing, so direct seeding is the way to go for root vegetables. For easy reference, I’ve created a chart below with seedling growing and transplant dates.

As a general rule of thumb, larger and hardier seeds can be directly sown into your garden. Veggies with smaller, more delicate seeds should be started indoors.

how to start homesteading

Starting The Seeds You’ll Transplant As Spring Crops

More complicated than choosing what to grow in spring is learning the right time to start spring seedlings inside and when to move them to your outdoor garden with the rest of your spring plants and vegetables. Again, this is where a garden plan will serve you well, to easily keep track of what you’re doing and when.

Grow seedlings in an area of your home where they’ll get the most sunlight, or consider supplementing with a grow light.

Growing And Transplanting Spring Vegetables


growing herbs for chickens

Starting Seeds To Plant In The Next Season

The end of spring is the perfect time to start indoor seeds to transplant in summer. These seeds include peppers, tomatoes, squash, zucchini, eggplant, broccoli, collards, okra, leeks, parsley, brussels sprouts, and cauliflower. For the most part, you can start these seeds indoors about six weeks before you’re planning on moving them to your garden.

Choose the Right Vegetables for Your Garden

Preparing Your Garden For Spring Vegetables

Preparing Your Garden For Spring Vegetables

Before you start planting all the spring veggies, you’ll first want to prepare your soil. If you’re still harvesting plants that you’ve over-wintered, clean out dead plants and put them in your compost pile, and simply prune any that are still producing. At this point, work some compost and fertilizer into your soil to enrich it and replenish nutrients to support your spring vegetables. Now you’re ready to get planting!

how to prepare garden soil

FAQs About What Vegetables To Plant In Spring

What Vegetables To Plant In Spring

The word is out that I’m a slow foodie who grows vegetables all year, so I often get asked questions about the best veggies to plant in spring. Let me answer a few of the most pertinent queries for you, as I know a lot of gardeners, beginner or seasoned, share similar concerns.

homesteading skills

What Makes Spring Planting Different?

What I can plant in spring can overlap with what I plant in the fall, but spring planting is different in several ways. The ground is colder in the spring because it’s still thawing from winter, meaning you’ll plant your cold-hardy vegetables earlier and your warm-season vegetables later in the spring. Fall is the exact opposite. In spring, you’ll also be able to get away with planting more frost-intolerant plants like tomatoes and peppers because the weather will gradually get warmer.

what to plant in march

What Can I Plant In Spring In My Location/Growing Zone?

Rather than limiting what you can plant in spring, your location or growing zone will determine when you can sow these spring vegetables. If you live in a mild to warm climate, you’ll get away with planting your garden in early spring, while in cold climates, you might need to wait until late May to get started. Either way, you can still cultivate a thriving spring garden, bursting with life and color at a prime growing time.

gardening for beginners

How Does Cold Weather Affect My Spring Vegetable Plants?

While I always advise making sure your spring garden gets watered every three days, either by you or by rain, there is some danger of April showers injuring your plants and compacting your soil. Keep an eye on local weather forecasts so that you can properly protect your garden from harsh rainstorms.

In most areas, putting down an extra thick layer of mulch around your plants will protect them from heavy rains, but if you live in an area prone to super heavy storms, you might need to invest in rain covers.

cold weather can affect spring plants

One of my favorite things about spring vegetables is how colorful they are. They’re also nutritious and cut down on my produce bill every year. I hope you’ve found my spring growing chart helpful in deciding what to grow in your garden this spring! Remember, even drafting a loose plan is better than not having any plan; this info should help get that going.

chicken coop garden combo

Your Turn!

  • When do you start planning your spring vegetable garden?
  • How does your hardiness zone affect which vegetables you plant in spring?

Leave a Reply