Although spring just sprung, it’s not too early to start thinking about your summer harvest!
Everyone knows that homegrown vegetables and herbs are healthier, and more wallet-friendly, than their supermarket counterparts. However, most Coloradans do not start planting their garden until late May after the last frost of the season.
Unfortunately, those who wait to start their annual garden until May are missing out on months of homegrown goodness: cool-season vegetables can be planted up to six-weeks before the last frost of the season!
For those of you want to get a jumpstart on this year’s bounty, here are several vegetables that you can start planting right away.
Potatoes and beets
Hardy, cold-weather vegetables such as potatoes and beets are strong enough to survive Colorado's freezing evening temperatures in March and April.
Carrots do well in early-season gardens since they are dense root vegetables. They grow under layers of dirt, which shields them from snow and cold temperatures in March and April.
Hate it or love it, asparagus is a spring vegetable that can weather Colorado's erratic spring weather.
Random information: Did you know that asparagus is actually a flowering perennial plant?
Lettuce and spinach
Good news for salad-lovers: both lettuce and spinach are quality vegetables to plant during the early spring months.
If you do not want to grow these leafy greens outside due to hungry wildlife, you can easily grow them indoors by practicing container gardening.
Broccoli, the perfect partner to a crunchy salad or bowl of creamy broccoli cheese soup, is a natural vegetable to start growing in the springtime.
Random Fact: This vegetable gets its name from the Italian word "broccolo", which refers to "the flowering top of a cabbage"
Chives and shallots
Don't let looks deceive you: chives and shallots might look weak with their delicate skin, but they are hardy relatives of the onion and grow well in the early months of spring.
Famous for its place in many a pie dish during the holiday season, rhubarbs are another versatile vegetable* that can be simmered with sugar to make a multitude of sweet treats.
Random Fact: in 1947, a New York court ruled that rhubarb can also be considered a fruit for the purpose of regulations and duties. Since Americans used the rhubarb as a fruit, the court saw this as an appropriate ruling.