Sow wholesome seasonal goodness right in your backyard.
Are you champing at the bit to get out in your garden after a long winter? Your wait just might be over! There are plenty of healthy spring vegetables that thrive in cooler weather. If your soil isn’t soft enough to dig yet, you can start these veggies off in pots or trays and transplant them outside when the weather cooperates.
Start by picking up seeds for these healthy spring vegetables:
- Green peas
Let’s learn more about these veggies below and discover tips for growing (and eating) them!
Leafy greens are good for the brain as they are tied to sharper memory. They also happen to be a perfect healthy spring vegetable, because they only grow in temperatures below 80F. Keep yourself in a hardy supply of spring salad by planting “cut-and-come-again” varieties where you plant just once and then continuously harvest the outer leaves. Or, you can decide to grow entire lettuce heads and re-plant after harvests—it’s up to you! The time between planting and harvest usually ranges between 35-70 days.
Who doesn’t love hunting for ripe sugar-snap or snow peas and eating them straight from the pod? It helps to soak the seeds in water before planting to speed up germination. Then, plant them along a trellis or fence so they’ll have support to climb on as they grow. Keep an eye out for flowers, because they’ll be ready to eat about three weeks after that.
This crisp, sweet root vegetable is best planted 3-5 weeks before the predicted last frost of spring, which varies based on where you live. You can continue planting these healthy spring vegetables every three weeks if you want to stagger your harvests. Carrots are famously healthy for the eyes, but not just because of vitamin A as is commonly believed. They also contain lutein, a lesser-known antioxidant that promotes healthy vision.
While they’re technically a fruit, not a vegetable, tomatoes are one of the most popular additions to home gardens, and for a good reason—they’re flavorful and versatile in recipes. The health highlight of tomatoes is an antioxidant called lycopene, which is linked to a lower risk of cancer and heart disease among other benefits. There are many different methods for growing tomatoes, which depend on your preferences, the setup of your garden, and the tomato varieties you choose.
Want a quick turnaround with high chances of success? Go for radishes in your garden. You can plant them as soon as your soil is ready to work with, and harvest as early as three weeks later. Experiment with adding radishes to salads raw – or you can sauté, roast, or even pickle them. There are plenty of recipes that can help you use your radish harvest all spring!
Adding fresh baby spinach to a salad, stir fry, or casserole is even better when it comes from your own garden. It’s another healthy spring vegetable that you can plant as soon as the ground is willing. You can start harvesting the outside leaves as soon as they are 3-4 inches long. Aim to pick it all by the time summer arrives, as spinach doesn’t do as well in the heat. Spinach is good for the eyes and the heart, among other fantastic health benefits.
A perfect addition to your late spring and early summer barbecues, asparagus is safe to plant as soon as the threat of frost is past. You can get a head start by cultivating seedlings indoors as early as February. However, asparagus is a “playing the long game” kind of veggie, because it’s best if you don’t harvest any spears for the first two years the plants are in your garden. This longer waiting period allows them to build deep roots and provide you with tasty spears for years to come! Your future self will thank you for putting in the work, especially since asparagus can help maintain healthy blood pressure and weight.
If you’re not already heading out to the garden to plant some of these healthy spring vegetables, check out more health and wellness articles on our blog, including health benefits of vegetables and healthy soup recipes you can make with your harvest.