These 8 veggies for the spring garden are frost tolerant and are some of our very favorites here on our homestead. Spring is coming up fast on the homestead and if you don’t know yet, I can’t wait! Spring means warmer, longer, sunnier days. It means seedlings are growing and baby animals are being born. It is time for us to get busy and get working on making our homesteading goals a reality. But long before Spring, we have to start planning and preparing for what we would like our homesteads to do for us this year.
Our garden is a major focus this year. This is primarily because we have not had a good garden since coming to Missouri. Our first year’s garden was 3 small 4×8 beds that I foolishly tried smooshing about 12 tomato plants and I may have even snuck a few peppers and herbs in there as well. Last year we had no garden at all, so this will be our very first garden here on the new homestead and I could not be more silly stupid excited about it!
We grow our own food for two different reasons. The first is because we believe we all have been called by God to do so. I also have a very deep personal conviction that being so far removed from my food sources must change. For me, having dominion means I am responsible for the care, nurture, raising, and life of every plant or animal I choose to eat.
These veggies we’ll be planting in our Spring Garden and they all do very well in cooler temperatures. As a matter of fact, these veggies will not produce well once the heat hits, which is pretty early here in Missouri. Our cooler crop veggies have been started about 8 weeks before our last frost date, but they can be started as close to 6 weeks before. We’ll also get these guys planted in their garden beds about 2-4 weeks before our last frost date, which for us is April 14th. Cooler crops do pretty well once a little frost has nipped at them. If you are having trouble finding out what your last frost date is, you can check out this handy calculator from Dave’s Garden.
8 Veggies For The Spring Garden
I don’t know what goes on in your kitchen, but in mine, just about every meal there is chopping and slicing of onions. We put them in just about everything we eat, from omelets to a savory roast. Sometimes they are just sliced raw into a salad or put on one of our sandwiches and other times they are fried up with some butter and served with homemade pierogies. But anyway, you didn’t come to hear about that.
Onions are packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants which are essential to a healthy body. There is a long line of heart disease and cancers on my side of the family and studies have shown that onions can help reduce this risk. There are also so many different varieties and colors. This year we’ll be growing Yellow of Parma and Wethersfield Red to add a little color to our dishes.
Depending on what zone you are in will depend on when you start these guys. We started our’s on Monday and so far only a few have sprouted. This is our very first time growing onions from seed, so I’ve been praying that God sustains them and gives us the wisdom needed to get them from the garden to our table.
The very first time we tried to plant cauliflower we had no respect for following planting guidelines. I winged the entire process and sadly all of them died on me. Cauliflower is sensitive to heat and the sun can actually burn the white heads of the cauliflower. A neat trick I learned is to loosely tie its leaves over the head to protect them from the sun.
We love to mix our cauliflower and broccoli together, then we mix up our homemade cheese sauce and pour it over the veggie heads. We’ll be growing just your classic white Durgesh 41 and then Purple of Sicily for more variety. We’ll be freezing almost all of what we grow, minus what we eat throughout the summer.
I had no idea that little people were huge fans of broccoli until I had little people of my own. Everyone tried to tell me that kids don’t like their veggies, but I have yet to experience that with my own and considering that the youngest is 7, I don’t think I ever will. A rule of thumb I always follow is, “You can’t say you don’t like it if you won’t even try it.” Plus, anytime my kids have been involved in the growing or the raising of our food sources, they have been much more willing to at the very least try what is on their plates.
We are only growing a basic Calabrese Green Sprouting Broccoli from Baker’s Creek. This is my first year growing broccoli from seed and so far I’ve seen amazing results.
Cabbage is a huge favorite in our home. We love sauerkraut, cabbage and noodles, cabbage, noodles and kielbasa, stuffed cabbage, and coleslaw just to name a few. I have always been a huge favorite of cabbage, but I had no idea the huge health benefits that it provided until I was much older. Eating cabbage is an excellent way to encourage a healthy gut which is essential to our immune systems. I love that my kids enjoy cabbage as much as I do and they have no idea how healthy it really is for them.
We chose Cabbage Brunswick, which is just a common green headed cabbage and then Tete Noir Cabbage which has big, purple heads. Have you noticed a theme here? Lots of purple and green going on in our Spring garden this year!
I tried growing lettuce once using a hydroponics system….it was a total fail. I contribute that more to my lack of knowledge than anything else. This year, we will be planting lettuce in our spring garden and praying that 45 days later we can be enjoying a healthy, homegrown salad as either a side dish or a light lunch. It will also be awesome to have our own lettuce to put on tacos, sandwiches, grilled burgers, and chicken. My nana used to make wilted lettuce and this is something I might try my hand at too!
We’ve also decided to try growing Tennis Ball Lettuce this year. The heads are much smaller than traditionally sized lettuce heads, which I think will be perfect for individual salads.
I have to admit, these are not a huge family favorite. Less of us like peas than those of us who do, so we won’t be growing very many. I do love them right off the vine or added to my soups, stews, homemade chicken pot pies, and as a side dish. Peas also don’t take up too much room in the garden as they are grown vertically. This year we’ll be implementing using cattle panels turned into trellises, an idea we got from Roots and Refuge.
We chose Sugar Snap Peas and Pea Sugar Magnolia Tendrils from Baker’s Creek. I can’t wait to see how beautifully they grow and to walk through them during the cooler days of Spring. We’ll also direct sow our peas instead of starting them indoors. Peas don’t really like to be moved around too much, so in order to get the most success out of our crop, we’ll just plop these guys in the ground about 3 weeks before our last frost date.
As a kid, I ran away from anyone trying to offer me Brussel sprouts and thankfully I didn’t have parents who forced them on me. As a matter of fact, my dad doesn’t like them at all. Now that I am an adult, my taste for these things have totally changed. My kids tell me it is because I’ve gotten old and blame it on the gray hair. There’s only a few of us who like these so we won’t be growing a ton of them, just enough to add a little variety to our family meals.
I’m quite excited to grow these. I never knew that they grow up a stalk and how cool they look as they mature. I can’t wait to see the uniqueness they bring to our Spring garden beds. We chose Long Island Improved Brussel Sprouts this year. However, if they do well, I may add more colorful ones next planting season, which will be Fall.
Our Spring garden will consist of a variety of different carrots from Baker’s Creek. We eat A LOT of carrots here on The Moore Family Homestead and that is honestly putting it mildly. We’ll be experimenting with succession planting this year, and my hope is to only plant in July what will be stored throughout the Fall and Winter seasons. This is another veggie that does best if it is directly sown. We have almost an entire bed dedicated to them, however, we will be companion planting our carrots throughout the garden to help keep the pests away.
Here are our choices:
- Black Nebula – the darkest carrot available and high in anthocyanins, a powerful antioxidant that helps boost the immune system.
- Cosmic Purple – Shades of purple, yellow, and orange. We’ve never grown these before but the packet says it is a bit spicy and sweet tasting.
- Danvers 126 Half-Long – This is just a common orange carrot that we are all used to eating.
- Amarillo Carrot – My 12-year-old picked out these yellow carrots. It’ll be interesting to see the color of these guys once they are grown.
- The Favorite Oxheart – These carrots can get pretty massive, up to 1 pound each. They are just fat, heart-shaped, orange carrots that are going to add a lot of fun to our gardening this year.
There are bunches of other veggies that can be planted in the Spring, and these are just a few varieties we have chosen for our garden this year and are among our most favorites. The plan is to plant all these varieties again for our Fall garden with possible added variations.
I’d love it if you would share with me in the comments below what you are growing in your Spring garden. If you liked this, please remember to share us to tell your family and friends about us and help our community to grow. If you’d like more of posts like this, sign up to receive my Homesteadin’ Goodness Toolbox using the form below 🙂
Happy Homesteadin’ and God Bless,