Plant Greens in the spring!

April is a great time to plant greens like spinach, lettuce, cabbage and mustard greens. Plant now so you will get some greens to eat before it gets too hot. When it is hot they will bolt and become bitter. They can be grown in part shade to last longer when the heat comes. The spinach was actually started last spring and made it through the winter and the chartreuse and purple bok choi were put out 3 weeks ago. All are covered at night with row cover.

Other good crops to plant in April are bok choi and chard. They are real workhorses in the garden being able to withstand our cold and hot seasons. They can be grown in part shade to full sun.

Also good crops to plant in April are beets and carrots. Be sure to plant these in areas of your garden that are getting full sun and water 2 times a day until they are up.

Of course all this is dependent on your soil being warm enough now. How warm should your soil be? Between 40-60 degrees. How do you know how to tell? Get a soil thermometer and stick it in your soil about 2 inches deep. Here is a soil temperature chart to help you know when to plant veggies.

And these plants should still be covered with row cover at night because of our cold temperatures.

 

7 comments on “Plant Greens in the spring!

  1. Jenny's Itty Bitty farm says:

    I have the worst time with my Asian greens bolting.

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    • Yes, Asian greens can bolt very easy when we get warm days. Most of my greens were started on Jan. 15 inside the house under lights and then transplanted outside in either my greenhouse or my coldframe mid-March because the nights are so cold. But you could get starts at a nursery now and transplant them outside (not too late) with protection (row cover). I always think about where to plant greens that tend to bolt. They need either more shade or some way to stay cooler. My spinach I planted last fall in the coldframe with hopes it would make it through winter (it did with row cover over it every night) and I also planted the bok choy in the coldframe this March as well. Why? Because the greenhouse gets too hot in the day and the temp is hard to control as it can really heat up while I can open up the coldframe to keep things cooler. March-April is a good time to plant those Asian green plants outside with cold protection. So in my greenhouse, which heats up faster, I planted different lettuce starts that can handle warmer temperatures-I started those seeds in January. So March and April are good months to harvest these crops but that means you either start growing from seeds way earlier or transplanting starts now and keep them cooler. Because by May it is too hot for almost all greens-they will tend to bolt with the longer days and hotter temps. Also look up greens that can handle heat better. I look them up in seed catalogs in the descriptions. I also plant warm season lettuces varieties of Batavian or Crispheads in the summer that can handle way more heat. And I’m done with Asian greens by end of April. Good Luck.

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  2. Are you covering with row cover at night, and taking it off every morning? I have a grow y’own bed with a plastic cover, would that work or will that make it too hot during the day?

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    • I think a grow y’own bed with plastic would certainly get hot-very possibly too hot. Get a thermometer and see how hot it gets inside on a sunny day. Try opening the ends of the hoop house for some cross ventilation. Or open up the sides to let air flow through. But close it at nite. Also you might consider putting med wt row cover over the top of the plastic covering to act as a little shade or just take off the plastic altogether and put row cover over it all which adds protection from frost but breathes so it won’t get as hot. Plastic really retains heat and you need to find a way to lower the daytime temperatures inside ESPECIALLY for growing cool season crops. And yes I take the row cover off every day, unless its really cold.

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  3. Jennifer says:

    I’m in Denver and started some greens from seed in my low tunnels about 3 weeks ago. I have TONS of little sprouts now. 🙂 I’m wondering how cold is too cold for overnight temps for greens? We’re not really hitting freezing anymore and I don’t want all those veggies to bolt, but putting my plastic on and off every night seems like quite a lot….

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    • yes it is quite a lot. I take off row cover every day and cover my greens every nite I know its going to be 32°F or below. If it’s going to be above 32°, I don’t cover them at night. Better safe than sorry.

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  4. tonytomeo says:

    So your nights are still too cool? You climate seems . . . . confusing. I suppose you are accustomed to it. I know how our climate works, and that we lack winter chill for some plants, and warm summer nights for others, but sometimes, I think it is worth it. I have never been to your region. In fact, the closest I ever got was on Route 66. It was late autumn when we went east, and winter when we came back west. I was amazed by how pleasant the weather was at the time. But of course, that is a long way from your specific region.

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