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Archive date:  March 15, 2001

Springtime Vegetable Gardening Hungry?

Plant your garden now!

Temperatures are still a bit cool but the crocus are blooming! This means it’s a good time to begin planting cool season vegetables. And don’t worry about the weather because cool season vegetables actually prefer the chilly temperatures. In fact, the flavor of some, such as kale, celery, parsnips, and brussels sprouts, is improved by a light frost.

Now, I don't want to mislead you. Although all cool season vegetables are regarded as cold tolerant; sudden, severe drops in temperature can damage and even kill some. Examine the list below to determine if your favorite vegetables are truly cold tolerant.

Cool Season and Warm Season Vegetables

Cool Season Vegetables:
prefer a mean temperature of 60-65 degrees Fahrenheit, will not tolerate temperatures above 70-75 degrees Fahrenheit, and will tolerate some frost.

Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, broccoli, turnips, radish, mustard, rutabagas, kohlrabi, spinach, parsnips, lettuce, and celery.

Cool/Warm Season Vegetables:Two Divisions
1. prefer a mean temperature of 55-75 degrees Fahrenheit, and will tolerate some frost.

Onions, beets, garlic, carrots, leeks, shallots, and potatoes

2. prefer a mean temperature of 65-80 degrees Fahrenheit, and will not tolerate frost.

Muskmelons, cucumbers, squash, pumpkins, beans, tomatoes, peppers, and sweet corn.

Warm Season Vegetables:
prefer a mean temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit, and will not tolerate cool weather.

Watermelons, sweet potatoes, eggplant, some peppers, and okra.


Perennial Crops Asparagus, globe artichoke, and rhubarb.