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Six Best Vegetables to Plant in Early Spring

Spring is a hectic time for gardeners, but planting a spring vegetable garden will pay off big dividends. Freshly picked vegetables are never more welcome than after a long gray winter. Spring temperatures are a bit too chilly, and the ground is still too damp for many vegetables to be planted, but there are a handful of hardy performers that can go in the garden, even before the last frost date has passed. As a bonus, there are fewer insects and disease pests around in early spring, so your vegetables should get off to a good start.

1. Asparagus - There are many perennial vegetables—vegetables you can plant once and harvest for many years to come. You do have to devote space to them, sometimes for decades, but it is worth it. Asparagus plants get more productive every year, and a mature asparagus harvest can last for months. Looking forward to the first tender, pencil-sized spears of asparagus poking through in the garden is a rite of spring. If you think you do not like asparagus, then you have not tried it freshly picked.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 4 to 9

  • Sun Exposure: Full sun

  • Soil Needs: Sandy, loamy

2. Lettuce - The cool, wet weather of spring is the perfect time to grow lettuce, and there are hundreds of varieties to choose from. Lettuce may need a little protection to get it going in the early spring, but, it never tastes better than when it is grown in the crisp spring air. You will get the earliest and longest harvest from the cut-and-come-again varieties. Lettuce may require a little frost protection in spring, but it will not bolt, and you will probably have time for two to three succession plantings.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 4 to 9

  • Sun Exposure: Partial shade

  • Soil Needs: Rich, amended soil