There is no better way to get the garden season off and running than by planting spring seed crops.

This past week, it felt incredible for us to finally start planting seeds in the garden. Especially after a long winter season we never thought would end!

Seed crops are a great way to get fresh produce on the table fast.

planting spring seed crops - spinach
Seed crops like spinach grow quickly, and make for delicious, early season produce garden.

You can almost say it is a garden’s version of “fast food.” In fact, many seed crops, such as lettuce, kale and even radishes, go from seed to harvest in under a month.

It certainly is a great way to start growing your family’s food quickly!

Here are a few keys to planting spring seed crops, along with a few varieties that are perfect for early-season planting.

Planting Spring Seed Crops – A Few Big Keys To Success

Soil

It all starts with the soil. Seed crops perform best in loose, fertile, and well-drained soil.

fertile soil is a key to strong growth.
Rich, fertile soil helps seed crops germinate and grow quickly.

When planting, we add in generous amounts of compost to all of our rows before planting. We also cover the tops of the rows with a 1/2″ of compost mulch as well.

It not only provides nutrients for the seeds as they grow, it helps to retain moisture and keep the soil loose for easy sprouting and growth.

Thinning

The name of the game when planting seeds is to over-seed and thin. Over-seeding ensures you have plenty of seeds to germinate.

And although it’s tempting to let all of the seeds that sprout grow, thinning is extremely important to allow the remaining plants enough space to grow to full size.

thinning seedlings
Thinning can be hard for some – but it is important to allow the plants that remain to reach full growth.

Don’t think of it as killing plants. Think of it as saving the entire crop!

Succession Planting

Finally, remember with seed crops to spread planting times out. This keeps everything from maturing at once. See : How To Get The Most From Your Garden With Succession Planting.

We plant a new set of seeds every few weeks. This keeps a smaller, more manageable harvest coming on over time.

With those keys in mind – here are a few spring seed crops to start growing now.

5 Great Seed Crops To Plant To Get Growing Early

Kale 

Kale is one of the healthiest and easiest crops to grow in the spring garden. It loves the cooler temperatures – and the chill actually improve it’s flavor.

fresh tender kale
Fresh tender kale growing in the garden.

Kale can be sown about 4 weeks before your area’s last frost date. We love Blue Scotch Kale, it’s curly leaves make perfect homemade Kale chips.

Spinach

Fresh, home-grown, tender spinach simply can’t be equaled for flavor!

Spinach seeds can be sown directly into the soil 2 weeks before your last frost date.

Plant seeds 1/4″ to 1/2″ deep every few inches, and thin to 3″ between plants. Seed Link : Organic Renegade Spinach Seeds

Radishes

Radishes can be found in all types of varieties, ranging from mild, sweet, and even spicy. And are they ever the fast growers! Many varieties are ready for harvest in just four to five weeks.

watermelon radishes
Watermelon radishes. This beautiful, mild radish is one of our favorites to grow.

Seeds should be planted 1/4″ deep in loose, fertile, and well-drained soil. Radishes require a decent amount of moisture, so mulching is a must.

One of our absolute favorites to grow every year is the watermelon radish. It is a mild radish with good flavor – and it looks beautiful when sliced! Seed Link : Watermelon Radish Seeds

Lettuce

Lettuce is one of the fastest seed to table crops around! And it can be grown in so many shapes, sizes and flavors!

Sow seeds directly into the soil about 1/4″ deep. Cover with a light application (1″) of straw to help keep moisture in and weeds out.

spring seed crops
Tender young Black-Seeded Simpson lettuce.

Adding to their allure, many lettuce crops can be harvested multiple times before they begin to lose their flavor. Our favorites include Black Seeded Simpson and Paris Island.

Spring (Green) Onions

Spring onions grown from seed are a great multi-purpose garden crop.

spring onions in the garden
Spring onions are perfect for all kind of culinary uses.

They can be harvested as tender young bulbs, or left in the ground till fall to harvest a mid-sized onion bulbs.

Sow seeds a few weeks before your last frost date 1/4″ apart. Thin seedlings to about 3/4″ inch for harvesting green onions, and about 2″ apart for larger bulbs harvested later in the year.

Here’s to planting spring seed crops in your garden! Jim and Mary

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Planting Spring Seed Crops – How To Get The Garden Growing Early!
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