Start Your Garden Early With These “Cool Season” Veggies

Young farmer with crate full of vegetables

If you’ve been thinking about starting a garden this year and you aren’t quite sure what to grow, this guide to growing “cool-season” vegetables may help.

What are Cool Season Vegetables?

Cool-season vegetables can thrive during the cooler weeks at the very beginning of spring and fall. They’re the first veggies you should plant each year. Why? They thrive in cool temperatures and are more likely to survive a late frost than other vegetables. Of course, that also means that they don’t do well in the high temperatures of the summer. So, you’ll have to harvest your cool-season vegetable before the dog days begin.

When Should I Plant Cool Season Vegetables?

You should plant cool-season vegetables at the very beginning of spring, right after the last frost date.  You can find the frost date for your area by going to The Farmer’s Almanac website and using their convenient Planting Calendar. Just type in your zip code and it will tell you when the last spring frost will occur. For the Queensbury, NY area, the last frost will be on May 19th. It will also display a list of exactly what to plant and when. To find direct-sow, cool-season vegetables, look in the third column for planting dates in March and early April. (Direct sow plants are plants that can be started by placing a seed in the ground outside.) If you’re okay with starting some plants indoors, check the other two columns for early spring dates as well.

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What to Plant in Queensbury, NY

If you live in or around Queensbury, NY, you know that spring comes later in the year for this area than in other parts of the country. For that reason, you will need to start many cool-season plants indoors and then move them outdoors later. However, if you’re a fan of radishes, go ahead and plant your seeds outdoors between March 24 and April 14. You can start the cool season vegetables below fairly soon if you have the space indoors. You’ll be able to move them outdoors later.

  • Bell Peppers: March 9 to March 24
  • Broccoli: March 24 to April 7
  • Cabbage: March 24 to April 7
  • Cauliflower: March 24 to April 7
  • Celery: March 9 to March 24
  • Eggplants: March 24 to April 7
  • Kale: March 24 to April 7
  • Tomatoes: March 24 to April 7

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