I have been getting lots of questions and comments of late from Master Gardeners, colleagues, and friends about the cool, wet weather. Personally, I refuse to let unseasonably high amounts of spring moisture ‘dampen’ my spirits – let’s face it, we need the water – so my advice is, embrace the wet weather and grow garden plants that thrive under these conditions. What plants you may ask?
A: Cool-season vegetables and early season herbs. Here are ten great selections from which to choose!
- Lettuce, lettuce, and more lettuce. Lettuce grows quickly and loves moderate temperatures and moisture, so grow and eat lettuce until it sprouts from your pores!
- Members of the brassica family including kale and collards (and broccoli and cabbage if you planted them some time back – these garden treats take their sweet time to grow).
- Radishes. Radishes grow quickly and, besides, you will need something to gussy up your lettuce salads!
- Spinach. Spinach is so versatile. Eat it raw in salads, cook it and add to prepared foods (think soups or pasta dishes) or serve it straight from the sauté pan. It is truly spinach season so follow Popeye’s example and eat your spinach – just not from a can!
- Swiss chard. Another great leafy green selection.
- Sugar snap peas. Truly the most elegant and wonderful spring garden delicacy. Freshly shelled, blanched, and served with a dollop of butter and a little sea salt – yummy! With moderate temperatures and moisture levels, pea plants continue to produce pods – thank you Mother Nature!
- Cilantro. Cilantro loves moderate temperatures and we love cilantro in Asian and Mexican dishes!
- Chives. Want a beautiful garden bloom, plant chives for an early show – and tasty garnish (you can eat both the stems and the flowers)!
- Dill. Another glamorous garnish – dill – also likes cool wet weather.
- Garden cress. For those that desire an early leafy green with a spicier mouthfeel than lettuce (think radish), try growing garden cress – it won’t disappoint!
There you have it, lots of tasty garden fresh treats to gobble down before the hot dry days of summer. Happy spring seasoning!