Start a Small Veggie Garden This Spring
save money, eat well, impress your family & friends
March is National Nutrition month AND the perfect time to plant easy to grow cool weather veggies like lettuce, peas & radishes. Philadelphia is a great place for gardeners because we have a nice long growing season. Space tends to be our biggest issue so use containers & think vertical. There are plenty of vegetables that grow well in cooler weather but lettuce, peas & radishes are great for beginners & urban gardeners. They don’t need a lot of space & do very well in containers. You can buy seeds to start yourself or head over to a nursery to pick up some that have already been started for you. The latter is much easier but a little more expensive. I always have good luck with the plants I buy from Greensgrow. I order my seeds online from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds.
Start Mid March
Minimum Soil Depth 10″ (I’m going 12″ to be safe)
I used to start them right in the ground near a fence so I didn’t have to think about anything but weed prevention. This year is a little different because I will have to grow them in a container on my roof deck & add support. I found these tutorials very helpful.
Start End of March
Minimum Soil Depth 6″
If you grow anything this year make it lettuce; it is so easy to grow from seed & grows very quickly. Simply sprinkle seeds on some nice fresh dirt, cover them lightly with some more dirt & water well. For more in depth instructions see below.
Start End of March
Sun to Part Shade
Minimum Soil Depth 6″-12″ (the deeper the pot the less you have to water & the cooler the soil will be)
Radishes are another plant that are ridiculously easy to start from seed & grow very quickly. You want to keep the soil moist & cool or else you’ll have spicy/woody radishes. Yuck. Also, did you know that radish greens are edible?
growing faq’s for philadelphia
Philadelphia is located in Zone 7
Average last frost is around April 20th (after that it’s tomato time!!)
**Take note that the further you are from downtown the cooler it will be – last frost could be about a week later.**