In port right now, in mid – March, it might be simply 38 degrees, but everything is melting and spring fever has taken its place. I imagine it is the same way in most parts of the U.S. I love growing plants from seeds and creating my own starts to put out in the garden once the soil has warmed up. If you’re in a warmer, Southern state you won’t need to have your seeds inside as long I do. Our days are longer, the sun is shining, and it is the perfect time to plan out your garden. Here is a list of vegetables to plant or start in March and April that will be ready to transplant 4-6 weeks later. Seriously, these 15 Organic Vegetables you want to start right now.

Table of Contents

  • The Lettuce Family
    • Kale, Spinach, Lettuce, & Arugula
    • My Favorite Varieties
  • Carrots and Radishes
    • My Favorite Varieties
  • Tomatoes
    • My Favorite Varieties
  • Squash
    • My Favorite Varieties
  • Peppers
    • My Favorite Varieties
  • Root Vegetables – Beets & Turnips
    • My Favorite Varieties

The Lettuce Family

Kale, Spinach, Lettuce, & Arugula

Kale, Spinach, Lettuce, & Arugula

Almost all of the plants in the lettuce family are fast growing and are best grown in 6-pack containers. Place 2-3 seeds or simply sprinkle seeds on the top of the seed starting soil. Lightly cover the seeds and water the top with a spray bottle. The lettuce family enjoys cool weather and will bolt when it gets too hot. Harvest the baby leaves in just 2-3 weeks and continue to harvest weekly until they are transplanted either into a container garden or into the vegetable bed. In milder climates, they will continue to grow all summer long and you should be able to harvest once or twice a week.

My Favorite Varieties

  1. Dwarf Blue Curled Scotch Kale 
    1. Butter flay Spinach
    1. Lettuce Mix
    1. Arugula

Side Note about Lettuce-type Seeds: I mostly grow seedlings this way when I’m transplanting into containers. In my garden, I have one bed that is only seeds from the lettuce family. I sprinkle one type of seed in a 6-inch row, 2-3 feet long. Then I have a 4-inch divider and plant another 6-inch row with a different type of seed. I keep doing that with as much space as I have. Every 3 weeks I sprinkled more seeds and continually harvest both baby and mature leaves all summer long. It was awesome!

Carrots and Radishes

Carrots and Radishes

I never used to really eat radishes when I was a kid; they were too spicy for me. Last spring though I had pickled radishes and I was hooked. I grew hundreds of radishes last summer, sliced them thin, and placed them into a mason jar with a cup of vinegar, a dash of dill and lemon juice. In just a few days they were ready. So good! I will do that again this summer as I enjoyed pickled radishes all winter long. This year, I’m going to try it with carrots too. Last summer was the first time I was successful with carrots and my mind is racing with all the recipes I want to try. The key thing to remember about carrots is patience. They take forever to come up. Radishes are ready to harvest in just 3 weeks and carrots were closer to 3 months!

Do not plan to transplant any root vegetable, especially radishes and carrots as they won’t grow well if transplanted. Plant the seeds where you want them to grow, whether it is in the garden or in a container. Plant them once the ground has thawed out or in a container garden that is at least 12 inches deep.

My Favorite Varieties

  1. Carnival Blend Carrot Seeds
  2. Scarlet Nantes Carrot Seeds
  3. French Breakfast Radish Seeds
  4. Easter Egg Radish Seeds

Tomatoes

Tomatoes

I’m not sure about the rest of the world, but in the U.S., Americans are obsessed with growing tomatoes. Everything from small cherry tomatoes to large Beefsteak tomatoes. In my opinion, Heirloom tomatoes taste the best and are the only ones I grow in my garden. I also only grow organic, non-GMO seeds no matter what I’m growing.

Tomatoes are heat-loving plants and should be started inside so they are at least 6-8 inches tall before planting out into the garden. Start the seeds in smaller cells to grow more plants, then plant up into 4- or 6-inch pots before transplanting those healthy plants into containers or in the garden.

Tomatoes grow a lot of roots and need to end up in nothing smaller than a 1-gallon pot, preferably 3-gallons per plant. They need to be fertilized monthly to grow big and delicious.

My Favorite Varieties

  1. Artisan Bumble Bee Blend Pole Cherry Tomato Seeds
  2. Brandywine Red & Yellow Blend Pole Tomato Seeds
  3. Beefsteak Tomato

Squash

Squash

Squash are the perfect plants to start in March and April as they have a long growing season. This includes yellow squash, zucchini, cucumbers, and even winter squashes like Butternut Squash. These are best grown from seed at least a couple feet apart. One plant can feed two people quite easily. Winter squash is planted in the spring and harvested in the late summer months, as you can store the hard-shelled squash for months into the winter.

When growing these indoors, it is best to start them in larger cells or 4″ pots as they grow quickly. You can easily pot them up into 6- and 8-inch pots before they are transplanted in to the garden.

My Favorite Varieties

  1. Spaghetti Winter Squash
  2. Market more Cucumbers
  3. Pickling Cucumbers
  4. Straight neck Yellow Squash
  5. Dark Star Summer Squash Zucchini

Peppers

Peppers

Both Bell Peppers and hot peppers, like jalapenos, are best planted in the spring. They grow great from seed and will produce peppers until early Fall as they love the heat of summer. Peppers are slow to start though. If you don’t see the seeds pop up right away, don’t worry, they will in their own time. They need a monthly side dressing of organic amendments to keep the peppers growing like earthworm castings, blood meal, and bone meal.

My Favorite Varieties

  1. Orange Sun Sweet Pepper
  2. Rainbow Blend Sweet Peppers
  3. Habanera Chili Pepper

Root Vegetables – Beets & Turnips

Root Vegetables – Beets & Turnips

There are quite a few root vegetables that you want to start right now. With root veggies, it is best not to transplant them, but direct sow them in the ground. If you are in an area where the last frost has passed and the ground is workable, go ahead and get those root veggies in the ground. For those in Northern areas where the last of the snow is melting away, you can start indoors. When you plant them out in the garden also direct sow new seed just in case the transplants don’t produce. Yep, it’s a tossup, my friends. I love to plant beets, turnips, parsnips, and rutabagas! They taste so good in my fall recipes, plus are an excellent substitute for potatoes!

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