EatingWell's Guide for How to Start a Kitchen Garden

By Hilary Meyer, "Spring into Gardening," March/April 2011

5 things you need to get your garden growing, from the ground up.

3 Vegetables to Start Early

These veggies love cool weather (you can plant them a few weeks before the last frost) and grow quickly. So plant them first and you’ll enjoy the rewards of your work in a hurry.

Lettuce: I planted different types of lettuce all over my garden, wherever I could find room. It’s forgiving and grows fast enough that you’ll be harvesting young leaves for salads within a few weeks. Plant seeds every two weeks in the spring so you have a constant supply.

Turnips: I never thought of them as a spring vegetable so I was surprised to harvest turnips before anything else. They take about a month from seed to harvest and have a peppery and sweet flavor when they’re picked fresh.

Peas: We squeezed ours in close together and they yielded pounds and pounds of sugary sweet snap peas. Pea plants produce more in cooler weather than they do once it heats up. And by the heat of the summer, they’re pretty much fizzled out so you can plant a late-season crop in their spot.

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