There are two big secrets to starting a successful vegetable garden. The first is to start small. The second is to start planting in early spring way before the last frosts of wayward winter are done.
So I’ve got for you here a planting list of vegetables to plant in early spring to grow a small but very successful vegetable garden.
It’s not the usual list of absolutely every vegetable you can possibly plant before June because that won’t help you.
Instead, it is a focused list – you can actually stick to – of the very best vegetables for beginners to plant in spring to enjoy a great harvest including :
- Quick growing vegetables for early spring crops
- Easy to grow vegetables you will actually eat
- Spring vegetables that save you money
- Soil feeding vegetables for garden health
- Kitchen herbs to plant in spring that protect plants from pests
- A few flowers as healthy companion plants for your vegetables which are a must if you want to garden organically.
The planting list is organised by month so you can easily find what you should be planting right now and includes key vegetable planting tips. Do bookmark or save the list for later.
Spring Vegetable Planting List
Planning Your Vegetable Garden
All the vegetables on this spring planting list are super healthy, easy to grow and money saving. Many of them are also great for our soil.
You don’t have to plant everything on the list. If you start growing just one new vegetable and one herb each month you will have a great little garden.
If you can double your efforts in March you’ll have an even better one and will be harvesting quick growing vegetables in April and May.
When short on time it’s easy to ignore herbs but don’t. They are natural antibiotics for us in the kitchen that can restore gut health and boost immunity and in the vegetable garden attract pollinators and repel pests.
There’s also something simply joyful about them scattered amongst the vegetables in spring.
February Planting List
- Peas : start planting inside in February as peas don’t like hot summer sun and early planting is key to growing peas successfully. You can sow peas until late spring but later plantings do better if not in full sun. Peas are really valuable because they feed nitrogen into soil naturally.
- Lambs Lettuce : also known as corn salad lambs lettuce is a very hardy, traditional salad leaf you can grow in the cold. It’s great for us – containing omega 3 – and is a handy cover crop for areas of the vegetable garden you won’t plant until April and May.
- Garlic : garlic is a useful companion plant to repel pests across most of your vegetable garden except near your peas. February is the late end of planting but it will still do its job.
Early March Planting List
- Turnips : you think you hate turnips but Italian style turnip greens & cime di rapa are delicious super foods that feed your soil and are very easy for beginners to grow.
- Spring Greens : spring greens are delicious easy too grow cabbages you can grow from scraps as cut-and-come-again leafy greens all spring long.
- Carrots : carrots are easy to buy cheaply but their super-food benefits – for balancing hormones – are lost in big old roots. So plant early growers like Amsterdam Forcing and keep harvesting young as baby carrots.
- Radishes : inter plant radishes between your other seeds for a very quick growing crop ready in April.
- Keep Planting : peas, lambs lettuce.
Early March Herbs & Flowers
- Chives : pretty chives are great for restoring gut health but are also a brilliant cheap companion plant that repel aphids, attract pollinators, increase yields and treat mildew and fungus!! Grow them.
- French Marigolds : in cooler climates – like mine in London – you can’t plant French marigolds out until May but they are such useful protection for late spring and summer vegetables it is worth planting them indoors from March. There are tips here on growing French marigolds.
Late March Planting List
- Spinach : a brilliant cut-and-come-again crop spinach prefers cooler weather so get it in now. To keep it going in the heat plant some spinach in containers you can move into cooler spots in a hot spring.
- Lettuces : lettuces are a very quick growing vegetable and surprisingly some can go in early. If you start planting cut-and-come-again lettuces in March you can have fresh salad leaves through spring & summer.
- Tomatoes : to be honest tomatoes aren’t always easy to grow for beginners as they are vulnerable to blight but they are a joy. For beginners I recommend growing tomatoes in pots.
- Keep Planting : peas, turnips, spring greens, carrots, chives
Late March Herbs & Flowers
- Oregano : an incredibly useful and healthy kitchen herb – an antibiotic and antihistamine good for everything from sinus relief to UTI and worms!! – oregano repels cabbage whites and mosquitos. There are helpful tips here on growing oregano for beginners.
- Parsley : a handy anti-oxidant herb for us, parsley can help to protect your tomatoes and spring greens from various pests. There are tips here on how to grow parsley.
- Nasturtiums : nasturtiums are a super useful and cheerful companion plant in the vegetable garden that attract pollinators, repel pests and act as a trap crop to stop pests eating your vegetables. There are tips here on how to grow nasturtiums.
April Planting List
- Swiss Chard : delicious but pricey Swiss chard is easy to grow as a cut-and-come-again crop from spring to winter and healthiest cut fresh. Unlike spinach it copes with summer sun. You can harvest young leaves in less than 8 weeks. There are tips here on how to grow Swiss chard.
- Courgettes or Zucchini : the easiest of all the squashes to grow for a bumper crop start planting courgettes for a summer long harvest in April. Keep an eye on the weather; if it hasn’t warmed up plant inside, if it has plant them straight out. They’re very easy to transplant and very forgiving if you’re late getting them out as I was with these …
- Keep Planting : peas, turnips, spring greens, carrots, lettuces, chives, spinach, tomatoes, oregano, parsley.
April Herbs & Flowers
- Chamomile : a wonderful natural remedy for headaches, stomach pain, sinus relief, sore throats and allergies chamomile attracts pollinators and can be used as an organic anti-fungal, nitrogen fixing fertiliser and aphid repellent!!! And it’s wonderfully pretty. There are tips here on growing chamomile.
- Borage : borage is a pretty flowering edible herb that attracts bees to your vegetable garden and critically is good at sustaining potassium organically in the soil for our peas, tomatoes and courgettes and can reduce the need for feeding plants when flowering and fruiting. There is a great guide here to benefits of borage in your vegetable garden.
May Planting List
- Chicory : chicory is a super tasty addition to salads and great for gut health. Store bought are a pale imitation of garden fresh. Plant it now for a summer crop that will keep going right into winter. There are tips here on how to grow chicory.
- Beans : beans are a tiny bit ambitious for gardening beginners as you need to stake them well and are a challenge for organic gardeners as they suffer from black fly but but but … by now you’re three months into your vegetable garden and ready for some fun and runner beans and french beans really make a vegetable garden and taste unbelievably good absolutely fresh so go on give them a go …
- Keep Planting : carrots, lettuces, chives, tomatoes, oregano, parsley, swiss chard, chamomile, borage.
May Herbs & Flowers
- Thyme : thyme is another culinary must have that is great for natural remedies of all sorts and attracts pollinating bees but repels all sorts of pesky caterpillars and beetles. Thyme likes quite dry soil so it is easier to grow in pots around the vegetable garden rather than in beds.
- Basil : … and finally at the end of May we’re going to plant delicious naturally antibiotic basil. Wonderful on all our Italian inspired summer favourites basil is easy to grow once the weather warms up. It likes moist soil so can go in with your vegetables and then be cut for indoor pots ad the end of the sumer.
… and there you go a complete but simple month by month spring vegetable planting list for a successful vegetable garden. This is more or less what I grow in my small London garden without huge effort and we end up pretty self sufficient from spring all the way through summer.
Do give it a go but remember you don’t have to plant the lot.
The secret as we said right at the beginning is to start planting early and then to plant little and often so you really get to know and care for the vegetables you sow. Good luck and have fun.
And for more simple grow your own tips for beginners check out these posts: