Search this Site
Loading

Cool Season Vegetables are
not just cool to grow

Page Contents

Variety Of Cool Season Vegetables

Types of Cool Season Vegetables

These vegetables prefer cool growing temperatures 50-75 F (10-24 C). Hot weather tends to cause the maturing vegetable in this group to lose quality, become bitter and quickly go to seed.
They should be planted as early in the spring as your area allows giving them enough time to grow to maturity before the summer heat.

The vegetables in this category can also be started in midsummer to take advantage of the cool fall weather to mature. They will continue to grow well into the late fall early winter in most areas and in fact the flavor of vegetables in this group is improved by exposure to light frosts.


 A valuable piece of information for gardeners to know is the date of the last frost in the spring and the first killing frost in the fall.  to help plan your planting. 

Frost Hardy

Photo onions growing

Roll-over image to enlarge

The 1st group of vegetables to plant in the spring are frost hardy vegetables. Onions are one of the hardiest of them all.

These vegetable seeds and seedlings will germinate and grow in the coolest soils. You can plant them in the early spring as soon as the soil can be worked and the soil temperature is consistently 40° F (4° C) and above. The young seedlings of plants in this group however should be protected in temperatures lower than 40° F (4° C).

As the plants mature, so does their hardiness, maturing plants in this hardy group can survive unprotected in temperatures as low as 20 °F (-7 C) before finally submitting. Generally, if not subjected to this temperature range for too long, when these hardy vegetables thaw out they will continue to grow.

As a rough guide you can plan to plant these vegetables as soon as 2 - 4 weeks before the average date of the last 32 F (0 C) freeze in the spring in your area.

In the list below are the vegetables in the 1st group to plant - frost hardy vegetables.


Frost Hardy Cool Season Vegetables
AsparagusBrussel SproutsCabbage
CollardGarlic Horseradish
KaleKohlrabiLeeks
MustardOnionsParsnips
PeasRadicchioRadish
RhubarbRutabagaSpinach
Swiss ChardTurnips


Semi-Frost Hardy

Photo of garden beets

Roll-over image to enlarge

The 2nd group of vegetables to plant in the spring are semi-frost hardy vegetables.

Taking the frost protection off these beets to early was not a smart move.

These vegetable seeds and seedlings will germinate and grow in soil temperatures of 50° F (10° C) and above. You can plant these vegetable in the early spring as soon as the soil can be worked and the soil temperature is consistently above 50° F (10° C)

The young plants of these vegetables are much less tolerant of frosts than those in the hardy grouping but can still survive repeated light frosts in the 30-32 F (-1 to 0 C) range.

It doesn't matter if you are wanting to start the growing season earlier or extend the season later there is a whole lot of Season Extenders icon to help you achieve your goal.

As a rough guide you can plan to plant these vegetables as early as 1 - 2 weeks before the average date of the last 32 F (0 C) freeze in the spring in your area.

In the list below are the vegetables in the 2nd group to plant - semi-frost hardy vegetables.


Semi Frost Hardy Vegetables
ArugulaBeetsBroccoli
CarrotsCauliflowerCeleriac
CeleryChinese CabbageEndive
Jerusalem ArtichokeLettucePotatoes


related pages









Home Page - Site Map - Top of Cool Season Vegetables - Vegetable Garden Planting