Many plants love to grow when conditions are cool to moderately cold. These plants have it built into their systems to germinate as early as possible in order to get a head start on the competition. There are many vegetable crops that love the cold temperatures. These plants can be started in cold frames and then moved directly to the garden beds. I have compiled a list of as many cold crops as I could think of but I’m sure that there are more out there. Try some early plantings this year to get a head start on your garden ventures!
- Brussels sprouts
- Collard Greens
- Mustard Greens
- Pak Choi
- Many More Perennial Herbs
How to get plants started early
The best way to start early crops is with a cold frame. These simple structures are easy to build and can be as simple as a box frame covered with plastic or a wooden base with a hinged lid. One nice addition is to install a heating cable on the base to keep a bit of bottom heat going that will be helpful when germinating seed. The best location is usually a south or west spot close to the house. The sun will quickly heat up these structures and so regular visits to adjust venting could be required from time to time. I used to have large cold frames you could walk into like a small greenhouse, these were ideal for starting cold loving plants early each year. We would start the seed with some bottom heat then once germinated cool them down and out to a cold frame. No heat required. Learn about what plants love to grow in cool or even cold temperatures and you will be off to the races!