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Cold Hardy Plants

30 Mar 2019 1:00 AM | Brenda Peshak
Cold Hardy Plants which can be planted in the Spring.

What are Cold Hardy Plants?

Cold hardy plants are another name for cool-season crops. They are any agricultural, garden, or ornamental plant which thrives in the cooler weather of spring or fall. These plants may withstand a light frost.

Spring is the time to plant Cold Hardy Plants.

Cold hardy plants such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, lettuce, beets, and leeks may be planted into the garden in early spring but here in Iowa it’s hard to know when to start. Late frosts and a fierce March make early spring planting in Iowa seem unrealistic. However, with proper care and protection there are several garden plants which enjoy the cool temperatures. They may also be planted in mid-summer to be harvested in the fall.

These vegetables and garden plants are:

  • cauliflower
  • broccoli
  • kale
  • kohlrabi
  • brussel sprouts
  • lettuce
  • beets
  • spinach
  • arugula
  • radish
  • onions
  • beets
  • carrots
  • peas
  • swiss chard

These cold-loving crops can be planted far earlier than typical summer plants which must wait till after the last frost. Often, they can be started in late March and early April, or as soon as the ground becomes workable, if covered when temperatures reach below freezing. If you have started your seeds indoors, be sure to first harden them off, or acclimate them to the outdoors, before transplanting. If covering crops as needed seems too challenging to keep up with, a cold box is another effective option.

Many herbs and ornamentals are cold hearty plants.

Additionally, many herbs and ornamentals also withstand a light frost. These cold hardy plants are rosemary, thyme, parsley, chives, oregano, sage, pansies, ornamental cabbage, snapdragon, and sweet alyssum.

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