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Seeds to Sow in the Garden in Spring

Afraid you missed the boat on starting seeds for a vegetable garden because you didn't start any indoors earlier this season? Never fear. Some vegetables are perfectly happy to be sown outdoors, directly into garden soil or large containers in the spring. Here are a few of Horticulture's favorites to direct sow:

Pole beans can be seeded once the soil warms up.

Pole beans can be seeded once the soil warms up.


Seeds of bush beans and pole beans should be sown outside when the soil has warmed and dried. Both types are easy to plant and quick to sprout, but bush beans mature more quickly overall. Beans do not like cold, damp soil and will rot in those conditions. Wait until after the last frost to sow bean seeds.


Beet seeds can be sown once the soil has warmed to above 50 degrees. They may sprout slowly, but the process can be hastened by soaking the seeds in water overnight before planting them. Once the seed germinates, beets grow quickly. They prefer cool weather and can also be sown in late summer as a fall crop.


Cucumbers can be started indoors or outdoors. They like warm weather and grow rapidly once it arrives. If you're sowing cucumber seed in the garden, wait until after the last frost.


Sow lettuce seeds in the garden once the soil temperature remains between 40 and 50 degrees (F). Lettuce loves the cool temps of spring. Seed can also be sown in late summer for a fall crop.


Sow radish seeds outside when the soil temp remains above 45 degrees. They mature quickly and they'll loosen the soil as they develop. Because spring radishes grow so quickly, you can sow seed every couple of weeks until the weather turns hot.

These aren't the only vegetables that can be direct sown into the garden; they're just our favorites. If there's something you'd really like to try growing from seed, check with your preferred seed company or local cooperative extension for planting methods and dates in your area.

Image credit: Forest and Kim Starr/CC BY 2.0