Plant cool-weather vegetables in garden now

pea starts at Mischler's
Peas, pictured here, are just one vegetable you can plant now in cool spring weather. Photo courtesy Mischler’s Florist and Greenhouses

by Connie Oswald Stofko

Peas, lettuce, broccoli and beets are some of the vegetables you can plant in your garden now.

These are cool-weather crops that don’t mind the chilly temperatures we have at this time of year.

You can start these plants from seed or you can buy vegetable starts (small plants), said Mark Yadon, vice president at Mischler’s Florist and Greenhouses, 118 South Forest Rd., Williamsville.

“With plant starts, you can have an instant garden,” Yadon said.

But don’t get ahead of yourself. You can plant only cool-weather vegetables outside now. It’s way too early for vegetables such as tomatoes or peppers now. When should you start those seeds for tomatoes and peppers inside? It depends. See our previous article.

Bonus tip: You can get good all-around information on growing vegetables in a new series of posts by Steve Reiners, professor and chair of the Horticulture Section at Cornell University, Cornell AgriTech. See his articles here.

Below are the plants that Mischler’s has now as seeds and starts. Both can be planted outside now.


  • Cabbage
  • Kale
  • Radishes
  • Carrots
  • Snap peas and sugar peas
  • Lettuce– several varieties
  • Bok choy


  • Swiss chard
  • Lettuce– several varieties
  • Peas
  • Kale
  • Broccoli
  • Beets
Easter Bunny Bowl kit at Mischler's
You can buy a kit at Mischler’s to make an Easter Bunny Bowl. It can be placed outside now. Photo courtesy Mischler’s Florist and Greenhouses

Another idea: Get a kit to make an Easter Bunny Bowl at Mischler’s. Each kit contains a 12-inch plastic bowl with soil, two six-packs of mixed lettuce, a four-pack of violas and a decorative bunny accent. Flowers may vary. It’s a great project for children.

You can see information on other garden centers in our Gardening Directory. You’ll find their contact information there, too.

Whenever you want to know what garden centers have a particular plant in stock, it’s best to contact them directly. Every garden center carries different items, and what it has in stock changes throughout the year. And when you talk to them, please let them know that you found them through!

8 Comments on “Plant cool-weather vegetables in garden now

  1. Gordy, it always gets tricky when we talk about proper times for planting because it varies quite a bit even within Western New York. When it’s time to plant cool-weather vegetables in Erie County, you may have to wait another week or two in Allegany County, as you know. The rule of thumb in WNY for average last frost is Memorial Day, but it can range from the end of April for spots on Lake Ontario to the end of May or beginning of June in some Southern Tier areas. I hope you–and all of us!– get some warmer weather soon.

  2. Virginia, it depends on where you live and what you wanted to plant. If you stopped at a garden center in your area that has knowledgeable staff and he told you it was too early for the plant you asked about, then I would listen to that person.

  3. I’m rethinking planting last week it’s been so coid and won’t warm up soon. Do I planted some starter plants indoors, I haven’t done that in recent years .I know I won’t find started kolhrabi down here in Wellsville,so that’s my backup in case I have poor germination

  4. People need to do this now. Their minds need to be focused on something other than this terrible virus. Thank you

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