21 Best New England Vegetables For Spring And Summer Gardens | Leafy Greens And Gourds!

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Gardening in New England is no gentle affair. The elements conspire against us, from the rocky terrain to the fleeting growing season and the erratic climate. But fear not! Our list of easy-to-grow veggies for New Englanders reads like a harmonious score. Each crop is a note in the garden’s symphony, a melody of flavors, colors, and sustenance. These veggies know the rhythm of our cold New England seasons.

Yummy turnips carrots and root veggies from the backyard garden.

So, whether you’re tending a window box in Boston, cultivating from deep in the hills of Maine, or coaxing life from rocky soil in Vermont, let these humble garden crops be your allies.

Sound good?

Let’s continue!

21 Best Vegetable Crops For New England Gardens

I have extensive experience gardening in New England. Whenever New Englanders ask me about the best garden vegetables for our region, I recommend the following 21.

1. Scallions

Growing delicious scallion chives in the raised garden bed.

Scallions, also known as green onions, are fantastic crops to grow. They’re easy to cultivate and add a mild onion flavor to dishes. Their slender green stalks are perfect for garnishing salads, soups, and stir-fries. In New England’s cooler climate, scallions thrive during spring and fall. Plant them in well-drained soil, and they’ll reward you with fresh, vibrant greens.

  • Mature Height: Approximately 12 to 18 inches.
  • When To Plant: Early spring or late summer.
  • Harvest Time: Usually within 60 days. Harvest green tops when they reach the desired size.
  • Care Requirements: Well-drained soil, consistent watering, and full sun.

Scallions play the crisp, verdant notes in the New England garden’s green symphony. Their slender stalks sway like secret whispers, adding a gentle onion hum to our culinary chorus.

Read More – 17 Best Garden Crops For Homegrown Tea | Herbs And Flowers | Beginner Friendly

2. Cucumbers

Organic cucumber bush plant growing in the garden.

Cucumbers are refreshing and hydrating, ideal for hot New England summers. These crisp veggies are rich in vitamins and minerals. Plant them in full sun, support their vines, and moisten the soil. Enjoy them fresh in salads or pickle them for a delightful snack.

  • Mature Height: Vining varieties can reach six to eight feet.
  • When To Plant: After the last frost date (late spring).
  • Harvest Time: 55 to 70 days. Harvest when cucumbers are firm and green.
  • Care Requirements: Provide support for vines, regular watering, and fertile soil.

Crisp as a morning breeze, cucumbers emerge from the vine, their cool green skin a promise of summer’s quenching delight. Slice them thin, and let their watery whispers refresh your plate.

3. Beets

Yummy beet harvested from the organic farmyard soil.

Beets are delicious and nutritious, and their earthy flavor pairs well with New England’s hearty cuisine. These root veggies thrive in cool weather. Plant them early in spring or late summer. Roast, steam, or grate them raw into salads. Remember to use the beet greens. They pack many yummy and healthy vitamins!

  • Mature Height: Beet greens grow to about 12 to 18 inches.
  • When To Plant: Early spring or late summer.
  • Harvest Time: Harvest beet roots when they reach the desired size (usually 60 to 90 days.)
  • Care Requirements: Loose soil, consistent moisture, and thinning for proper spacing.

Beneath the soil’s embrace, beets paint themselves ruby red. Their earthy sweetness sings of resilience, and their vibrant hue is a testament to New England’s enduring spirit.

4. Broad Beans

Growing healthy and delicious broad beans in the garden.

Broad beans are a classic New England crop. They fix nitrogen in the soil, benefiting neighboring plants. These legumes grow well in cooler temperatures. Sow them directly in the ground in early spring. Harvest the young pods for tender beans. Try them in stews, dips, or blanched with a sprinkle of salt.

  • Mature Height: Bushy plants can reach two to four feet.
  • When To Plant: Early spring.
  • Harvest Time: 90 to 100 days. Harvest when pods feel plump and beans appear mature.
  • Care Requirements: Well-drained soil, moderate watering, and full sun.

Broad beans are plump and unassuming. Their velvety pods harbor New England’s top gardening secrets. A taste of tradition, they remind us that sustenance often hides in simplicity.

Read More – How To Start Seeds Indoors Without Grow Lights | Veggies, Flowers, Herbs!

5. Butternut Squash

Yummy butternut squash harvested and ready for curing or cooking.

Butternut squash is a fall favorite. Its sweet, nutty flavor shines in comforting soups, roasted dishes, and pies. These vines need space to sprawl, so give them room to grow. Plant them after the last frost date. Harvest when the skin hardens and turns tan. Store them in a cool, dry place for winter enjoyment.

  • Mature Height: Vines can spread up to ten feet.
  • When To Plant: After the last frost date (late spring).
  • Harvest Time: About 120 days after planting. Harvest when skin is hard and fully colored.
  • Care Requirements: Rich soil, consistent moisture, and space for vines to sprawl.

We love these golden gourds curved like the crescent moon. Butternut squash cradles autumn’s warmth. Roasted or pureed, they whisper tales of harvest feasts and hearthside comfort.

6. Tomatoes

Cardboard box stuffed with delicious organic tomatoes from the garden.

Tomatoes thrive in New England’s warm summers. Choose disease-resistant varieties and provide support for their vines. Fresh tomatoes elevate salads, sandwiches, and sauces. Sun-ripened homegrown tomatoes are a true delight.

  • Mature Height: Determinate varieties grow three to four feet, and indeterminate varieties can reach six to ten feet.
  • When To Plant: After the last frost date (late spring).
  • Harvest Time: 75 to 90 days. Harvest when fully ripe.
  • Care Requirements: Full sun, staking for support, and regular watering.

Tomatoes, sun-kissed and blushing, burst forth in juicy abundance. Slice them thick, drizzle with olive oil, and savor the taste of sun-soaked days.

7. Peppers

Beautiful red and green organic peppers growing in the garden.

Bell peppers and hot peppers flourish in New England gardens. All peppers love the sun and well-drained soil. They are ready to harvest when they reach their desired green, red, or yellow color. Grill them, stuff them, or add them to stir-fries for a burst of flavor.

  • Mature Height: Bell pepper plants grow 18 to 24 inches. Hot peppers can vary.
  • When To Plant: After the last frost date (late spring).
  • Harvest Time: Around 75 days. Harvest when peppers reach the desired size and color.
  • Care Requirements: Well-drained soil, consistent moisture, and full sun.

Peppers taste fiery and bold as they dance on the tongue. Their vibrant hues mirror New England’s fall foliage, a spicy celebration of life’s zest.

8. Zucchinis

Organic zucchini plants growing in the backyard garden.

Zucchinis are prolific growers. Plant them in rich soil and keep them well-watered. Harvest when they’re still small and tender. Zucchini bread, fritters, and grilled zucchini slices are popular ways for New Englanders to enjoy this versatile veggie.

  • Mature Height: Vines can spread up to three to four feet.
  • When To Plant: After the last frost date (late spring).
  • Harvest Time: About 50 days. Harvest when zucchinis are small and tender.
  • Care Requirements: Regular watering, fertile soil, and space for vines.

Zucchinis sprawl like green canoes, silently ferrying summer’s bounty. Grilled, stuffed, or spiralized, they navigate our plates with quiet grace.

Read More – 10 Best Vegetables For Alberta [With Advice For Cold Weather Gardens]

9. Swiss Chard

Colorful and healthy Swiss Chard growing in the garden.

Swiss chard is a hardy, leafy green that thrives in New England’s climate. Its colorful stems and dark green leaves add visual appeal to any garden. Use them in salads, sautés, or as a spinach substitute.

  • Mature Height: Leafy stalks can reach 12 to 18 inches.
  • When To Plant: Early spring or late summer.
  • Harvest Time: 30 to 45 days. Harvest outer leaves as needed.
  • Care Requirements: Well-drained soil, consistent moisture, and partial shade.

Swiss chard, rainbow-hued and resilient, unfurls its vibrant leaves. A tribute to hardy New England gardens, it whispers, “Life thrives where roots run deep.”

10. Carrots

Fresh and delicious carrots harvested from the garden.

Carrots love cool weather. Sow them early in spring or late summer and thin them to allow proper root development. Sweet and crunchy, they’re perfect for snacking, roasting, or adding to stews.

  • Mature Height: Carrots grow underground, so their height isn’t visible. The edible part is the root, which varies in length depending on the variety.
  • When To Plant: Sow carrot seeds directly in the garden soil two to three weeks before the last spring frost. For fall harvest, plant seeds three months before the first fall frost.
  • Harvest Time: Harvest carrots when they reach the desired size (usually 60 to 75 days after planting). They’re sweetest after a light frost.
  • Care Requirements: Carrots need loose, well-drained soil. Thin seedlings to allow proper spacing. Keep the soil consistently moist and weed-free.

Orange and earth-kissed carrots hold the promise of bright eyes and sturdy bones. Their crunch echoes the frosty mornings of our northern soil.

11. Cabbage

Healthy and thick cabbage growing in the garden.

Cabbage is a lovely cool-season crop that loves New England’s climate. Its tightly packed leaves come in shades like green, red, and savoy. Use cabbage in coleslaw, stir-fries, or hearty soups. Plus, it’s rich in vitamins and fiber.

  • Mature Height: Cabbage heads vary but can reach 12 to 18 inches.
  • When To Plant: Early spring or late summer.
  • Harvest Time: About 75 to 100 days. Harvest when heads are firm and dense.
  • Care Requirements: Well-drained soil, consistent moisture, and protection from pests.

Cabbage, tightly wound and leafy, guards its heart like a sentinel. In slaw or sauerkraut, it whispers tales of resilience about how frost can soften even the toughest of souls.

Read More – Best Vegetables To Grow In British Columbia And Cold Climates

12. Celery

Tasty celery plantation growing in neat and tidy rows.

Celery adds crunch and flavor to dishes. It grows well in New England’s moderate temperatures. Keep the garden soil moist and provide partial shade during hot spells. Use celery in salads, stews, or as a snack with peanut butter.

  • Mature Height: Celery stalks can reach 12 to 18 inches.
  • When To Plant: Early spring or late summer.
  • Harvest Time: Up to 140 days. Harvest outer stalks as needed.
  • Care Requirements: Rich soil, consistent moisture, and partial shade.

Celery marches in green regiments. Its stalks, pale and crisp, like soldiers, stand at attention, ready to add crunch to soups and salads.

13. Spinach

Harvesting delicious spinach from the garden into a wicker basket.

Spinach is a nutritional powerhouse. Its tender leaves are excellent for smoothies, garden salads, or sauces. Plant spinach in early spring or late summer. Harvest the outer leaves to encourage continuous growth.

  • Mature Height: Leafy greens grow to about six to eight inches.
  • When To Plant: Early spring or late summer.
  • Harvest Time: Around 30 to 45 days. Harvest outer leaves when mature.
  • Care Requirements: Well-drained soil, regular watering, and partial shade.

Spinach, emerald and tender, unfurls its leaves like a verdant carpet. Popeye knew its secret. The strength of iron lies in these delicate fronds!

14. Eggplant

Yummy organic eggplant growing in the garden.

Eggplants thrive in warm weather. Their glossy purple skin hides creamy flesh that absorbs flavors beautifully. Roast, grill, or use them in dishes like moussaka or baba ganoush. Provide support for their sprawling vines.

  • Mature Height: Varies by variety but typically two to three feet.
  • When To Plant: After the last frost date (late spring).
  • Harvest Time: 70 to 80 days. Harvest when fruits are shiny and firm.
  • Care Requirements: Full sun, well-drained soil, and staking for support.

Eggplant, dusky and mysterious, hides its purple treasures beneath glossy skin. Roasted or grilled, it beckons with whispers of Mediterranean sunsets.

15. Broccoli

Massive broccoli plant ready for harvesting and cooking.

Broccoli loves the cool temperatures of fall. Plant it early in the season for a bountiful harvest. The florets are pack vitamins and antioxidants. Steam, roast, or add them to pasta dishes.

  • Mature Height: Broccoli heads can reach 12 to 18 inches.
  • When To Plant: Early spring or late summer.
  • Harvest Time: 75 to 100 days. Harvest central heads when fully developed.
  • Care Requirements: Fertile soil, consistent moisture, and protection from pests.

Broccoli, crowned with tiny green trees, invites us to feast on miniature forests. Each floret promises health and vitality.

Read More – 17 Easy-To-Grow Spring Flowers With Beautiful, Colorful, Aromatic Blooms (Newbie Friendly!).

16. Asparagus

Healthy tall and green asparagus stalks growing in the garden.

Asparagus is a delightful perennial vegetable with tender shoots. Always plant crowns in well-drained soil. But be patient! The first harvest comes after a few years. These tender spears are best lightly steamed or roasted.

  • Mature Height: Asparagus spears can grow up to five to six feet.
  • When To Plant: Early spring.
  • Harvest Time: They are perennial. Harvest spears when they emerge in spring.
  • Care Requirements: Well-drained soil and patience (establishment takes a few years).

Slender and elegant, asparagus emerges from the earth like springtime itself. Blanch it gently, drizzle with butter, and savor the taste of renewal.

17. Lettuce

Planting some spring lettuce in the garden soil.

Lettuce varieties thrive in New England’s spring and fall, from crisp romaine to delicate butterhead. Sow seeds directly in the ground and enjoy fresh salads. Harvest outer leaves to keep the plant growing.

  • Mature Height: Leaf lettuce grows six to twelve inches.
  • When To Plant: Early spring or late summer.
  • Harvest Time: 35 to 70 days. Harvest outer leaves as needed.
  • Care Requirements: Regular watering, partial shade, and succession planting.

Lettuce, a mosaic of greens, tenderly caresses our salads. Its leaves, like love letters, convey freshness and coolness.

18. Peas

Yummy green peas growing on an organic farm.

Peas are cool-season legumes. Plant them early in spring or late summer. Their sweet pods are satisfying, eaten fresh or lightly blanched. Pea shoots also make a tasty addition to salads.

  • Mature Height: Vining peas can reach three to four feet.
  • When To Plant: Early spring.
  • Harvest Time: Around 65 days. Harvest when pods are plump and peas are sweet.
  • Care Requirements: Support for vines, well-drained soil, and consistent moisture.

Snug in their pods, peas offer sweet bursts of green to your New England garden. Pluck them from the vine, and let their sweetness linger on your tongue.

19. Pumpkins

A field of gigantic orange pumpkins growing for Halloween.

Pumpkins evoke autumn and Halloween. These sprawling vines need space to spread. Plant them after the last frost date. Harvest when the skin hardens, and the stem starts to dry. I love roasting pumpkin seeds for a healthy snack!

  • Mature Height: Vines can spread up to 10 feet.
  • When To Plant: After the last frost date (late spring).
  • Harvest Time: 90 to 120 days. Harvest when skin is hard and fully colored.
  • Care Requirements: Rich soil, space for vines, and regular watering.

Pumpkins are round and golden. And they harbor autumn’s magic. Carve them into grinning faces or simmer them into pies. Their warmth fills our homes after a fruitful growing season.

Read More – How To Grow Basil In Pots For Indoor Or Outdoor Harvests

20. Corn

Fresh corn stalk and ripe corn growing in the field.

Corn thrives in New England’s warm summers with its golden kernels. Plant it in blocks for proper pollination. Enjoy yummy, homegrown corn on the cob, or use it in soups and casseroles.

  • Mature Height: Corn stalks can reach six to eight feet.
  • When To Plant: After the last frost date (late spring).
  • Harvest Time: 75 to 100 days. Harvest when kernels are plump and milky.
  • Care Requirements: Plant in blocks for proper pollination, fertile soil, and full sun.

Corn, tall and golden, rustles in the breeze. Each kernel, a promise of sustenance, whispers tales of New England harvests and thankfully shared meals.

21. Kale

Massive and robust kale plant growing in the garden.

Kale is a hardy green that withstands frost. Its curly or flat leaves are versatile. Use them in salads, smoothies, or sautés. Kale chips are another popular healthy snack.

  • Mature Height: Kale plants typically reach one to two feet in height.
  • When To Plant: For spring harvest, plant kale three to five weeks before the last spring frost. Select early maturing cultivars for fall harvest and direct-seed three months before the first fall frost.
  • Harvest Time: Kale leaves are ready to harvest when they’re about the size of your hand, usually 50 to 55 days after planting from seed.
  • Care Requirements: Keep kale well-watered, fertilized, and mulched to retain moisture and suppress weeds. It grows best under full sun and lush, well-drained soil.

Kale, with leaves like textured armor, thrives in frost-kissed soil. Its bitterness reminds us that strength often wears a rugged cloak.

21 best new england garden vegetables.

Conclusion

Thanks for reading our guide about New England Veggies!

We love growing vegetables each year. And our New England garden always has at least a handful of these yummy, delicious, nutritious crops. They grow like a dream here!

What about you?

  • Are you growing a New England veggie garden this year?
  • What crops are you going to grow?
  • Are there any viable New England vegetables that we missed?
  • Do you grow veggies indoors or outdoors?
  • Do you grow fruits and herbs, too? Or only veggies?

Thanks again for reading.

And we hope to hear your thoughts!

Have a great day.

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