One of our most commonly asked questions as it warms up early in the spring is “What can I put out in my veggie garden?” The answer is not as clear-cut as you’d think! For your tomatoes and peppers, we always stick to our MINIMUM May 15th rule; however, there are tons of veggies we call cold crops, or as I like to say, “Cool crops, like it in the 60s.” These guys are available as early as the beginning of March and can be planted in your vegetable garden or containers as early as mid-April. Our Van Wilgen Grown selection of cool crops includes favorites like broccoli, cabbage, kale, arugula, and many other lettuces, as well as a few cold-tolerant herbs, like parsley, sage, lavender, rosemary, and oh the list goes on! As usual, all of our herbs and veggies are organically grown and potted in our biodegradable peat fiber pots. Come on down and we’ll be glad to help you along with your real “cool” herbs and veggies! Don’t forget… there are two cool seasons for your cold crops! Experiment in the spring to find your favorites, and come back for round two in the fall! Remember tomatoes, eggplant, cucumbers, peppers, basil, and all the fun stuff DO NOT like to be cool… they love it hot and even a couple of nights below 50 degrees can reduce their yield by 50%… this is an instance when the early bird doesn’t get the worm!

Van Wilgen’s Grown Herbs and Veggies


COOL: Early tO MID Spring/FALL

Sage, Dill, Lavender, Mint, Parsley, Rosemary, Catnip, Coriander, Cilantro

Now is the time to get your herbs going outdoors! Many herbs can be safely planted between March & May.


Basil, Oregano, Mint, Thyme, Chives, Lemongrass

Some herbs love the heat! These are just a few examples.


Cool: Early Spring/FALL

Brussel Sprouts, Broccoli, Beans, Carrots, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Kale, Lettuce, Onions, Potatoes, Parsnips, Arugula, Rhubarb

Cool-season vegetables grow best when temperatures range between 40 and 75 degrees. These crops often are those that develop edible roots, stems, leaves, or buds such as potatoes, broccoli, and spinach.

Hot: Late Spring/summer

Beets, Tomatoes, Butternut Squash, Bok Choy, Corn, Cantaloupe, Cucumbers, Celery, Eggplant, Kohlrabi, Pumpkin, Peppers, Squash, Zucchini

Warm-season vegetables: these tender crops are killed by frost and won’t perform well if temperatures drop below 50 degrees. Don’t plant before the soil and air temperatures have warmed up in spring or early summer because the seeds and plants simply won’t grow.

Thinking about making a raised bed for this season? Well, we’ve got the perfect recipe. A bucket of this, a bag of that, and voila, you have the perfect base to grow the most beautiful veggies. Getting the right recipe for the soil in your raised bed is as delicious as making the perfect stock for your chicken and veggie soup!

Depending on the size of your raised bed(s) and how many you will be serving, determine whether or not you will be buying your soil and compost ingredients mostly in bulk or in bags. Luckily, Van Wilgen’s offers both. It’s a one-stop shop for your recipe list!

(Ideal for large raised beds or multiple raised beds)
•40% Topsoil in bulk
•40% Compost in bulk
Mix together as best you can. Do not leave in solid, unmixed layers. That leaves us with 20% more of that bed to fill. Here come the secret spices…

Fill remaining 20% of bed with equal portions of:
•Van Wilgen’s Organic Potting Soil (a perfect balance of nutrients and drainage)
•Garden Manure by Fafard (rich aged cow manure veggies love)
•Soilution by Sweet Peet (everything but the kitchen sink…Bio Char, Earthworm castings, Kelp, etc)

Mix all bags into the top 5 inches of bulk topsoil and compost blend.

(Serves 1 raised bed or small raised beds)
•40% Van Wilgens Topsoil (perfect base with great drainage)
•40% Van Wilgens Premium Planting Mix (nice blend of topsoil and compost)

Fill remaining 20% of bed with equal portions of:
•Van Wilgens Organic Potting Mix
•Garden Manure by Fafard
•Soilution by Sweet Peet

Sprinkle beds with Garden-Tone by Espoma (organic) or Van Wilgen’s All Purpose Slow Release (conventional).

Now that you have the perfectly blended base for your raised beds, time to add in veggies like tomatoes, eggplant, cucumbers, and squash.

Water and enjoy!

Note: For precise calculations, use the calculator on our website.

Remember, approximately 27 bags of soil = 1 yard of bulk soil!