A photography of Phelan Gardens greenhouse and storefront in Colorado Springs Colorado

Cool Season Vegetables

This refers to WHEN a vegetable can be planted for it to develop properly.  The first window of opportunity for cool season vegetables is generally from mid-April to mid-May, depending on the vegetable and your elevation.

Remember to acclimate (harden off) your plants prior to planting

Many cool season vegetables can be re-planted toward the end of summer to develop during the milder temperatures of Fall.   Look for the types that mature in 65 days or less for secondary plantings.

Tips for Success

Our growing season is relatively short.   To give you the best chance for a healthy harvest, we offer short-season vegetable varieties. For more detailed planting information, see Phelan Gardens vegetable planting guideline.

Rich loose soil is also a must for successful vegetable gardens.  You can amend each year with bagged compost OR you can make your own. View our step by step guide for starting your own compost pileWood chip or "Back to Eden" gardening is also a method being used with success in our area.

Give your vegetables a sunny spot, consistent water, and fertilizer and you will be on your way to fresh vegetables from your own backyard.


Asparagus is a perennial vegetable that can be long lived. An established asparagus plant can produce for 10+ years! We offer one year old asparagus crowns in mid-March. See our planting information for asparagus.

Varieties: Jersey Giant, Purple Passion


Using transplants is the most reliable method of growing broccoli. For the largest heads, plant them 24" apart. Our varieties offer a central head followed by secondary side shoots for later harvest.

Pack-Pro (replaces Packman)
Large, tight heads, side shoots, compact, semi-dome, wonderful crunchy taste, super for fall harvest, 55 days

Premier (replaces Premium Crop) F1, 62 days. Plant produces large 9" heads of broccoli with a fine texture. Mildew resistant and heat tolerant.

Brussels Sprouts

Brussels Sprouts produce well here but will take some time to mature. Plant in spring and harvest in fall. As sprouts begin to form, remove lower leaves. Pinch out the center growing point at the top of the plant around mid-September to help speed up the development of the sprouts at the top of the plant. Harvest from the bottom up as sprouts reach 1" in diameter. As with Kale, sprouts harvested after a mild freeze will have a sweeter taste.

Jade Cross: An All-American Selections choice (100 days). Hybrid type with a reliable yield.


Cabbage is quick to mature and can be planted in both spring and fall. Plant cabbage in a different location each year to avoid disease. Harvest when heads become firm.

Savoy Ace:
Large headed, 10-12" savoy (crinkly leaf) cabbage. All-America Selections variety.

Ruby Perfection: Purple-red F1, 3-4 lb round, uniform hybrid, 86 days


Another short season vegetable that can be planted in both spring and fall. Each plant will produce one head. We carry self-blanching types that will fold up and cover the heads to protect from yellowing.

: Self blanching, Tolerant to both heat and cold stress. Early producer.  68 days

Graffiti:  purple cauliflower! Produces a 7"-8" head.  80 days
Self Blanching: pure white, fine texture 90 days


Collard greens are VERY easy to grow and great for beginners. They withstand the summer heat well. Harvest tender top leaves for the best flavor (adding onion and bacon helps too;-)  Use for stir fry, smoothies, or in soups and stews.

: Large open heads, thick blue-green leaf, for cooking or freezing, vitamin rich, sweet, not bitter, heat tolerant, frost hardy, 75 days


Garlic is best planted in early Fall (late September or early October-- some say the first 2 weeks of October are the ideal time) for harvest the following season. Come see us during this time period for a good selection of gourmet garlic bulb starts.  We always offer 10+ varieties of gourmet garlic from mild to strong. Here are some tips for planting Garlic.

Here is a video that will walk you thru the steps for planting and harvesting in our area.


Fantastic nutritional properties! Makes wonderful kale chips (think potato chips from kale) and works well in soup recipes or as a hardy salad. Plant 8"-12" apart. Clip the leaves and leave the plant to produce more. A light frost in Fall helps sweeten the flavor.


Blue Scotch Vates Dwarf Curled: Compact variety with tasty blue green frilly leaves, 12"-15" high and wide, 55 days
Lacinato (Dynasaur Kale, Black Kale) dark blue strap leaf, turned edges, great flavor, vigor, hardy, super seller at market, 55 days
Red Russian Gray green, purple veined, purple stem, flat, non-curled leaf, matures 50 days


These cool weather plants are shallow rooted so make sure you keep the soil moist to avoid damage from drought. Eat the bulb portion raw or steamed with butter. We offer the white variety. Make successive plantings in the spring to enjoy over a longer period of time.

Garth's Purple: Purple-skinned type with white flesh and a mild turnip/cabbage flavor.  Both leaves and bulbs can be eaten. (50 days)

Garth's White: Is an improved white flesh Vienna type. Mild, sweet turnip-like flavor. Both leaves and bulbs can be eaten. (50 days)


Lettuce is quick to grow. So, you can plant in both Spring and Fall. However, it does not do well in the heat of the summer. Easily grown from both seed or plant starts. Most varieties we sell are leaf types (as opposed to head types). So, you can pick some leaves for your salad bowl and let the plant continue to grow more for a continuous harvest.


Arugula: Peppery and even bitter taste favored by many.
 Compact green heads. Tender leaves and easy to grow. 65 days.
Mayan Jaguar: NEW! Gorgeous maroon speckled romaine type lettuce. 55 days

Oak Leaf: Leaf lettuce with adorable leaves shaped like mini oak leaves. 55 days
Red Sails: Leaf lettuce. AAS, Outstanding red, slow bolting, mild taste, large heads, crumpled frilly leaf, holds color well even in heat, 57 days
Romaine Parris Island: Pick leaves early or allow head to develop in about 65 days. Classic crisp romaine type lettuce.


Onions are one of the earliest vegetables you can plant.  Those in warmer regions of the city can often start planting onion sets in early April.  Those in colder parts of our region should wait to put out sets until the soil stays above freezing or your sets may rot.

If you are looking for bunching/scallion type onions, please visit our seed rack.  

We offer onion set starts as bulbs (usually available around Mid-March) These will develop into the smaller "soup type" onions.  They will come bagged in yellow, white, or red starter bulbs.  They are a wonderful choice for those that don't often use up a whole slicing onion at once and just want a little flavor for a dish.

Our onion set starter plants (usually available in early April) are the types that will develop into the slicing onions. Current year varieties are listed below. See our onion planting instructions.

Candy: Adaptable cross of long day x short day onions.  Sweet and mild yellow onion.  Slicing type. 100 days.
Candy Red: Red, sweet hybrid onion. 95 days.
Super Star: A large, sweet, white onion that is an All America Selections winner.  Day neutral. 100 days

Walla Walla:  Early maturing, sweet yellow onion with a low Sulphur content.   90 days.


Peas may be planted thru mid-May and again in the Fall for a second crop. Many people choose to use an inoculant when planting peas.  We offer edible pod types and garden pea types (those removed from pods) as seed in our Seed Depot section.  If you plant a pea pod type--harvest often to keep the plant producing and you will be rewarded with a crop into late summer from a single planting. If you plant a garden pea type--plant at 10 day intervals for the best harvest. Provide support for vining types.


Starting in late March, we offer certified seed potatoes in red, yellow, and white. Potatoes are both a long season AND cool season crop. They need 4 months or more to produce. So, many in warmer parts of the city choose to start planting between April 1 and April 15.  If you are in colder parts of the city, you might want to pre-sprout your spuds indoors before putting out.  Be sure to protect young shoots from freezes!  A good rule of thumb is to wait until your SOIL has warmed to at least 45 degrees. See detailed growing instructions for potatoes.

2023 Varieties:
Harvest Moon: Purple skin and yellow flesh.  Good for roasting, baking, soups and chips. 85-100 days. Stores well.

Masquerade: Yellow and purple skinned variety with creamy yellow flesh. High Yielding. 100 days.
Rocky Mountain Russet: Late season type with high yield potential. Boil ‘em, mash ‘em, put them in a stew. 110 days.
Sangre: Red skin, white flesh. Creamy texture that ranks high on taste tests. 80 days.
Yukon Gold: Yellow flesh and smooth, eye free skin.  80 days.


Another easy and nutritious crop that can be planted in both Spring and Fall.  Please see our seed rack for multiple varieties.

Swiss Chard

Chard may be seeded directly into the garden or planted with starts.  It is an easy crop to grow, producing an abundant amount since it can withstand heat from the summer sun.  That translates to more greens for you!  Harvest the outer leaves/stalks and let the centers grow on.

Bright Lights: Vividly colorful stems in bright red, pink, orange, and yellow. 50 days.  All-America Selections winner.
Peppermint: Bright red and white striped stems like a peppermint candy cane. String disease resistance. 58 days.

Map of Colorado Springs with Phelan Gardens location marked

Visit Our Central Colorado Springs Location

We are open all year round and always offer the seasons most popular varieties for gardeners and plant lovers alike!

Phelan Gardens
4955 Austin Bluffs Parkway.
Colorado Springs, CO, 80918

(719) 574-8058

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A photograph of various signs that point to sections of Phelan Gardens such as Perennials, Vines, Grasses and more
Phelan Gardens Perennials section of their store