When to Start a Vegetable Garden in SeattleJanuary 25, 2009
In my case, the time to start my vegetable garden in Seattle happens to be on a snowy day in winter. Well, actually, I should back up. I started planning weeks ago, but today the actual planting began today. As I watched snow flurries floating and blowing out the kitchen window, I rearranged my dining room to accomodate seed trays. (This room gets the best light and has a heater vent under the seedling table. Seedlings love bottom heat to get those roots growing!) Then, I filled and watered in some seedling starter trays. As I waited for the soil to hydrate and drain, I mapped out 2009 for starting seeds indoors and outdoors.
I’m a big fan of Seattle Tilth’s Maritime Northwest Garden Guide (available here) for month-by-month recommendations, but this year I decided to add something else to help me map out my planting and harvesting program. As I was ordering seeds from Irish-Eyes, I noticed they offer a garden planner for just $2.50. I ordered it, and so far I’m in love with it. Granted, I haven’t tested it for a growing year yet and I would never consider it a replacement to my Tilth book or Growing Vegetables West of the Cascades, but the concept is fantastic. It offers a grid and pull out system. You determine your first and last frost dates (they provide some rough numbers for most US cities), and from that you are able to determine when to start seeds indoors, first plant and last plant for the season. As well, it recommends expected harvest dates, plant spacing, row and hill recommendations. It doesn’t offer every single edible out there, but if you determine the days-to-harvest on your seeds (should be on any packet worth buying), you should be able to match that plant to others on the chart.
Using the chart and my days-to-harvest match ups, I determined today was a good day to start kale, chard, cabbage and cauliflower indoors. So, here goes. It may be snowing, but today’s the day I start my edible garden from seed in 2009.
If you’re worried because you haven’t picked up seeds, start trays or garden planners, don’t fret. Stores are filling up with seed starting materials now. And, there’s plenty of time to order great heirloom, organic seed from suppliers like Irish Eyes and still have it shipped to you in plenty of time. Just don’t wait too much longer.
Need help with your Seattle edible garden and don’t think books and pull out charts offer enough for you? Get in touch to set up a garden coaching session now! It might be snowing, but if you wait until the sun comes out and the flowers are blooming, it may be too late to plan your garden spaces, prep your soil, start your seeds and enjoy all the edibles we are able to grow in our own gardening spaces.