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When to Start a Vegetable Garden in Seattle (or Anywhere)

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So, when is the right time to start a vegetable garden in Seattle?

The right time to start a vegetable garden in Seattle or anywhere isn’t just one day or time. That’s because the state of your garden and what you plan to grow make a difference in what you need to do. And all of this impacts your start time.

So for instance, if you’re starting from scratch, you may need to test soil. And, you may need to amend that soil. Plus, you may want to build raised beds. Plus, you may need to design your garden. And, if you plan to grow your vegetables from seed, you may need to start earlier than someone who buys starts at a nursery. Moreover, if you’re really new to growing vegetables, you may need to take some gardening lessons first.

Starting vegetables from seed at the right time in Seattle.

Already have vegetable garden beds ready to go?

If you have garden beds ready for vegetables, when to start your vegetable garden in Seattle may be determined by a few things:

  • First, ask yourself what do you want to grow? If you simply want to grow seasonal vegetables for spring and summer, you might start as early as late winter. But how to decide which is which & what’s what?
  • Second you need to decide which vegetables you want to start for your garden in Seattle. That’s because some vegetables will grow great in cool spring soil. But others will fail if you start them before the summer heat sets in.
  • However, you can extend your gardening season with some greenhouse tools. So, you’ll want to consider that as you’re timing your vegetable garden start date.
  • Third, you’ll want to determine if you want to sow seeds? And if  you decide you want to grow from seed, do you want to get the equipment to sow them indoors early? Or, are you planning to sow all of your seeds directly into your garden beds? Or, maybe, you want to sow some seeds indoors early and some directly in the soil later. The details of how to chose which grow which way (and when) is complicated!
  • Moreover, for many growing some plants from seeds and others from starts is a fun way to grow.
  • Fourth, there’s the complication of planting more than once to extend your harvest season. Put another way, you might sow bean seeds several times over the course of several weeks in summer.
  • Fifth, there are some vegetables you may want to start in your garden that aren’t just annuals. For instance, if you plant asparagus, you may be harvesting from it for years to come!
  • Sixth, some vegetable garden plants are planted in autumn rather than spring or summer. A good example of this is garlic!
  • So, there’s a lot to consider when you are trying to decide when to start a vegetable garden.

I wish deciding when to start a vegetable garden was easier.

But, the truth is, there’s a lot to consider when you decide to start growing vegetables. And, growing your own food can take a lot of work. So, I don’t want to set you up for frustration and potential failure by throwing out a random start date. Instead, I want you to have success and enjoy growing your own food.

However, if you want to start with something really simple, try planting a container filled with lettuce starts. And, when to start a vegetable garden in Seattle like this is generally anytime from March to September. But, again, every season and every garden and every gardener varies. So, give it a try.

Need more help figuring out when to start a vegetable garden?

Check out our online gardening lesson programs!. When you sign up, you’ll have on-going access to our best gardening lessons. Plus, you can opt to add-on 1:1 garden consulting from anywhere. So even if you aren’t curious about when to start a vegetable garden in Seattle, specifically, we can help.

Plus, this program goes beyond seasonal vegetables to help you succeed in all the kinds of gardening (and gardens).

11 comments on “When to Start a Vegetable Garden in Seattle (or Anywhere)

  1. Willi on

    What a cool tool! I think I’m definitely going to order it. I want to make sure I make the best use of my space this year and that seems like it could really help with succession planning.

  2. rhaglund on

    Thanks for writing in Willi. This morning I did a quick review of what Tilth recommends v. what the this new garden chart recommends, and they’re slightly different — imagine that!?!

    I should point out that by starting early, I’m relatively “safe” with my early crops as I have a hoop house and other protected/warming outdoor areas where they can live.

    It’s nice to see real sunlight hitting the seedling tray this morning even if the ground is frozen solid and the rhodies are rolled up like little cigars.

  3. Sustainable Seed on

    I have to admit I am just reading Growing Vegetables West of the Cascades! I moved to Northern CA from Texas four years ago and couldn’t figure out why my growing skills suddenly dropped from a 10 to a 2! Steve’s book is amazing. I should have read it long ago, but didn’t know it existed. Now, I’m like some convert telling everyone I know! For instance back in Texas I rarely used rock phosphate, but here it is a necessity. Plus, I’ve been learning about short season varieties of corn, beans, etc… I think I’ve got about 4 corns now that will produce in 60 days or less!

  4. rhaglund on

    Farmer John, Thanks for writing in. I’m sorry you came to this book late (as did I). Still, it’s good we both found it! Any chance you have seed you’d like Garden Help to try out in Seattle and review on the site? Please get in touch anytime with any recommendations! (I haven’t ordered corn yet, and have decided to renovate a fresh patch for it this summer! Want some Seattle trials?!)

  5. Agnes Mendis on

    I am a visitor from Sri Lanka unfamiliar with plants and garden calendar for Seattle area.But I would like to start some suitable vegetable plants immediately. Please advise. Thank you

  6. rhaglund on

    Agnes, There are a number of references in this article that will help you get started or try searching under “edible” or “vegetable” garden for more insights. If you wish to schedule an in-person consultation, please fill out help form to get started.

    Good luck!

  7. Debi Kirac on

    How do you schedule a consultation? I am starting a rather large garden for the first time this spring and would love some review and discussion of what I am considering. Thanks for your help.

  8. Hana on

    I am an Australian looking to move to Seattle. I am a very keen gardener, growing herbs. fruits, vegetables and all sorts of ornamentals. Where do I go to find out what I can and can’t grow?

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