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seattle summer seeds

Okay, now here are the cold, hard numbers, along with specific plants:

Do you want to grow tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants? Start these indoors around January 14. Then, around March 20 you should start watching the weather forecast and, as soon as no frost is forecast, go ahead and transplant those into the ground.

Plant onion starts and potatoes around January 24. Sow the seeds of peas (sugar snap and english) at the same time. If the ground is still frozen, then plant these as soon as the ground thaws.

Fall is the time to plant garlic. Around October 3, take your cloves apart and plant the toes about 3 to 4 inches deep. This may not be accurate! Garlic dates vary wildly around the country. The way to be sure is to use a soil thermometer. When the soil temperature is 60° at a depth of 4 inches, then plant your garlic.

Most tomatoes, peppers and eggplants, for example, require around 100 days to harvest, therefore you’d want to transplant those into the ground around August 9. Anyway, it’s important to remember that the numbers in this fall planting guide are only a starting point for you! Good luck and good gardening to you.

Seattle summer seeds

Planting starts will allow you to harvest earlier in many cases. For many of the edibles mentioned below, starts are preferable to plant in August. However, fast growers like lettuce, parsley, radishes, arugula, or vegetables you will harvest small (baby carrots and young leaves of spinach, kale, and Swiss chard) can easily be grown from seed or starts, depending on your preference. If sowings of seed fail to germinate in early August because of heat and inconsistent water, try again in late August and September when they may germinate more easily.

When planting for autumn, it’s a good idea to practice crop rotation. If you can, plant something different than what you had in that spot in spring and summer. This is especially important for crops in the Cabbage family (broccoli, kale, radishes), and for carrots and onions. Some of the pests that attack these vegetables could still be around and planting the same thing in the same spot makes it all that much easier for them to feast.

So what should you plant? Here are some options.

Starts or Seeds?

Maybe we’re all a little less confident of what to plant and when. Or maybe, arms laden with enormous squash and eyes glued to ripening tomatoes, we stay in the “care-and-harvest” zone, forgetting that too soon we will be lamenting the lack of garden-grown produce (and sunshine).

Maybe we hear the term “fall vegetable garden” and think fall planting. But mid-July through August is the ideal time to plant. Whether you already have a thriving edible garden or haven’t had time to start a vegetable patch this year, it’s time to get outside and get started! This fall gardening guide will help you plan and plant a successful fall garden.

Where to Plant

If you decide not to plant your entire space, consider sowing a cover crop such as crimson clover, vetch, winter peas, or favas in the fall. These legumes are nitrogen fixers and will improve your soil. Let them grow through the winter, then till them into the soil in early (can’t emphasize that enough) spring and voilà – improved soil!

Remember also that you can sow seeds or even plant starts (baby plants) in tight spaces if the vegetables that are currently growing there will be harvested soon. Radishes and carrots can be planted in between rows of maturing lettuce or bush beans, for example.

Seattle summer seeds

Most warm-season vegetables (heat-lovers like tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, squash, and beans) can be grown here in the Pacific Northwest. If you can give them the right conditions. But with our cool, wet springs and short summers, sometimes it can seem like an uphill battle. Luckily, there are ways to ensure success for the PNW gardener, from choosing the right varieties to using season-extending tools for happy plants and great harvests.

How to Choose the Right Plants

Peppers – Look for smaller peppers and those that taste great green as well as fully ripened to orange or red. Remember that hot peppers may not be as spicy if growing conditions aren’t ideal, but they will still be delicious.

When to Plant

Warm-season vegetables are tender annuals in our climate and cannot handle cold, wet weather, or frost. These vegetables are best planted outside when the weather begins to warm up in May and June.