Don’t we all have ideas of starting a fabulous garden, whether ornate in flowers or a practical vegetable garden? Growing your own garden of vegetables is fun, rewarding, and stress-releasing – and it can help make your shopping cheaper and easier; but it doesn’t come from a short supply of continued learning.
Even you might want to start next year, in the sunshine of Spring and Summer is a good time to prep for next year (instead of readying your raised beds and soil in the chilly Fall or Winter seasons.)
Tip #1 START SLOW & START SMALL
While you might have grandeur ideas of an expansive, multi-acre garden, you’ll want to start small – especially if this is your first garden journey. There’s nothing wrong starting with a few vegetables and adding a few new ones every year.
Tip #2 RAISED BEDS WILL SAVE YOU TIME AND ENERGY
Raised beds help you both make efficient use of space, help your back out (from not having to crunch over for long hours in the garden), and overall make it easier for you to get started, since you don’t have to till your packed-down dirt or unearth rocks and grass to make way. As soon as your raised beds are established, it’ll be easy to plant and maintain.
Tip #3 BE CREATIVE & PLAY TO WASHINGTON’S STRENGTHS
As we’ve recently experienced, Washington gets sun long before the weather peaks above frostbite temperatures. You might use this time to sprout your seeds indoors or plant them in pots for later transplant and set them near a window to grow. Just don’t forget to water them…
Tip #4 MAKE A HABIT OF IT & WORK TOWARDS IT EVERYDAY
Like any other hobby or learned-skill, gardening takes time, patience, and habit-building consequence of repetition. Keep a notebook where you can record all your temperatures and notes for each “gardening” day, that way you’ll know what you’ve accomplished and what you might need to do next. Also, recording soil temperatures will help you determine when and what to plant next!
March and April are great times to plant vegetables such as peas, beets, scallions, cilantro, and carrots – but late-April you might consider adding lettuce, broccoli, spinach, dill, and cauliflower. Vegetables can be volatile, because they’re a bit picky as to when you plant them. Spring veggies don’t want to be seeded in the dead of winter – they might not sprout!
Below, we’ve included some basics towards the Washington planting season:
Late-March/Early-April: beets, scallions, cilantro, carrots
Mid-April: lettuce, broccoli, spinach, chives, fennel
Late-April/Early-May: carrots, cilantro, dill, cauliflower
May: pole beans, summer squash, lettuce
Early-June: cucumbers, corn
This is a great start-guide for your upcoming adventures and remember, you don’t have to have an innate green thumb to start a garden, only determination, passion, and perseverance. The Pacific Northwest is temperate, but we often experience cold or late Springs, meaning these dates could probably stand to be pushed back a few weeks if you’re still waking up to freezing weather.
If your little one is looking to start a new hobby – check out WINDERMERE MERCER ISLAND at this year’s SUMMER CELEBRATION on Mercer Island! Stay tuned for more details!
What are your favorite plants and edibles to grow and harvest? What are you planning on planting this season?
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