Spring is officially here and while we wait for the Seattle weather to warm up to the idea of consistent sunshine and higher temperatures, it is the perfect time to start planting vegetables for late-spring and summer harvest. The mild spring weather makes it the right time to get your seeds in the ground so they can get a little healthy growth in before the temperatures get too hot for seedlings to flourish properly. This year we had to wait until the threat of frost was gone—much later than usual.
If you’ve never grown your own vegetables before, you will be amazed at how much better a salad of freshly plucked lettuces or just off the vine tomatoes can taste. But that’s not the only argument for cultivating your own vegetable garden:
- Better nutrition – the farther store-bought veggies travel and the longer they’re stored, the more nutrients they lose!
- 100% pesticide and preservative-free veggies
- Save yourself a little money – seeds are relatively cheap. Instead of spending $3 on a small bunch or box of herbs at the grocery store, you can have several plants for the same price!
- Relaxation and satisfaction – Not only does working with your own two hands make for a relaxing hobby, but it’s undeniable that creating something from almost nothing (a teeny tiny seed) into a growing source of energy and nourishment gives you a good (sometimes awe-inspiring) feeling
Starting a vegetable garden can be a bit overwhelming—What do I plant? When do I plant it? How much water/fertilizer to I give it—so don’t be afraid to start small. If you aren’t ready to tackle a full plot, try choosing a few things to grow in containers (no yard required!) Lettuces, kale, herbs, radishes, peas, carrots and leeks would all do well.
Here are some resources to get you started:
- Get to know the basics
- Seattle Tilth – a local non-profit that offers classes and more for beginning to advanced gardeners.
- Territorial Seed Company – based in the northwest, their seeds and growing guides are perfect for this climate.
Written by Flannery N., Bastyr University student intern