A Guide to Vegetable Gardening in the Pacific Northwest

The Pacific Northwest climate is famous for being rainy and cold, which can make vegetable gardening in Seattle, WA and the entire Pacific Northwest region more challenging than in other parts of the country. However, with an understanding of the soil, the weather and even the crops you want to grow, you’ll be able to produce beautiful vegetables right in your own backyard.

Soil quality

The type of soil you find in your backyard will be crucial in determining how to plant your crops. Your soil with either be sandy, loamy (ideal) or clay. To figure out which type of soil you have, wait until the spring when the ground has dried out a bit, grab a handful of soil and squeeze it. If it falls apart, you have sandy soil, which is easy to till but doesn’t retain water or nutrients properly. If it sticks together until you poke at it, you have loamy soil—lucky you! If it stays clumped even when you poke it, you have clay soil.
For sandy soil, add two inches of compost on top of the soil. For clay soil, you’ll have to add six to eight inches of good-quality gardening soil on top of your existing clay soil—there’s nothing you can do to make it suitable for growing plants.

Timing and weather

Bear in mind that Seattle weather can run about five to six degrees above or below normal, which affects soil temperature and germination time. Check the ideal soil temperature on your seed packets, and use an instant or soil thermometer to check the soil temperature. When it’s at the right temperature for at least three to four days, it’s time to start planting your seeds.

Since spring is often rainy and chilly in the region, the planting times for your vegetables may be different or pushed back from their recommended planting schedule. By measuring the soil temperature and paying close attention to the weather, your flexibility will improve your plants’ chances of flourishing.

Crops that grow well in Seattle

For this climate, avoid crops that thrive in warm or hot weather, like peppers or eggplant. Always check the soil quality and temperature requirements for best results in your garden.

Root vegetables like beets, carrots and radishes do well, just as lettuces, spinach, swiss chard and parsley thrive. Beans, tomatoes and peas can grow nicely, while pumpkins, summer squash, cucumbers and corn will grow under the right conditions, but you might be taking more of a risk.

By taking the weather and soil into account, your garden will be more likely to thrive.

Lawn and garden supplies in Seattle, WA

The friendly and experienced staff at Stewart Lumber & Hardware Co. is happy to help you find all the lawn and gardening supplies you need, from seeds to shovels. If you’re new to vegetable gardening in Seattle, WA and the Pacific Northwest region, we have the supplies you want at prices you can afford. Stop by today to learn more about our stock and get advice from our team.

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