When to Start Your Spring Garden

February 20, 2017 Gardening, Pea Patch0

All digging should be done when the soil is moist but not dripping wet. Pick up a handful of soil in one hand and squeeze it into a ball. It should feel damp, but no water should drip as you squeeze. Ideally, you should be able to form a ball of soil that stays together when you open your hand, but crumbles easily when you tap it with a finger. Planting dates vary according to microclimate. Those gardening very near Puget Sound or one of the area’s large lakes will probably be able to start quite early. Inland gardens, particularly those in the Cascade foothills, will need to wait a little longer.

Gardening Calendars

Gardening Information

The best way to decide when to start planting is measuring the soil temperature. Probe thermometers are inexpensive, costing about $10 at The Issaquah Grange. For early season veggies, insert the thermometer 2 inches into the soil, measure several days in a row at mid-day, and take an average. Begin to plant cool season crops (arugula, beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, kale, leeks, lettuce, onions, peas, radishes, spinach, Swiss chard, turnips) when soil temperature averages at least 40 degrees. See http://www.weekendgardener.net/vegetable-gardening-tips/soil-temperature-030803.htm


As soon as soil is ready in March, can plant

  • asparagus
  • chard
  • kale
  • kohlrabi
  • lettuce
  • onions
  • peas
  • turnips
  • radishes
  • rhubarb
  • spinach
  • mustard greens

After April 1, plant

  • beets
  • collards
  • broccoli
  • leeks
  • cabbage
  • parsnips
  • carrots
  • potatoes
  • cauliflower
  • celery

Wait until after mid-May to plant

  • beans
  • Brussels sprouts

Wait until June 1 to plant

  • tomatoes
  • squash
  • cucumbers
  • melons
  • pumpkins
  • peppers
  • eggplant

Companion Planting: see http://www.gardensablaze.com/Companions/CompanionYield.htm