seattle summer seeds

Seattle summer seeds

Cucumbers – 9-12″

All vegetables need consistent water to thrive. Create a schedule to help you water regularly but allow yourself the flexibility to adapt to changing weather conditions (hotter weather = water more often) and to your own observations. If you notice, for example, that the surface of the soil is still damp when you plan to water, you might wait a day or two before watering, making sure, however, that the plants do not dry out entirely or begin to wilt.

Space

Harvesting, like voting in Chicago, should be done early and often. It’s surprising how quickly baby vegetables can grow and many taste better when smaller (especially green beans, squash, and cucumbers)! If you leave vegetables to over-ripen, the plant thinks it has done it its biological duty (producing seeds to procreate) and will slow down on production. Plus, no one wants a 4-foot zucchini.

Season-extending tools can help you plant warm-season vegetables earlier and encourage them to grow in cooler weather. Many of us swear by these tools for better harvests. Harvest Guard® (also called row cover) is a lightweight fabric that can be draped over garden beds or even wrapped around tomato cages to help warm the air and soil. You can also try Season Starter™ plant protectors around small tomato, squash, eggplant, or pepper plants. This is a ring of flexible plastic tubes that can be filled with water to form a sort of warming tee-pee around the plants, which can be removed once the weather warms up and the plants outgrow it or simply rolled down to the base of the plant for the rest of the season. On warmer days, remember to open anything that covers the plant completely, to improve air access, and to allow for pollination (especially when plants are blooming).

Water

Curcubits – The plants of the Curcubit family include summer and winter squash, cucumbers, melons, and pumpkins. Summer squash and cucumbers usually do well in our area if they have enough light. Try smaller varieties of winter squash, mini pumpkins, and melons bred for a shorter season.

Seattle summer seeds

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.

Now is also the time to mulch your soil, after planting, with several inches of compost (Gardner & Bloome Soil Building Conditioner is great as mulch) to keep summer’s heat in the soil and help retain soil moisture.

Where to Plant

Vegetables are often separated into two groups: cool-season and warm-season. The warm-season veggies are at their peak at the height of summer: think tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, and peppers. Cool-season veggies prefer milder weather and can generally be planted in spring and again in late summer/early autumn.

Missed planting peas last spring? No problem. In the PNW, we can grow peas for a fall harvest! Have some space where your newly-harvested lettuce used to grow? It’s perfect for fall beets, broccoli, or even more lettuce.

Improving the Soil

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.