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Zone 8/7B--will April be too late?

 
michaelson alexander
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I've never done a real garden and am hoping to start one outside Port Townsend but can't get there until early April. I've read that the last frost date is the end of March (of course site preparation etc. should be going on!) so shouldn't I still be in passable shape if I start planting at that point?
 
Matt Saager
Posts: 48
Location: Oregon - Willamette Valley
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One of the best things about gardening, you can make as much out of it as you have time, effort and money to do so.... don't get too worried about the things you might not be able to do this year, focus on what you can do.

As you have you garden beds ready, start planting mid season crops (corn, beans, squash, cucumber, etc).

Then plant some late season crops followed by cover crops for winter.
 
Judith Browning
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Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
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michaelson alexander wrote:I've never done a real garden and am hoping to start one outside Port Townsend but can't get there until early April. I've read that the last frost date is the end of March (of course site preparation etc. should be going on!) so shouldn't I still be in passable shape if I start planting at that point?


I am only popping in to say that we spent some time at the Hostel at Fort Worden ten years ago and came so close to staying in the area. We stayed at the hostel past our time...until they had more folks coming...then bought a tarp somewhere in Port Townsend to use for an extra night on the road...they joked that that was a step towards moving there. Lovely place but of course we weren't there long enough to know the growing season. Lucky you!
 
Roxanne Sterling-Falkenstein
Posts: 105
Location: Cave Junction, Oregon
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food preservation forest garden hugelkultur
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You'll be fine!!! We are in So. Or zone 7 and many things are held back till may and june. Find good starts from a local farm and you'll be good. Mulch when you get there. Late frosts are common in may here and we are far south of there so...
 
S Bengi
Posts: 1355
Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even distribution
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You can plant greens anytime from march to sept, worse case you will get baby greens vs full size, but you are only eating the leaves, there are quite a few 60days from seed to eating cherry tomatoes. as for perennial fruit/nut trees, you can plant as late as you want as long as you are going to water them. for root crops and things in the squash/melon family. You can plant as late as may. So yes you are late but it is better to start now than to wait for another year to start.
 
Dennis Lanigan
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Location: Philomath, OR
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Michaelson,

I don't think you'll be too late. More like right on time.

You may be right about the last frost date, but I doubt it. In Olympia at least our last frost date is mid-late May; you are in the Rain Shadow but I still would guess it's in May. Check out the Maritime Northwest Garden guide for more info on last frost dates. http://www.amazon.com/Maritime-Northwest-Garden-Guide-Elliott/dp/0931380189 This is also a great guide for what to plant when. Whenever I think I'm behind I check this and I have something to compare with. You could easily show up in April, make your beds, head down to the farmer's market and the co-op, buy seeds (direct stuff like beets, carrots, etc.) and starts (brassicas), and be on your way. Consider getting Remay and Sluggo for cold wet nights.

If you need very regional help, I recommend Vegetable by Vegetable: A Guide for Gardening Near the Salish Sea. It's available from Uprising Seeds (http://uprisingorganics.com) and likely bookstores in PT and probably the Co-op; it was written by Marko and Hanako of Midori Farm (http://www.midori-farm.com/) who also sell starts at the PT farmer's market. They wrote the book to answer all the questions they were getting at the farmer's market.

If you're new to gardening I strongly recommend Growing West of the Cascades by Steve Solomon. This book has some instructions on how to start beds too.

Good luck!
 
Blair Buchmayer
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Location: PNW, Seattle area
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Thanks for posting about that book for the Puget Sound region. I ordered it and am excited for it to come! I've been looking for something more specific to the region, feels like 99% of gardening books don't really apply here.
 
Brice Moss
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Location: rainier OR
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Blair Buchmayer wrote:Thanks for posting about that book for the Puget Sound region. I ordered it and am excited for it to come! I've been looking for something more specific to the region, feels like 99% of gardening books don't really apply here.


The climate here west of the cascades is similar to England in a lot of ways so organic guides written for that market work well. I don't put tomatoes in the ground till mid April or early June and will be planting kale broccoli and Brussel sprouts in august this year for December harvests
 
Dennis Lanigan
Posts: 174
Location: Philomath, OR
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Blair, or anyone else growing in Cascadia, I would also check out The Resilient Gardner by Carol Deppe. It's like having an amazing, super wise grandma tell you everything you need to do to get started growing your own food. And she's in Corvalis, OR so a lot of information is biased towards this region. There's a reason all the local seed companies (that I know of) started carrying her book. Definitely worth at the very least checking out at the library if you don't want to spend your seed money. If you get all four books that I recommend you'll be well on your way to being a master grower in this region.
 
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