It’s so rewarding to eat fruits and vegetables from your own garden. It doesn’t get better than picking them and adding them straight to the dish you’re making (or straight into your mouth!). One of the largest challenges of a garden is getting the plants into the ground at the appropriate time. Too early, they may face a freeze, and too late, they may not have proper time to mature. If you put your all into your garden like me, you don’t want to face either of these outcomes. Here’s a quick guide to help you know when to get different plants into the ground in the Willamette Valley.
As early as April you can be putting seeds for arugula, beets, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, cilantro, lettuce, and spinach straight into the ground outdoors. These seeds can make it past some of the cool weather still to come.
With the exception of broccoli, cauliflower, and cilantro, all the seeds from April can still be planted in the ground. However, it’s also time to put some starts in the ground. My mother always advises to wait until after Mother’s Day for planting starts, and that’s worked well for me so far! For starts, it’s time to get basil, beans, cucumbers, onions, peppers, squash, and tomatoes in the ground. Although keep in mind that peppers and tomatoes may need to be covered, especially if the weather cools down at all.
If you prefer seeding, June is a good time for arugula, basil, beans, beets, broccoli, carrots, corn, lettuce, melons, and Swiss chard.
Good luck with your gardens this summer, and I hope you have some amazing meals with your homegrown crops! If you need more tips, my favorite place get help is Portland Nursery in Portland, OR. They have great resources at their local shops and online.