Gardening in the Great Pacific Northwest

comments (0) March 23rd, 2012

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MikeTheGardener MikeTheGardener, member
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Click To Enlarge Photo: Organic Carrots/Pikes Market Seattle

If you have been reading my blog articles or listening to my podcasts, then you probably know by now that 100% of the gardening that I have done in my life happens in New Jersey.  While I won’t say we have the greatest weather in the world, I really can’t complain either.  We get spring, sometimes, and then that leads into the hot and humid summer months, where my tomatoes, peppers and zucchini really thrive.  Autumn gives us a short but extended growing season, and throw in some cold frames, and winter offers up some great possibilities.

What I have found after speaking with so many fellow gardeners from around the country on our vegetable gardening Facebook page is just how completely different many areas are.  Not that I was completely surprised that trying to grow something in the hot Arizona desert or the frigid temperatures of the Northern states would be different than here in New Jersey.  I was more fascinated as to what they grow and the amount of time they have to grow it in.

Once such area that caught my interest was the great pacific Northwest, specifically Seattle and the surrounding areas.  Since they do not receive the long hot summers that we do here in New Jersey I was curious as to how they grow tomatoes, peppers etc.  

I turned to fellow gardener, Lisa Hill, who resides in Bellevue which is on the east side of Lake Washington, just east of Seattle.  I asked Lisa what she finds the most difficult to grow and what she does to overcome those difficulties.  

“Hot vegetables like tomatoes, green peppers and hot peppers need lots of sun, warmth and babying,” said Lisa.  “We just don’t have the long hot summers they desire, so gardeners, like me, cover with the red plastic cloth, or grow in black containers.  Anyone who is successful growing these plants, even hybrid varieties, has a special trick, or is just plain lucky.”

Like here in New Jersey, every area has their favorite or “go to” fruit, vegetable or herb as the choice that simply can’t fail to grow.  Lisa says cooler weather vegetables grow great in her area.  She prefers broccoli, kale, mustard, cabbage, collard greens, leeks, onions, sugar peas, spinach, carrots and a mesclun green salad mix.

“My backyard has the old variety of Rainier cherry trees, plus two grafted apple trees and two plum trees. My raspberry patch expands by itself in a sunny spot. Strawberries are picked in mid June, and raspberries July to September. We can grow blueberries but they need somewhat wet feet,” says Lisa.

With all these great choices, even in a “not so hot” shortened area like the Pacific Northwest, you can still grow a wide variety of fruits, vegetables and herbs right at home.


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posted in: garden, vegetable, seattle, pacific, northwest