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Start Spring Collard Greens From Seed

January 16, 2023 - January 22, 2023
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An event every year that begins at 12:00am on day third of January, repeating indefinitely

Erica's Notes Collard greens can be grown year round in the Pacific Northwest with a little care. Nearly as cold hardy as kale and more heat tolerant, collards are an easy crop in this region. If you want to harvest year round, start collards inside in late February along with the rest of your spring brassica crops. If space is limited, collard greens - like kale - are well suited to fall and winter culture. Sow outside directly or start…

Finalize Garden Plan

January 23, 2023 - January 29, 2023
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An event every year that begins at 12:00am on day fourth of January, repeating indefinitely

Erica’s Notes: By around the end of January, I like to have a pretty clear idea of what I'm growing and where I'll be growing it. Typically by the last week in January I've made a list of what seed varieties I want to order and figured out which seed houses have what I want. Like all enthusiastic gardeners, I'm prone to over-buying when it comes to seeds, so before I finalize my spring seed order, I check my existing…

Start Artichokes From Seed

January 30, 2023 - February 5, 2023
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An event every year that begins at 12:00am on day last of January, repeating indefinitely

Erica's Notes The mild Pacific Northwest is generally an excellent climate for artichokes, and if you baby your plants a bit through the winter, there is a good chance they will perform as short-lived perennials for you. However, if you want artichokes from seed this year, you need to start early. Start artichokes in generous 3-inch or 4-inch pots in the last half of January, and be ready to up-pot if needed. Set starts out in very early spring. It's…

Start Onions From Seed

January 30, 2023 - February 5, 2023
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An event every year that begins at 12:00am on day last of January, repeating indefinitely

Erica's Notes To grow your own onions from seed, start with very fresh, same-year seed. In the Pacific Northwest, start onions from seed from late-January to early-February. Select a long-day variety and sow lightly in a shallow tray filled with potting mix. Make shallow, 1/2-inch deep furrows across your tray, spacing the furrows about 3-inches apart. Aim to sprinkle about 6 onion seeds per inch along the furrows in your tray. Plan on setting starts out in early spring. In…

Start Parsley From Seed

February 13, 2023 - February 19, 2023
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An event every year that begins at 12:00am on day second of February, repeating indefinitely

Erica's Notes Fresh Italian parsley is a culinary essential - when you grow your own parsley you start to use this great herb generously, more like a leaf vegetable than a garnish. It's also cold hardy, and is an excellent addition to the fall and protected winter garden. Parsley germinates and grows well in cool soils, so spring direct seeding in March is a good choice if your garden is prepared. If not, start indoors by sowing thinly in deep…

Start Peppers From Seed

February 13, 2023 - February 19, 2023
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An event every year that begins at 12:00am on day second of February, repeating indefinitely

Erica's Notes Because peppers originated in the tropics, they are not well-adapted to handle wide temperature swings from day to night or over the course of the season.  Ideal temperatures for growth and fruiting of peppers are about 85 degrees during the day and 70 degrees at night. Peppers are easy enough to start from seed if you give them bottom-heat and don't overwater them. But try to get them to sprout in damp. 55 degree soil and you're asking for…

Start Swiss Chard From Seed

February 13, 2023 - February 19, 2023
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An event every year that begins at 12:00am on day second of February, repeating indefinitely

Erica's Notes Swiss chard is easy to direct sow - just make sure you thin your chard seedlings when they are a few inches high so they don't crowd. If you want the earliest possible chard, start indoors and set out to a protected cloche in very early spring. I like Bright Lights which has a fun, rainbow-colored stem assortment. Fordhook Giant is the most cold hardy variety I've tried. The red-stemmed chards I've grown are very pretty but have…

Start Tomatoes From Seed

February 13, 2023 - February 19, 2023
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An event every year that begins at 12:00am on day second of February, repeating indefinitely

Erica's Notes You can put as much work into your tomatoes as you want. If you don’t mind fussing and you have good strong grow lights and you're planning on season extension, start your tomatoes in February with plans to up-pot to gallons if necessary and transplant to a pre-warmed, tunnel-cloched bed in late April, depending on weather. If you just don’t want to put that much work into it, buy starts in late April or early May at a…

Start Spring Cauliflower From Seed

February 19, 2023 - February 25, 2023
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An event every year that begins at 12:00am on day third of February, repeating indefinitely

Erica's Notes Cauliflower is like the Goldilocks of the Brassica family. She wants everything just right - not t0o cold, not too hot, not too wet, not too dry. If you are a new gardener, I recommend that you start with Romanesco (that's the cool green cauliflower with the amazing spiral patterns). Although it looks like a super-specialty vegetable, my experience is that Romanesco is actually easier to grow than the standard white cauliflowers in spring. Start Cauliflower under lights…

Start Spring Broccoli From Seed

February 20, 2023 - February 26, 2023
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An event every year that begins at 12:00am on day third of February, repeating indefinitely

Erica's Notes Somewhat more challenging than kale, collards, or cabbage, broccoli is still a fairly easy crop in the mild climate of the Maritime Northwest. Only very occasionally do our summer temperatures get a bit hotter than broccoli prefers, and spring and fall weather naturally suits broccoli very well. Start Broccoli indoors from mid-February to mid-March and plan to set 4 to 6 week old plants out in late-March or April. In Spring, opt for supermarket-style heading broccoli (also called…

Start Spring Cabbage From Seed

February 20, 2023 - February 26, 2023
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An event every year that begins at 12:00am on day third of February, repeating indefinitely

Erica's Notes Like almost all brassicas, cabbage thrives in the Pacific Northwest. Although we think of cabbage as a sturdy, workhorse type crop, remember that it is a leaf crop, and therefore needs a soil fairly high in nutrients to perform at its best. Cabbage can be grown literally year-round in this region, but certain varieties are best suited to growing at certain times of year. For spring plantings that you will harvest in summer, select a fast-maturing or early…

Start Spring Kale From Seed

February 20, 2023 - February 26, 2023
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An event every year that begins at 12:00am on day third of February, repeating indefinitely

Erica's Notes Kale is probably the easiest crop you can grow in the Pacific Northwest. There are also many varieties and leaf shapes, colors and flavors, so this is fun crop to play around with - and success is practically assured. I typically start between a half-dozen and a dozen kale plants in mid-February, and transplant 4 or 5-week old seedlings out in mid to late March. Like most cold hardy brassicas, kale tastes best when the weather turns chilly, so…

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