Whether it's the increase in food prices or the desire to start a new hobby, we know you're anxious to get your garden underway for the most bountiful harvest! But when should you start your garden, and what can you do to get a head start? We've got you covered:
The best rule of thumb is to plant your garden after the risk of frost has passed. Adhere to the recommendations for your USDA hardiness zone to figure out when your area's average last frost date is. If you are in eastern Washington and north Idaho, you are in zone 6, and the average last frost date is around the middle of April. In the Seattle area, you should be safe from frost around the end of March. You can also check your seed packets to see when the recommended planting date is in your area for different crops.
The ground must be thawed and safe from frost before planting! Plant when it is too cold, and your seeds will not germinate! Your garden will be most successful when the ground is workable, and the soil is warm enough for seeds to sprout.
To ensure the best results from your garden, you can prep by starting your seeds indoors! Refer to the seed packet for interior start dates (usually in February). You can use plastic cups or egg cartons for your seedlings or head to the local garden supply store. We recommend you purchase a seed-starting soil mixture for the best results. In cold climates, pay careful attention to providing enough daylight and warmth (via a heat lamp if necessary), so the seedlings survive. Be careful not to place starts near a drafty window!
Start a compost as you wait for warmer weather or for your plants to grow! Homemade compost is a great way to save money, reduce waste and provide excellent nutrients for your soil! Everything you need to know to start your own compost is right here!