The sun warms your face, even for a few minutes. A breeze brings spring smells. What are you waiting for? Get growing!
Here are vegetables you can plant right now, in the maritime climate:
Sow outdoors under a cloche:
Continuity, Tom Thumb
For the tender spears of leaf lettuce,
crispy, flat pods
of the fall peas,
ruby-red veins webbing the Russian
sturdy, spicy mustards,
abundant bunches of flat-leaf parsley,
cheery calendula, still hanging on,
and the licorice-sweet, graceful anise hyssop;
for these, and all the abundance that springs from my soil, I will offer thanks to the garden at my table.
There’s still time to do a little summer pruning on your fruit trees. It is helpful, because when the leaves are out and the fruit is weighing down the branches, it’s much easier to see where the tree has gotten too dense or unsustainable.
And it’s about time to get out the fruit dryer, because our plums and apples and pears are abundant this year.
This weekend, one of my favorite Seattle nurseries, City People’s Garden Store, is hosting two useful classes on fruit. Fruit Drying Basics is Saturday, 10-11, and Fruit Tree Pruning is Sunday, 11-noon. They’re free, but you need to pre-register with the store.
The classes are offered in conjunction with City Fruit. If you have a fruit tree but don’t think you’ll get around to harvesting when the time is right, or aren’t able to use all the fruit, check out City Fruit to see if they can help. They will get the fruit to those who need it.
I use the nylon “footies” on my apples to ward off the apple maggot and codling
moth, which are serious pests in Seattle’s urban orchards. This is an organic technique that I’ve found to be 100% effective. You slip the stockings on the fruit when it’s about 1 inch in diameter, and it will stretch as the fruit grows. Now I’ll pull them off for the
last few weeks to let these Liberty apples finish ripening.
I’m experimenting with espalier, the technique of training a fruit tree into a shape. This Akane apple is getting a simple horizontal T shape (see the bamboo for the lower tier), but there are many delightful patterns to choose from.