What to Start Now

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 indoors:

Sow outdoors under a cloche:

Sow outdoors:

  • Peas – Cascadia, Oregon Sugar Pod II
  • Fava Beans – Aquadulce
  • Beets – Early Wonder Tall-top
  • Swiss Chard – Bright Lights
  • Radish – French Breakfast, Cherry Belle

Oregon Sugar Pod II peas will vine modestly to perhaps 30 inches.

Giving Thanks for the Garden

For the tender spears of leaf lettuce,

Leaf Lettuce








crispy, flat pods

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of the fall peas,

Fall Peas








ruby-red veins webbing the Russian

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Russian Red Kale








sturdy, spicy mustards,









abundant bunches of flat-leaf parsley,









cheery calendula, still hanging on,









and the licorice-sweet, graceful anise hyssop;

Anise Hyssop








for these, and all the abundance that springs from my soil, I will offer thanks to the garden at my table.



Sweet tree fruit – classes in drying, pruning this weekend

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.

Italian Prune

Summer pruning on the plum tree allows more light to get to the fruit to help it ripen.

And it’s about time to get out the fruit dryer, because our plums and apples and pears are abundant this year.


The pears are harvested off our “fruit cocktail” tree that has multiple varieties. From left, Red Bartlett, Comice and Bartlett.

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

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last few weeks to let these Liberty apples finish ripening.

Liberty Apples








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.

Akane Apples