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Advice for northwest gardening (washington state)

Discussion in 'Gardening' started by Sweetlilbaby, Jan 25, 2013.

  1. Sweetlilbaby

    Sweetlilbaby Songster

    Apr 19, 2012
    Tacoma Washington
    When do you start your seeds in the house or in a green house? Last year I waited til march to start my tomatoes and peppers and ended up with them not getting big enough to produce much at all. So today I just tossed the seeds in some containers with dirt in a bedroom in the window. same with my peppers and some bird seed (corn) just to see if it's possible that it would sprout. If the bird seed sprouts i'll buy more to plan because it was WAY cheaper then buying seeds meant for planting.

    Any suggestions for when to plant what type of plants in pots is welcomed. I use to be great at predicting when to plant these things but i have lost the touch the past few years. It really sucks, Now that I have unlimited water i cannot get anything to grow. Last year slugs ate my garden. This year I have ducks! I am trying to grow an organic garden. A small organic garden.
    Most of my garden space is near the sidewalk and what did make last year walked off when I wasn't home :( I had bush beans out there, every time I was ready to pick them i'd go out and they were wiped clean. I know it was people not animals because they would wait til the beans were very large before taking.

    Gardening is supposed to be a labor of love. It's supposed to be relaxing. My therapist suggested it for my anxiety disorder. It has been so stressful for me each year (this will be my 4th year i believe). Year before last the city came and dug up my garden saying the dirt was poison and never replaced the plants. last year slugs and neighbors got my garden. Hoping for some luck this year.

    Specifics I'm needing to know, 1. When to start squash plants in the house so they are nice and large when ready to plant outside.
    2. When to start tomatoes and bell peppers so they are 3ft tall at least by time to plant in the garden
    3. is it possible to transplant corn outside if i start it in the house?
    4. when to start black sunflower seeds
    5. When to start "mammoth" sunflower seeds?

    The sunflower seeds are for decor and then will be fed to the chickens, I plan to "sun dry" them then mix with the chicken feed. :D Same with some of the corn.

    hoping to have yellow squash and zucchini this year along with cabbage, corn, tomatoes, peppers, and potatoes. :)

    Also is it possible to grow yams in washington state?

  2. May 15 is the last USDA frost date for much of western WA. Six weeks before last frost date is the typical recommendation for tomatoes. That makes it around April 1st. Squash should not be too large when planted outside--they don't appreciate having roots disturbed, but perhaps you can start them in peat pots. The do better when planted in place--on mounds or in raised beds where the soil temp can get good and high. In the past, I had great success starting squash by using a clear gallon milk jug over the top--cut off the bottom and place over a single seed. (The lid needs to be off).

    To start plants in a house and have success, you need more than just a window--you'll need lights.

    I've had success with mammoth sunflowers planted in place, but the heads need to be harvested before the rains come or all will mold. Cut them off, break the head into pieces and let dry for a few days, remove the seeds and let dry *completely* before storing. My chickens would love it when I'd throw in a chunk or two in the coop.

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