Grab & Grow Gardens
for Seattle & Western Washington
Planting & Growing Tips for Western Washington: Choose a spot where plants receive abundant sun and you can water them easily. Veggies need at least six hours of sun per day and consistent moisture in early and midsummer. And don’t crowd your plants – they look small now but will be huge in a few months (and more space equals bigger harvests!) See individual plant labels for specific spacing and cultural information.
Transplant early or late in the day when the sun is low (a cloudy day is even better). Loosen the soil around each site with a trowel and mix in some all-purpose organic fertilizer. Wake up the roots by gently separating them with your fingers, then plant each seedling in the bottom of a bowl-shaped depression, even if you’re using raised beds. This bowl directs water below the plant for deep, strong roots. Water well immediately after planting by filling the bowl around each plant with water and letting it soak in slowly.
Tried & True Vegetables
Ready to raise heaps of garden-fresh produce, but not sure where to begin? Try our handpicked sampler of the best-yielding, most flavorful tomatoes, peppers, squash, and cucumbers for western Washington. After years of plant research and gardening experience, we’ve found these to be some of the most tasty, productive, and dependable varieties for our region, with the intense taste and unmatched freshness you only get from your own veggies. From garden to plate in minutes, not days: homegrown produce abounds with flavor and nutrition – with no food miles, no additives, no packaging, and no grocery bill! Time to revive that neglected garden plot or till up a sunny patch of lawn and grow it yourself!
Delicious Heirloom Vegetables
Mouth-watering flavor, a rainbow of colors and shapes, the preservation of traditional knowledge and biodiversity – these are just a few reasons heirloom vegetables are making a comeback. Handed down from gardener to gardener for generations, heirlooms are time-tested (often introduced 100 years ago or more); open-pollinated (save a tomato seed and grow another tomato just like it); and high quality (that tomato will taste like a tomato, not just look like one!). These nine delicious varieties have long histories in the Northwest or similar climates and will flourish in this growing area. Hybrids have their good qualities, but the beauty, nutrition and – above all – flavor of these old time varieties make them worth growing!
Saving Heirlooms – Learn about heirloom plants & Seed Savers Exchange
Resources for Washington gardeners:
- Home Gardens – A 28-page booklet on home vegetable gardening in Washington, published by the WSU Extension Service
- Vegetable Gardening in Western Washington – A library of vegetable growing resources provided by the WSU master gardeners
- Container gardens – How to raise vegetables in containers for small space gardens, from the OSU Extension Service
- Short-Season Vegetable Gardening – General tips about growing veggies in the Pacific Northwest, from the PNW Extension Service
- Vegetable Families – Learn about vegetable families to better understand their climate and cultural preferences, prepared by Patricia Patterson for the Lane County Extension Service
- USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning – Detailed information about canning tomatoes, vegetables, pickles, and more (with recipes)
- Freezing Fruits and Vegetables – OSU Extension publication
- Drying Fruits and Vegetables – UGA Extension publication
- Pesto Unlimited – Pesto recipes using basil and a variety of other fresh herbs from your garden
- Roast ’em now, you’ll thank yourself later – Roasted tomatoes for sauces and freezing, article by Jan Roberts-Dominguez
- Epicurean.com – a great source for excellent recipes
- Green Gardening – Ann Lovejoy offers seasonal recipes and menus that emphasize the freshest locally grown ingredients
check back with us for more recipes