Here are resources that will help you decide what you want to do when those first perfect gardening days of the year arrive.
Steve Solomon's book Growing Vegetables West of the Cascades is a classic. Vegetable gardening is different in our Maritime climate than in other parts of the country, so general gardening books aren't that useful. Let this book be your guide to the plant varieties and techniques that will work here. Just as importantly, Solomon explains care of the soil, including composting, fertilizing and efficient water use. Healthy soil = healthy produce.
What seeds should you plant? Consider those from Botanical Interests, a Seattle Garden Ideas affiliate. They sell GMO-free seeds, many heirlooms, and their seed packets are so full of useful information, you'll want to keep them around for reference. Visit their website for helpful articles, special sales and occasional contests.
If you are a visual learner, you may find the help you need at The Northwest Flower and Garden Show. This is the show's 25th year of providing gardening inspiration with stunning display gardens, seminars and so much more. The show runs February 20-24 at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle.
For gardeners who like a "calendar" approach to planning, the Maritime Northwest Garden Guide is ideal. The content is arranged month-by-month, listing what to do each month and including tips on when to plant seeds, soil amendments, organic fertilizers, pest control and lots more. I wish Seattle Tilth would release a new edition of this valuable little book, but you can get used copies on Amazon for just $12.99.
Are you planning to add raised beds or compost bins this year? Visit Eartheasy.com, a Seattle Garden Ideas affiliate, for how-to information, inspiration and products for sustainable gardening. Remember, they plant a tree for every order placed!
In my design practice, I have used my copy of The Pacific Northwest Gardener's Book of Lists so much that it is literally falling apart. I have to tape pages back into it every time I look something up. This book is just what it says, a collection of plant lists for just about every conceivable condition. Wet, dry, full sun, shade, annual, perennial, ground cover, tree, shrub - they're all there. This guide will really help you choose the right plants for the right places.
OK, it's time to get started. There's something so uplifting about garden planning. Enjoy the process.
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