Good morning Portland gardeners,
Like me I'm sure you have seen this week's forecast and are excitedly in anticipation of some excellent gardening weather. Today is cloudy, no rain. Tuesday-Sunday the forecast is SUNSHINE with daytime highs of 65-70 degrees and nighttime lows in the 40s. Our average last frost passed March 15th. As we move from the spring equinox to the summer solstice our day lengths continue to increase. This is all fantastic news for gardeners.
After heavy winter and spring rains this week our garden soils will begin to dry out and warm up. This week we should have excellent conditions to do garden clean-up, fertilize, apply compost & mulch, and plant all kinds of things! With warmer soil temperatures it is the perfect time finally for planting seeds for optimal germination-like beets & carrots!
In the edible garden enjoy planting fruit trees, small fruit, perennial herbs, and cool season veggie crops. It is still too early to plant basil, tomatoes, beans, corn, peppers, eggplant, squash, pumpkins, melons, and cucumbers. These hot season crops need night temperatures consistently above 55 degrees to grow and thrive. In Portland that is typically between May 15-June 1st. If you plant hot season crops now if they even survive they become stressed and stunted. Just wait.
Cool Season crops to plant this week:
Brussels Sprouts (for a fall harvest)
Endive & Escarole
Annual herbs like: chamomile, chervil, cilantro and dill
Perennial & biennial herbs like: angelica, bay, lavender, lemon balm, lovage, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary, rue, sage, savory, and thyme
Companion flowers: It is still a little early and cool for most summer annuals I like to interplant in the edible garden. Cool season companion flowers available now are violas & pansies. Wait until April to purchase and plant other companion flower plants. Though, this week you could plant seeds for: alyssum, bachelor buttons, calendula, cleome, cosmos, marigolds, nasturtium, and zinnia. In Portland we typically wait to plant sunflower seeds in mid April.
Great garden tasks for this week are pulling weeds, hoeing fall-planted cover crops, applying an organic granular fertilizer, top dressing with compost, and if not planting then covering your beds back up with cardboard, frost blanket, coffee sacks, or a tarp to keep them warm and prevent weeds.
Yesterday I taught a class at Portland Nursery and picked up lots of stuff to plant this week in my own garden: beets, broccoli raab, carrots, radishes, scallions, chives, parsley, and more seed potatoes! Have a super fun week in the sunshine and in your garden. Shoot me any questions, I would love to hear from you.