Seeds and Bulbs
When we think of bulbs at the end of the year, we think of those indoor-blooming lovelies that bring color and fragrance to our homes and add some cheer to the drearier winter days. The colorful and boldly-shaped Amaryllis, the heady fragrance of paperwhites; bring some fresh growing things into your house this winter!
In this lull of the planting/growing season, it’s the perfect time to gather your seed catalogs together, hunker down with a hot beverage and dream of the spring to come. Make your lists and mark your calendars if you’re planning to start seeds indoors: Some need to be started under lights a full eight weeks before average last frost, which here in Portland means you’ll be revving up your seed-starting operation mid-February, here before you know it!
And the 2014 seeds have already started to arrive, so you can be the first on your block to be ready for spring!
SEED STARTING TIPS
Indoors: In March you can continue starting seeds indoors for heat-loving summer vegetable crops like tomatoes, tomatillos, peppers and eggplant. In Portland direct seeding these crops into the garden is not recommended due to our cool and short maritime northwest summers.
In early March you can begin indoor seed starting of lettuce and some Brassica family members such as: broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, and kohlrabi.
Outdoors: Some cool season edible crops can be direct seeded in the garden before the average last frost date in Portland (April 15). In March you can direct sow seeds for these crops: arugula, Asian greens, cilantro, green onions, mustard greens, parsley, peas, radish, spinach and Swiss chard.
March and April are ideal months for direct seeding salad greens that prefer cool weather, such as cress, dandelion greens, endive, mesclun mix, radicchio, and sorrel. Adding a floating row cover over your garden seed bed will assist with germination at this time of year.
While you are at Portland Nursery, purchase netting, trellising, and/or stakes for your climbing peas. This is also the time to direct seed ornamental sweet peas for wildly fragrant spring flowers in your garden.