Over the years, seed catalogs and seed packets have been my quick go-to sources for planting advice. When to plant, how deep, how far apart, how long to germination and to harvest. The advice is always useful, and I still double-check these sources to be sure I haven’t forgotten some particular detail. Recently, though, I’ve found another source of advice that is even more useful: seed company websites. The websites of two of the bigger pacific northwest seed companies, Territorial Seeds and West Coast Seeds, contain the advice from their seed packets and catalogs, but they contain a great deal more advice because there is so much more space. And it’s all a click or two away.
I was prompted to explore West Coast Seeds website by emails from the company that showed up in my box with titles like “Seeds to Sow in February” and “Seeds to Sow in March.” Clicking on March, I opened a site with this introduction:
Below is a list of seeds to start in March. Seeds started in March will be ready for transplanting into the garden by the time the nighttime temperatures have warmed up in May. Other seeds actually benefit from cool weather and the risk of frost, and they are shown below for direct sowing in March.
Click on the links below for full planting instructions.
What followed were two lists of flowers, herbs and vegetables, one for seeds to start inside and the next for seeds to start outside. Both lists are useful, but the even better part is that clicking on any flower, herb or vegetable on the lists takes you to a page of information with everything you need to know about planting, growing, harvesting, diseases and pests. I’m a long-time kitchen gardener, but I learned something new or was reminded of something I’d forgotten from each article I explored.
You can access West Coast Seeds’ growing information for all vegetables, not just those to start in March, from this link: https://www.westcoastseeds.com/blogs/how-to-grow/tagged/category-how-to-grow-vegetables And this additional link takes you to their very useful planting charts https://www.westcoastseeds.com/pages/regional-planting-charts.
Territorial Seed Company has a similarly useful website. Their Growing Guides link to a planting calendar and to extensive planting, growing and harvesting information for each vegetable. The format is more table-like than the narrative format that West Coast Seeds uses but equally useful. They also offer a Garden Planner that I haven’t explored but that one day could replace all the sheets of paper I shuffle around each year.
Now that we’re a week past the Spring Equinox, indoor planting is underway with tomatoes, onions, peppers, eggplant, broccoli, cauliflower and lettuce for my kitchen garden growing under lights and in flats in the greenhouse, but as soon as the soil dries out a bit, outdoor planting can begin. I’m looking forward to using these websites for reminders, advice and encouragement. Happy Kitchen Gardening!