When Can I Plant My Garden in Spokane?
In the Spokane area, we plant our gardens in waves starting with the crops that can take cooler temperatures, followed by crops that need warmer weather and ending with the cooler weather crops.
When To Start Planting:
Our first opportunity to start planting begins in March when our ground temperatures reach 40 degrees. This typically happens around March 15th, give or take a late snowstorm. When your ground thermometer springs up to that 40-degree mark you can start planting root crops. An example of root crops is strawberries, potatoes, asparagus, and dormant blackberries and raspberries.
We suggest purchasing an outdoor compost or soil or ground thermometer, one that has a long probe that is at least six inches long, because you want the thermometer to go into the ground enough to read the temperature in the ground, not on top of it.
Next, Comes Cole Crops:
Your next wave of planting is going to be what we call Cole Crops. Many of these plants are from the Cole family of plants. An example of Cole Crops is lettuce, broccoli, cabbage, and onions. You can begin planting Cole Crops around the first week of April.
The Last Frost Date:
The next wave of planting comes after our last frost date. In the Spokane, Washington area, our “official last frost date” is May 15th. It is an unusual year when we receive frost as late as May 15th, but it can happen. However, since it is unusual many people will plant around May 5th and provide warmth. They will also cover their plants on nights when the temperatures are around 32 degrees or below. At this time, you can also plant tomatoes and peppers.
The Final Wave of Planting:
Your final wave of planting comes when the soil temperature is at least 60 degrees. These plants tend to be a bit more sensitive and do best when they are planted in early June. Examples of these more sensitive plants are cucumbers, squash, and melons.
For seed planting, most seed packs will list how many days or weeks prior to or after the last frost date to plant seeds in the ground. We suggest using the May 15th final frost date for estimating when to plant the seeds in the ground. One example would be Okra. The directions on the packet say “sow seeds after last frost and the ground warms” for us that would be around June 1st.
Planting A Last Round of Cole Crops in August:
For those who want to get a last round of vegetables in before winter, you can plant Cole Crops again in late August.