Get ready for spring!

Preparing your vegetable garden for spring in the Pacific Northwest involves several key steps to ensure a successful growing season, especially for the specific vegetables you’re planning to grow: root vegetables, leafy greens, tomatoes, and peppers. Here’s a comprehensive guide based on the provided search results and additional knowledge.

Soil Preparation

  1. Test and Amend Soil: Start by testing your soil to determine its pH and nutrient levels. Most vegetables thrive in well-drained, loamy soil with a pH between 6.0 and 7.0. Amend your soil based on the test results, incorporating organic matter like compost to improve soil structure and fertility1.
  2. Raised Beds: Consider using raised beds for root vegetables like carrots and beets, as they prefer loose, deep soil free of rocks and hard clumps that can impede root growth. Raised beds also offer better drainage and can extend the growing season by warming up more quickly in spring2.

Planting Schedule

  1. Early Planting: Start with peas in mid-March, followed by beets, scallions, cilantro, and carrots in late March/early April. These crops can handle the cooler early spring temperatures1.
  2. Succession Planting: For a continuous harvest, practice succession planting. After the initial planting of early spring crops, follow up with lettuce, broccoli, spinach, and chives in mid-April. Continue with carrots, cilantro, dill, and cauliflower in late April/early May. Plant pole beans, summer squash, and more lettuce in May1.
  3. Warm-Weather Crops: Tomatoes and peppers require warmer soil and air temperatures. Wait until early June or when nighttime temperatures consistently stay above 50°F before planting these outdoors. Consider starting these indoors or purchasing starts from a nursery to get a head start14.

Specific Tips for Selected Vegetables

  • Root Vegetables: Beets and carrots do well in the Pacific Northwest. Ensure the soil is well-tilled and loamy. Parsnips and turnips are also good choices for your garden2.
  • Leafy Greens: Kale and collards are particularly well-suited to the Pacific Northwest climate. They can be planted in full to nearly full sun locations with slightly acidic to neutral pH fertile soil. For a fall harvest, plant by mid-July3.
  • Tomatoes and Peppers: Choose varieties recommended for the Pacific Northwest, as they are adapted to the shorter and cooler growing season. Use row covers if planting early to protect from cool temperatures. Tomatoes and peppers need well-drained soil rich in organic matter and should be watered deeply and infrequently4.


  1. Mulching: Apply mulch around your plants to retain moisture, suppress weeds, and regulate soil temperature.
  2. Watering: Water your plants deeply and less frequently to encourage deep root growth. Early morning is the best time to water to reduce evaporation and prevent disease.
  3. Pest and Disease Management: Monitor your garden regularly for signs of pests and diseases. Use organic methods like hand-picking pests, applying neem oil, or using floating row covers to protect your crops.
  4. Support Structures: Provide support for climbing plants like peas and pole beans. Tomatoes will also benefit from staking or caging to keep the fruit off the ground and reduce disease risk.

By following these guidelines and adjusting based on your garden’s specific conditions, you can enjoy a productive vegetable garden in the Pacific Northwest. Remember, gardening is a learning process, and each year offers new opportunities to improve and adapt your practices.

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