Building two 3 x 8 foot raised beds and looking for suggestions of what grows well in Seattle.

Second, filter any and all advice through a local independent garden center. they will be able to tell you which precise plants will do the best in your area.

now:

if you love tomatoes, ask about varieties bred specifically for our climate. Sweet 100, and Oregon spring are two that have a good chance of having ripe tomatoes here in Oregon, and they may be your best bet up there, too.

since your space is relatively limited, I advise you forget about corn, zucchini (or other squash), and potatoes. all of those are very demanding of space, so a small garden is better off focusing on more compact crops.

I’d recommend considering salad greens, and such things as onion sets (for green onions), peas, beans, carrots, radishes, and such things as you like to eat fresh. again ask your local garden center about specific varieties.

If you plan to take this seriously, I recommend investing in a Western Garden Book, by Sunset. they are pretty expensive, but you may be able to pick up a used one cheaper, if you don’t mind not having the most recent edition. (plants don’t change THAT much from year to year)

as far as timing, the traditional clause is “after all danger of frost is past” , but that also tempers with the local “after the soil has dried enough to work.” not knowing what the condition of your soil is, I give you the blanket warning that if you try to work soil that is high in clay content while it is too wet, it will essentially turn into a pottery project instead of a garden bed. other blanket advice is to be generous with organic material such as peat moss, bark mulch, and suchlike, consult your local agricultural extension service for advice on necessary soil amendments, and possibly free soil analysis. I believe my parents generally get their garden in the ground around May, but my memory on that is kind of vague lately. also, if you don’t mind having extra houseplants, you can start some things from seed a few weeks early, and transplant them into your beds (or just buy plants from your garden center instead of seeds)

Good luck, and enjoy.

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