I’m Lacy Gray with Washington Ag Today.
Linda Gilkeson, a Pacific Northwest gardening expert who lives just north of the San Juan islands, has written several books on designing resilient fruit and vegetable gardens, winter gardening, and some of the challenges faced by gardeners on the west side of the state.
GILKESON: Gardeners on this side of the Cascades can get suckered in very easily into trying to plant very early in the spring because it’s warmer here, but an awful lot of vegetables that we plant are biennials. If you plant too early and we get late cold, they think they’ve gone through winter and then they flower that summer instead of being leeks or onions or whatever you want them to be. They become just a seeding plant.
Gilkeson says that having gardens that are full of food all winter makes it easier for people not to rush out and plant in the spring.
GILKESON: There’s nothing that you need to do because your garden is full of food anyway, and then you don’t get suckered into planting too early. I mean, I used to live in the eastern part of the country and nobody in Montreal would ever get suckered into planting anything in February and March like people do here.
It seems there are a few rules for having a good year round garden.
GILKESON: First, you have to plant the right varieties, and planting at the right time is absolutely essential, and then the last thing is planting enough. You’re going to eat out of this living refrigerator, that’s my favorite term for this. So, nothing grows in a refrigerator, it’s just not dead, but it’s not growing, and then once you start thinking of your garden as a living refrigerator you realize that things have to be mature by fall, and there has to be enough of it for you to eat it. So, those are the key things.
To check out more of Gilkeson’s winter gardening tips visit lindagilkeson.ca.
That’s Washington Ag Today.
I’m Lacy Gray on the Ag Information Network.