top of page
  • Writer's pictureAlex Tamayo Wolf

Four Season PNW Gardening: What Do I Plant Now?

Part I: Solanaceae (Nightshades), Chenopodiaceae (Beet Family), Compositae (Sunflower)

You may have noticed the calendar says April, though your skin may not be in agreement with the calendar. Don’t be fooled by the colder than average temps: you already need to be knee deep in growing food, just as you do every month of the year in the PNW. Why? Because you can and should be growing or harvesting food here all year around. This is a blessed four season growing/harvesting climate, and I see way too many garden beds empty in winter, not even cover cropped, allowing all kinds of unwelcome visitors to establish themselves when you could be eating. We’ll talk more about all that later in the year. For now, I want to walk you through what you can be seeding right now, by Family, indoor and out.

Solanaceae (Nightshades)

Let’s make this easy: half-hardy annuals, those that flower, go to seed and won’t survive the winter here, can be sown in your beds now. This year, germination could be slower than last, as the soil temp is lower. I started a lot of half-hardies from the Nightshade family in the greenhouse already in late February and March and am transferring them to the garden now. Remember that for next year. And, yes, I mean your tomatoes and peppers should have already been started indoors in March. However, there are a lot of species/varieties you can direct sow right now, and I will give you my picks - one or two per family that I grow in gardens we have designed for people. You’ll need to supplement with some research if you want to find your own special variety. Here we go...

Outdoor (Direct) Sowing

You want color in your veggies, and potatoes are no exception - red and purple. Color is an indicator of nutrient density, and we are all about that.

Peruvian Blue Potato

Blue Cloud Potato

Indoor Sowing

These two below are not the same animal; they are the same genus but different species, though they are often confused. They are not to be missed, Aunt Molly’s is a pure delight for raw eating.

Chenopodiaceae (Beet Family)

Outdoor (Direct) Sowing

Compositae (Sunflower)

Outdoor (Direct) Sowing

Jerusalem Artichokes

You need to buy tubers, divide into eyelet pieces and bury. Don't buy all the "it's invasive" talk. It's food, and good food at that, and not difficult to control.


(Edible Chrysanthemum) Yep. A permaculture stalwart with many functions.

Part II coming next week...

95 views0 comments


bottom of page