I started turning under my cover crops yesterday. A few days of sunshine on this side of Oregon is a welcome if not unusual occurrence in March. The ground was a bit wet but in my raised beds it will dry faster than if I was gardening on the flat.
Two years ago I harvested my first ripe tomato in mid October, and vowed to do better the next year. I discovered two books, written by the same author, that were a tremendous help. Anyone on this side of the Cascade Mountains that wants to grow their own vegetables should read these books: Gardening West of the Cascades and Growing Vegetables When it Counts both by Steve Solomon. These books cover gardening from general to specific and most importantly ideas for the Westside gardener.
Many books have been written about how-to grow vegetables. A majority of these books have been written by people in other parts of the country and even other parts of the world. There is a huge amount of useful information available however sometimes there are some specifics that can be confusing for gardeners on this side of Oregon. In most other parts of the country starting seedlings indoors on a sunny window sill is common. There is one big problem with that here: we don’t get enough sun light. Starting seedlings requires artificial light. We just don’t get enough sunshine to grow stout plants early in the year.
Last year I harvested my first ripe tomato on June 21st. With the help of lights and cloches I hope to repeat my luck with early season veggies again this year.