Time to Plant Your Thanksgiving Veggies, but Probably Not Where you Think

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I know, it’s the middle of summer, so who wants to think about Thanksgiving? We’re only supposed to be worried about harvesting our tomatoes, potatoes and beans right about now, right? Wrong.

Late July is actually the perfect time to get a jump start on planting your fall vegetable garden. Yep, you heard me. If you plan on serving some homegrown vegetables this Thanksgiving, now is the time to get those seeds planted.

Indoors, that is. Because we are in the middle of summer right now, the vegetables that make great fall gardens cannot be started outdoors just yet because of the heat.

Indoors is a different story. Basically anything you would sow in an early spring garden, such as broccoli, kale, cabbage, and cauliflower, you can now start indoors under grow lights. That way they will be ready to transplant outside in mid- to late September when the weather starts to cool down. Dates will vary depending on what plant hardiness zone you’re in.

The key is knowing when to start seeds indoors.  First, you’ll want to calculate the average frost date for your area. After you’ve uncovered that little gem you’ll want to check the back of your seed packets and count eight to 14 weeks from your first frost date to figure out when to transplant outside. Depending on your area this could be anywhere from early October to mid-December.

My first average frost date here in the Seattle area is November 15, so right about now is the perfect time to get a jump start on my late fall garden.

If you’d like to plant a fall vegetable garden but are feeling a bit overwhelmed and don’t think you have time to get seeds going indoors, no worries! Vegetables such as carrots, turnips, beets, onions and potatoes can typically be directly sown around late August in the garden for a late fall harvest as well.

The key is to never stop growing. Now matter what time of year it is, you can always grow something, somehow, some way. It can be done!

Keep calm and garden on,


All photos courtesy of Mavis Butterfield

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