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Kootenai County Summer Garden Tips

Now that the danger of frost has passed its time to start those gardens! The Pacific North West is a great place to grow a variety of fruits, vegetables and flowers. Here are some gardening tips for summer:

Coeur d’Alene frost dates:

Last Frost: May 1st

First Frost: October 8th

1st step: Make a Plan

I know its not the most exciting part, but having a plan in place will help you down the road. Decide what you would like to plant and where. Next check for damage to structures, pots and perennial plants. Make sure to take into account the requirements for each plant and plan accordingly. It is often a good idea to rotate plants from the year before to try to avoid disease and depletion of soil nutrients. If you are a beginner gardener try to keep it simple and only plant things you know you will enjoy eating.

2nd Step: Weeding and Amending Soil

Now is a great time to get rid of any weeds and dead plants in your garden. You can also add fertilizer or compost if needed. You can get your soil professionally tested for best results. If you are a container gardener, its time to purchase soil and mulch.

Now to the fun part: Planting!

The danger of frost has past, so it is safe to plant all those warm weather crops. Squash, strawberries and peppers do very well in our climate, as do a large variety of other plants. Cherry tomatoes are a good choice because they take less time to mature than larger tomatoes. Most warm season crops need full sun (6-8 hours is ideal) so plant them in the sunniest spot available. Local nursery’s are a great resource for all your gardening needs and questions. Check out our local farmers market for seedling that look healthy and pest free.

Did you miss the planting window for spring crops? Don’t fret, there is still an opportunity to plant cooler weather crops this fall! Fall planting is a wonderful way to maximize your crop without much extra work. The trick to fall planting is getting your plants mature before the first frost damages or kills them. There are many factors to consider such as time needed for the plant to produce and length of the growing season. Here are some plants that do well when planted in the fall in hardiness zone 6 and the ideal date to plant them.

CropStart Seeds Indoors By:Plant Seedlings Outdoors By:Start Seeds Outdoors By:
ArugulaN/AN/ASeptember 3
BroccoliJune 27thJuly 25N/A
CabbageJune 17thJuly 15thN/A
CarrotsN/AN/AAugust 19th
CornN/AN/AJune 30
CucumbersN/AN/AJuly 5th
Green BeansN/AN/AJuly 5th
LettuceN/AN/AAugust 29th
Parsnips N/AN/AJuly 5th
PeasN/AN/AAugust 4th
Potatoes N/AN/AJuly 25th
PumpkinsN/AN/AMay 29th
RadishesN/AN/ASeptember 3rd
Spinach N/AN/ASeptember 13
TurnipsN/AN/AAugust 29th
WatermelonsN/AN/AJune 10th
Zucchini N/AN/AJuly 10

*These dates are just a guide based on typical frost dates. Each year is different so these dates are a best guess

*Many plants can be started indoors but it may not be ideal. If you need to start these plants indoors please do. You won’t know until you try! Keep a record of what worked and what didn’t so you can use that information in the coming years.

Do you have any gardening tips to share? We would love to hear them!

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