The timings mentioned here are what work in my Sumner, Washington garden. Sumner is roughly parallel with Tacoma, but is inland from Puget Sound by perhaps 15 miles. Compared with locations closer to the sound my summer days are warmer, and the nights are cooler. Use this as a guide, but you may want to adjust it for your local circumstances.

Since 1992 the average last frost has been on April 8th, while the average first frost arrived October 2nd. Late July temperatures (max/min) are around 81F/54F, while for early January they typically are 49F/34F.


Quick Jumps

January February March April May June
July August September October November December

January

February

First Half

Second Half

March

By the first week of March, the thread of severe cold blasts is usually over. Cold-weather crops will grow, but rain is a constant and must be compensated for.

First Half

Second Half

April

April showers bring May... well, showers. But at least it's starting to warm up!

First Half

Second Half

May

May can be a wonderful month. Some people think May is nicer than June, but my records show them to be very similar. I think it's probably more a matter of differing expectations.

First Half

Second Half

June

June is so often very disappointing up here. We're impatient for summer to get going! But June only occasionally obliges.

First Half

Second Half

July

The weatherman will tell you that July 12th is the date (on average) that summer arrives in the Maritime Pacific Northwest. It's also when the bulk of your winter garden has to be started as well! You might feel a bit funny getting sunburned while sowing winter carrots, but you'll get used to it.

First Half

Second Half

August

Summer may start on July 12th, but sometimes it ends well before August 31st! The days are starting to get noticably shorter, and sometimes we can get surprised by a very cold night. Frost, however, is still at least a month away.

First Half

Second Half

September

The days are quickly getting shorter, but there's still time to plant!

October

Planting time is mostly over, but that doesn't mean it's time to take a break! Cover crops help build your soil up for next year, and protect it from all the rain that'll be falling over the next six months...

November


All contents © Travis Saling
This page was last updated November 18, 2013