May 08, 2024

Vegetable Growing Season Begins TODAY!


If you are waiting to put place those bean or zucchini seeds into the ground.

If you are waiting to plant those tomato seedlings.

Your wait has ended.  

TODAY is the day.

We are now on the verge of a major regional warm-up, and even when it ends, temperatures will remain considerably warmer than normal.

From my discussions with master gardeners and a perusal of online materials, soil temperatures must be at least 50F for tomato plants to thrive.  Many vegetable seeds require soil temperatures above the mid-50s to have much chance.

Air temperatures below 40F are not good for plant business.

Current Soil Temperatures

Here in Seattle, the current soil temperature at a depth of 2 inches (orange line below) has risen to nearly 60F late in the afternoon on several days during the past week and is only dropping into the low 50s at night.  

I expect the soil temperatures to warm by several degrees during the next few days, making it viable for tomatoes, beans, and other warmer soil seeds/plants.

Forecast Temperatures

The latest forecasts are consistent with prior ones:  highs near 80F on Friday and Saturday, with lows in the lower to mid-50s.  Classic mid-summer weather.

Cooling by a few degrees on Sunday followed by a week of temperatures in the upper 60s.   

Keep in mind that such temperatures are above normal for Seattle,  whose highs are typically around 65F this time of the year.   The plants and seeds will be happy!

But perhaps you are a gardener who really plans ahead.   What does the long-term outlook look for temperature?

Below is the latest European Center extended-range temperature forecast for the next 46 days, actually the predicted difference from normal.  Most of the region will be near normal, with a bit warmer than normal conditions over NW Washington and east of the Cascades.

Your plants will remain happy.

Looking forward to getting my garden started today!  


Time is running out for the UW Administration to end the illegal pro-Hamas encampment on the UW campus.  

A major pro-Israel rally will occur on Sunday at 4:30 PM at Red Square (see below).  The potential for conflict is substantial.  It is time for the UW to follow the law and require that the encampment be ended.  A large number of outside, non-student agitators are now in the camp and several acts of violence have already occurred.  If violence does occur, UW leadership will bear substantial responsibility for it.


  1. Looking at the sst over the central pacific I noticed the warm blob is making a come back, how will that effect out forecasted hot summer this year?

    1. Tim.... You have it reversed. The water tempertures are COOLER THAN NORMAL along and off the West Coast. So the sea surface temperatures would suggest a COOLER THAN NORMAL summer based on it..cliff

  2. Cliff, you have often stated that el nino/la nina influences the weather in the PNW only starting on January 1st. How long into the spring/summer season does the el nino/la nina situation affect the weather in our region? Thanks!


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