Living Columns & Blogs

There’s still time to plant veggies in Whatcom County; here’s what to grow

There’s still time to grow beets from seeds in Whatcom County if you plant in August.
There’s still time to grow beets from seeds in Whatcom County if you plant in August. McClatchy

Question: Despite my best intentions, I haven’t been able to get my veggie garden planted yet. My raised bed is ready – tilled and fertilized with good compost. What could I plant this late and have a hope for success?

Answer: Fear not, there’s still hope for good results despite your delayed timing.

Here is a list of veggies you can consider: seeds for bush beans, beets, carrots, radish, lettuce, mustard and turnips; starts for broccoli, cabbage, chard and kale.

To plant little seeds (carrots, lettuce)

Make a shallow line ¼-inch deep in prepared soil with the side of your hand. Sprinkle seeds – not thickly! Cover with loose soil and water gently, so as not to move the seed around. Keep the soil moist until the seeds germinate.

To plant big seeds (chard, beets)

Make small holes about 1-inch deep and 1 inch apart. Put one seed in each hole, and cover with loose soil. Gently water and keep the top of the soil moist.

To plant transplants

Plant in a cool part of the day – morning or evening.

Dig a hole slightly larger than the container the plant came in.

Water the plant in its container, then carefully ease the plant and soil out of the container and into the hole you’ve dug. Gently punch the bottom of the container if needed.

Place the plant in the hole up to where the stalk and leaves meet.

Fill around the plant with loose soil and pat down gently.

Water well, keeping the water off the leaves.

Kathleen Bander of Bellingham is a lifelong gardener. Her column will appear in The Bellingham Herald weekly through the summer growing season. If you have a gardening question you would like answered in the column, please email it to For more gardening information online, go to