What To Plant In March – Garden Planting In Washington State

Gardener Planting In The Garden
(Image credit: Victoria Labadie - Fotonomada)

Vegetable planting in Washington state usually starts around Mother's Day, but there are some varieties that thrive in cooler temperatures, even as early as March. The actual times will vary depending on which part of the state your home is located. You can start seeds indoors, but much of what to plant in March can also be directly sown. 

Times for Planting in Washington State

Garden enthusiasts often have to rein themselves in from planting too early. In Washington state you may have already experienced daytime temperatures in the 60’s (16 C.) and the urge to get gardening is almost overwhelming. You need to pay attention to your zone and date of last frost and select plants that will thrive in cooler temps. A March planting guide can help get you started.

There are quite diverse zones in Washington, ranging from USDA zone 4 through 9. The zone determines when you can begin planting with a reliable degree of success. The coldest regions are up by Canada, while the warmer cities are near the coast. Near the center of the state the zone is around 6. 

Pacific northwest gardening can be challenging due to this vast range. On average, you can start planting in Washington state when the date of your last frost has passed. A good way to determine this is by contacting your local Extension office. Another tip is to watch maple trees. As soon as they begin to leaf out you should be okay to plant. 

What to Plant in March

Checking out your nurseries and garden centers will give you a clue what to plant. Reliable stores will not have plants out that are not ready to go in the ground. Most start bringing plants in around March, although many bulbs and starts such as berries and some vines are available in February. 

Evergreen plants can go into the soil as soon as it is workable. You will also find early spring blooming perennials. Bare root trees should become available as well. It is time to select rose bush varieties too. Cool season grass seed will germinate as long as temperatures are mild. 

March Planting Guide

All the variables in Pacific Northwest gardening don't have to be daunting. If your soil is workable you can harden off and transplant cool season veggies. A few can even be direct sown in the more temperate regions. Try your hand at:

Start long season crops indoors. These would include:

Plant bare root crops:

Bonnie L. Grant

Bonnie Grant is a professional landscaper with a Certification in Urban Gardening. She has been gardening and writing for 15 years. A former professional chef, she has a passion for edible landscaping.